This is book number 1 in the Samuel Craddock Mysteries series.
WINNER! Macavity Award for Best First Mystery
FINALIST: Strand Magazine Critics Awards, Best First Novel
FINALIST: Left Coast Crime Award for Best Novel
“There may be no protagonist in our genre today as decently compelling as Samuel Craddock. And there may be no better chronicler of the character and complexity of small-town America than Terry Shames."
—WILLIAM KENT KRUEGER, author of the Cork O'Connor Mystery Series
"I love Samuel Craddock, I love this town, and I love this series of books.”
—TIMOTHY HALLINAN, author of the Junior Bender mysteries
“Small towns in mysteries can be too cute or too weird to be true, but Jarrett Creek is the real deal and Samuel Craddock is the jewel in its crown. Flawed, complex, decent, and captivating—spending time in this town with the Chief is a delight.”
—CATRIONA McPHERSON, author of Quiet Neighbors
"A Killing at Cotton Hill is the real thing. It has humor, insight, and fine characters. Former chief of police Samuel Craddock is a man readers are going to love, and they'll want to visit him and Jarrett Creek often."
—Bill Crider, author of the Dan Rhodes Mysteries
"An amazing read. The poetic, literary quality of the writing draws you into a small town and its interesting, secret-carrying residents."
—RT Book Reviews
“A Killing at Cotton Hill enchants with memorable characters. . . . A splendid debut by a gifted writer who knows the human heart."
—Carolyn Hart, author of Escape from Paris
"Shames has come up with a sleuth for the long haul.... [Craddock] wins our respect as a guy who stitches together the answers to forensic puzzles with logic and confidence. From page one of the novel, he also claims our affection as a decent kind of guy, the sort we can confidently expect not to disappoint us in future Craddock adventures from Terry Shames’s lively imagination."
“Shames delivers a mystery in the traditional mode, but Craddock is a strong enough character to keep readers coming back for more.”
—San Jose Mercury News
"Not just another retired lawman, Samuel Craddock is wizened but not hardened, rusty but still plenty sharp. . . . Samuel anchors a compelling cast of characters that imbues A Killing at Cotton Hill with style, heart, and a generous helping of rural sensibility."
—Sophie Littlefield, bestselling, award-winning author of Garden of Stones
"Craddock is a man you want to have covering your back, and Shames's small Texas town is so real you can taste the dirt. Beautifully written."
—Susan C. Shea, author of Murder in the Abstract, a Dani O'Rourke mystery