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An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock

(Samuel Craddock Mystery #6)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  208 ratings  ·  44 reviews
When the Jarrett Creek Fire Department is called to douse a blaze on the outskirts of town, they discover a grisly scene: five black young people have been murdered. Newly elected Chief of Police Samuel Craddock, just back from a stint in the Air Force, finds himself an outsider in the investigation headed by the Texas Highway Patrol. He takes an immediate dislike to John ...more
Paperback, 270 pages
Published January 3rd 2017 by Seventh Street Books
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4.20  · 
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 ·  208 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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I first met author Terry Shames in October 2015 at the Raleigh Bouchercon. Talk about being at the right place at the right time, I was gathering together some authors and readers to go to a dinner I'd planned. Terry was there, and I asked her to join us.

Oh, fortuitous day that Terry accepted the dinner invitation, because I learned about Samuel Craddock, the series that I read as one of my catch-up series read in January and February, following that Bouchercon. I could not read the series fast
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: s, 2017

When the Jarrett Creek Fire Department is called to douse a blaze on the outskirts of town, they discover a grisly scene: five black young people have been murdered. Newly elected Chief of Police Samuel Craddock, just back from a stint in the Air Force, finds himself an outsider in the investigation headed by the Texas Highway Patrol. He takes an immediate dislike to John Sutherland, a racist trooper

Craddock's fears are realized when Sutherland arrests Truly Bennett, a young b
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Billed as a Samuel Craddock Mystery Prequel the latest read from author Terry Shames takes readers back decades ago when a young Samuel Craddock came home to be police chief of the small south Texas town, Jarret Creek. It is the mid-80s and the city council wants a younger man to deal with the drug problem. A stint in the Air Force as well as college wasn’t law enforcement experience or training, so the county paid for Samuel to take a three month training course over in Austin.

As An Unsettling
Terry Shames' Samuel Craddock mysteries are always thought-provoking views of our society. But, none of them have been as timely or challenging as the latest story, An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock.

Shames takes us back to the beginning of Craddock's career as police chief of Jarrett Creek, Texas. It's the mid-eighties. Craddock's wife, Jeanne, is still alive, and they've only been married for six years. Despite Jeanne's wishes, Samuel accepted the position of chief of police six months ea
Viviane Crystal
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Samuel Craddock has recently been appointed Chief of Police in small town Jarret Creek, Texas. Some treat him with respect and others scorn his office as he’s in his 30s, a very young age compared to most law officers in the area. Because there’s not much crime locally, for the most part, Sam decides to try his hand at raising a few head of cattle. He and his wife are about to welcome the delivery of these bovine additions to their family when he receives a call about a fire and something that s ...more
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Terry Shames continues her series with Samuel Craddock as the main character who has just been hired as chief of police in Jarrett Creek, Texas. He is recently back from a stint in the Air Force and agrees to take the position. Most of the local complaints come under the heading of lost cat or dog. But, now something far sinister is happening. The Jarrett Creek Fire Department is called to dowse a house fire on the outskirts of town and discover a grisly scene where five young black people have ...more
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Samuel Craddock is the new young police chief of a small Texas town when he is called to investigate a fire in "Blacktown" where 5 people were shot and burned in a fire. The Texas Highway Patrol are sent to take over the case, and he finds himself without any critical power. In addition, he is suspicious that they will not do their job thoroughly and will gloss over any evidence. His prescience becomes evident when they arrest Truly Bennett, a black man, whom he sees as truthful and honest, and ...more
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
What a title for a book ! "An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock": Craddock book 6. Several months ago I came across a stack of this book sitting on a table in an Arizona book store. Although I've never heard of author Terry Shames I had to buy this book just because it's titled grabbed me. The book kept calling out my name pleading to pick it up and check Samuel Craddock out. Okay, I admit I'm a sucker for seeing odd titles on suspense thrillers. At the time I had no idea it was book six of a ...more
Susan Swanson
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gayle Pace
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing

The author deals with some real life issues, some real hard issues, drugs. murder and racism. A mystery of a small town that has corruption spewing all over. It even spills over into the police department. Samuel Craddock, takes on the job of Police Chief, not knowing a lot about what it takes to do the job, but he soon starts to learn. I would strongly suggest you read the other books 1-5 first. I felt like I missed out on a lot by not doing that. The book can be read as a stand-alo
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I almost gave this one up in the first two pages of the boring schtupping of one's wife while the oatmeal stays warm, but I am glad I didn't. As the plot thickens in the black-white tensions of small-town Texas, I got a whiff of Elmore Leonard's Easy Rawlins and Co. Glad I stuck with it and watched the tensions and discoveries unfold, and will look for more Samuel Craddock.
John of Canada
I hate to skew the curve but...I thought most of the characters were annoying,it was a tepid mystery,and I stopped caring and speedread it to get it over with.
Lori Rader-Day
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
Samuel Craddock as a hot, young police chief? Allllllright.
Coralee Hicks
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-reads
By book 5 in the Samuel Craddock series, the reader might think they know him. For us he is the wise, level headed, observant Police Chief of Jarret Creek. He is a widower, owner of cattle, and also surprisingly owner of a splendid private art collection. What was he like as a young man?

The answer is found in book 6. I came to the work with no expectations. I was delighted when the opening scene shared a loving breakfast prepared by Jeanne. We are in the past; Samuel has been chief for 6 months
Steve Goble
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved the rural Texas setting. I grew up among rural people in a different state, but I recognized many of the attitudes on display. The small-town politics, racism and cultural mistrust seemed very real to me, and I liked that Samuel Craddock, the rookie police chief, was willing to fight his way through that and see some measure of justice done. Craddock is a decent man in a tough spot, and ably navigates the world of prejudice and racism around him in an effort to do what is right. His appr ...more
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
#6 in the Samuel Craddock mystery series. This is a prequel, to the 1970s and Samuel Craddock's first year as Chief of Police for Jarrett Creek, TX. An entertaining and atmospheric look at rural Texas at a time when race relations meant offhand discrimination. Craddock meets opposition when he looks into a death of a black family that a Highway Patrol officer has decided on flimsy evidence was caused by a man Craddock can't believe committed the crime. An engrossing story.

When the Jarrett Creek
Vinnie Hansen
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Although a prequel, An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock is the sixth book Terry Shames wrote for the Samuel Craddock series, and I read it sixth. In this prequel, Shames steps into darker territory, which suits me fine--I like dark. But reading the prequel first might make readers anticipate a darker series than what awaits them.

While any of Shames' books makes sense on its own, the series layers the characters and textures the community of Jarrett Creek, Texas. I enjoyed the new info about
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not having read any of the books in this series, I cannot comment on how well it works as a prequel but, on its own, it's a capable mystery involving a likable and well-developed, young police chief who is quickly in over his head when a burned house reveals five dead including several under age and killed by gunshot. Samuel Craddock's job has been fairly easy and he's inclined to let the Texas Rangers handle this complicated and ugly crime. But when a young African-American man from town is arr ...more
Leslie Karst
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This prequel to the award-winning Samuel Craddock mysteries is the first of the series I’ve read, and I’m now rarin’ to get to the others.

I was initially surprised by Shames’ use of the first person present tense, a difficult style to pull off, but by the third page I realized that this device worked beautifully to draw the reader into the emotions and drama of the story.

Shames does a masterful job evoking a sense of place—a small town in central Texas in the mid-1980s—but what will keep you r
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this prequel. I thought I would enjoy meeting Samuel’s wife (who I didn’t like as much as I thought I would), but the real pleasure was meeting the young Samuel. His beginnings in law enforcement and his growth during this case really informs his relationship with the community in the (previous) books dealing with later years. The mystery was an interesting and complex case that wasn’t closed neatly and tidily. Samuel accomplished what he said he wanted to, but given who he was ...more
Jun 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This is the sixth book in the series, but it's actually a prequel to the series. You decide if you want to start reading this fine series with this novel or the first book, A Killing at Cotton Hill.

There have been hints of a case in the past that established the reputation of Samuel Craddock. This is the case when Craddock was new at the job of police chief and very green. His wife is not sure that he is up to the task. A friend is accused of killing the family of a Houston drug lord.
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am really enjoying this series. This one is a prequel to the others. It takes us back to when Samuel was young and just starting out as police chief. Jeanne is around and nephew Tom is just a little boy. We learn some history of the characters in this little town and get a better understanding of our protagonist and his background.
Lake County Public Library
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
If you have not followed this series, this prequel is a good place to begin. Samuel Craddock is a young, inexperienced chief of police confronted with a brutal house fire that is obviously more than an accident. A well-plotted and thoughtful muster/crime novel that focuses on characters and tense moments rather than chase scenes and shootouts.

-- Chris, Dyer-Schererville Branch
Janet Martin
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This step back to Craddock's earlier life was a lot of fun, but not quite as compelling as the rest in the series. I appreciate the background, though, and suspect other fans of this fine series will too.
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice to have a plain, uncomplicated good guy

Almost enough to make you think a worthy protagonist, competent writing, and careful plotting can still make for a good read. Well done.
Krissy Neddo
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-series
Love, love this series. Such a sense of place and feel like I am part of the community when I read it. Just love them. Reminds me of Josie Grey series by Tricia Fields.
Nancy Gober
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightful read

Always enjoy a Texas story. Having lived in a small town understand they walk a little different walk and too often see wrong people convicted.
Apr 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
Couldn't get through it - 100 pages in I gave up - Started to remind me a little of to Kill a Mockingbird in the beginning - same theory I thought - won't read her books again
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked the honest title and appreciated the doggedness with which Craddock approached this case, one of his first.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Goodreads Librari...: transfer book cover from hard cover to kindle edition 2 11 Jan 14, 2017 10:21AM  

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From an early age, Terry Shames wrote stories based on the small town in Texas where her grandparents lived. Her Samuel Craddock mysteries are set in Jarrett Creek, a fictional version of the town that sparked her imagination. Terry lives in Berkeley, CA with her husband, two rowdy terriers.

Her first book A Killing at Cotton Hill, was a best seller and a finalist for numerous awards. It won the Ma

Other books in the series

Samuel Craddock Mystery (8 books)
  • A Killing at Cotton Hill (Samuel Craddock Mystery, #1)
  • The Last Death of Jack Harbin (Samuel Craddock Mystery, #2)
  • Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek (Samuel Craddock Mystery, #3)
  • A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge (Samuel Craddock Mystery, #4)
  • The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake (Samuel Craddock Mystery, #5)
  • A Reckoning in the Back Country (Samuel Craddock Mystery, #7)
  • A Risky Undertaking for Loretta Singletary (Samuel Craddock Mystery, #8)