Genre: Police Procedural

Audiobook Review | “Will to Live” (Book Two: the Kay Hunter Detective series) by Rachel Amphlett, narrated by Alison Campbell

Posted Sunday, 8 April, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Will to Live” via Audiobookworm Promotions who is working directly with the author Rachel Amphlett in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What held me in the throes of “Scared to Death” and why I was itching for the next novel:

Your heart is clutched in your throat as soon as you enter into the horror of their lives – two parents are madly driving off to the location they frantically jotted down in a desperate search for their daughter – as they argue about directions and which turn is which – you grow more anxious by the second as their car increases speed to shorten the distance from her to them. You feel their anxiety, you worry your own nerves won’t hold out nor will theirs as they inch closer to arriving.

The minute details of police procedurals, crime scene investigations and the actions of all of the characters each in turn of each other is a special feast for the reader – as all of these details add to the layering of how the audiobook is being narrated. You are happily so well in-tune with the visual aspects of this story as it unfolds as to feel like you’ve stepped through the pages and have entered each of the character’s souls. You feel and think just as they are whilst they are going through the motions of where each of their roles takes them. It’s a very intimate layering effect – as the human condition is dissected and re-affirmed through how Ms Amphlett gives her characters’ the freedoms to be raw and authentically honest as you would expect to find them if you had arrived on scene yourself.

I have a lot of praise for Ms Amphlett threading through this review but it was her tenacity for truism for the way in which she crafted this Thriller I wanted to make a special note about as she truly fused real-life methodology with a fictional crime in such an expert way of execution you simply could not forsake the time you had within it’s chapters! She pulls you in immediately as she’s mastered the heart-connection of giving an emotional layer of empathy between her readers and her lead investigator, Kay Hunter. This is pivotal not just for a Thrilling Crime Drama but for all stories as it lends itself a better route towards securing your attention for the long-term.

I was fascinated by finding the ‘science’ within Criminology being inclusive to the story-line but also, the layers of how Forensic Science played a crucial role as well. Even Forensic Psychology could be rooted out by how well she utilised her research into the background of the narrative and of the pacing of all the disclosures along the route of where the investigation turnt perspectives on the criminal minds behind the scenes. In short, she’s one writer to keep a keen eye out for future stories and series – she has a convicting way of alighting you into her character’s lives and once you feel that connection taking root in your own heart and mind, it’s an experience you want to keep repeating!

-quoted from my review of Scared to Death

I was so excited to be a part of this blog tour as soon as I finished the first installment – I had finally found a Contemporary Thriller novelist who gave me something I was looking for inside a gripping and realistic police drama without the overt explicit content too often running amuck in the offerings today. I don’t mind a bit of intensity but I’m not into the graphic nature most police dramas take you visually – irregardless if their on tv, in film or in a novel.

Blessedly, Ms Amphlett leaves me wanting more of her Kay Hunter series – because she’s found an empathetic bridge into Kay Hunter’s mind and heart – of anchouring us into her personal journey and the reasons why we should feel as attached to her as we do. She has a back-story running parallel to the cases and this reminds me of why I was attached to Rizzoli & Isles whilst the foundation of the series truly is a homage to NCIS. For these reasons, I am honoured to be a part of the blog tour and continuing my time with Kay and her team of detectives who have one of the most difficult caseloads anyone could ever hope to be delivered.

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Audiobook Review | “Will to Live” (Book Two: the Kay Hunter Detective series) by Rachel Amphlett, narrated by Alison CampbellWill to Live
by Rachel Amphlett
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Alison Campbell

Reputation is everything.

When a packed commuter train runs over a body on a stretch of track known to locals as "Suicide Mile", it soon transpires that the man was a victim of a calculated murder.

As the investigation evolves and a pattern of murders is uncovered, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter realizes the railway's recent reputation may be the work of a brutal serial killer.

With a backlog of cold cases to investigate and attempting to uncover who is behind a professional vendetta against her, Kay must keep one step ahead of both the killer and her own adversaries.

When a second murder takes place within a week of the first, she realizes the killer's timetable has changed, and she's running out of time to stop him....

Will to Live is the second book in a new crime thriller series featuring Kay Hunter - a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future....

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ASIN: B076B2B82J

Also by this author: Scared to Death, One to Watch, Hell to Pay, Call to Arms, Author Inteview: Rachel Amphlett (Gone to Ground), Gone to Ground, Bridge to Burn, Cradle to Grave

Also in this series: Scared to Death, One to Watch, Hell to Pay, Call to Arms, Gone to Ground, Bridge to Burn, Cradle to Grave


Genres: Crime Fiction, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Police Procedural, Thriller


Published by Saxon Publishing

on 12th October, 2017

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 7 hours, 15 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: Saxon Publishing

Order of the Kay Hunter Detective series:
Scared to Death | Book One (see also Review)
Will to Live | Book Two
One to Watch | Book Three | Synopsis
Hell to Pay | Book Four | Synopsis
Call to Arms | Book Five | Synopsis

About Rachel Amphlett

Rachel Amphlettt

Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Stuart MacBride, and many more.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore's TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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Posted Sunday, 8 April, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), British Literature, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Detective Fiction, England, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Good vs. Evil, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Modern Day, Mother-Son Relationships, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Psychological Suspense, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Sociological Behavior, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, True Crime

Audiobook Review | “Scared to Death” (Book One: the Kay Hunter Detective series) by Rachel Amphlett, narrated by Alison Campbell

Posted Thursday, 29 March, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Scared to Death” via Audiobookworm Promotions who is working directly with the author Rachel Amphlett in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What initially prompted me to listen to Scared to Death & why I loved it:

I became keen on Police Procedurals in my twenties – those were the years where I watched all the Law & Order series on television – where my preference was for the Original series and Criminal Intent.  I also watched a heap of NCIS – including getting caught up inside the spin-offs, but it’s the Original series which captured my heart – all because of Mark Harmon, as it was his character of Gibbs who truly anchoured me into the series overall. The ensemble cast was impressively connected – they had a chemistry of connection you love to find in a tight knit series such as this one.

As I was listening to Scared to Death, there were overtures of NCIS within how it was being written whilst the details of what make this a hard-boiled crime drama also echoed those memories of watching NCIS and feeling as if the series was pushing me to the very edge of where I could go with a crime drama. There is a certain layer of intensity I can handle and then, if it goes too far afield from there, I tend to pull back and seek lighter faire. I always knew NCIS was at the height of what I could appreciate whilst Criminal Intent on the opposite end of the spectrum was also winning the top spot for it’s own unique styling of how you shift focus from the crimes to the law and to the police in tandem.

Generally speaking, I do not oft seek out the harder hitting Suspense & Thrillers as I can only take so much visually – generally erring on caution as I am a sensitive hearted reader. Ergo, when I learnt about this series, there was a particular reviewer who was commenting about the aspects of it’s center core – of what is inclusive and what isn’t – of course, this is subjective per each reader, but something made me think perhaps this series was one I not only could handle but perhaps, one I would enjoy listening too.

From the very first moment I started listening to the narrating styling of Ms Campbell, I knew I had made a good choice – even if I knew going in – I was going to re-examine my ‘live on the edge of my seat’ listening experience such as the ones I had during NCIS – I was game for a dramatic crime series such as this one due to series I have been appreciating through Seventh Street Press. (ie. Hiro Hattori, Marjorie Trumaine, Anna Blanc and Samuel Craddock respectively – all of which you’ll happily find on my blog)Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Audiobook Review | “Scared to Death” (Book One: the Kay Hunter Detective series) by Rachel Amphlett, narrated by Alison CampbellScared to Death
by Rachel Amphlett
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Alison Campbell

"If you want to see your daughter alive again, listen carefully."

When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.

But Detective Kay Hunter isn't convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.

When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay's worst fears are realized.

With her career in jeopardy - desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay's hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.

For the killer, the game has only just begun....

Scared to Death is the first book in a new crime thriller series featuring Kay Hunter - a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future....

If you like the Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons, Peter Robinson's DCI Banks series and the Erika Foster series by Robert Bryndza, discover Rachel Amphlett's new detective novels today.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ASIN: B076127JBZ

Also by this author: Will to Live, One to Watch, Hell to Pay, Call to Arms, Author Inteview: Rachel Amphlett (Gone to Ground), Gone to Ground, Bridge to Burn, Cradle to Grave

Also in this series: Will to Live, One to Watch, Hell to Pay, Call to Arms, Gone to Ground, Bridge to Burn, Cradle to Grave


Genres: Crime Fiction, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Police Procedural, Thriller


Published by Saxon Publishing

on 2nd October, 2017

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 8 hours, 27 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: Saxon Publishing

Order of the Kay Hunter Detective series:
Scared to Death | Book One
Will to Live | Book Two | Synopsis
One to Watch | Book Three | Synopsis
Hell to Pay | Book Four | Synopsis
Call to Arms | Book Five | Synopsis

About Rachel Amphlett

Rachel Amphlettt

Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Stuart MacBride, and many more.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore's TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

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Posted Thursday, 29 March, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), British Literature, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Detective Fiction, England, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Good vs. Evil, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Modern Day, Mother-Son Relationships, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Psychological Suspense, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Sociological Behavior, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, True Crime

Book Review | “The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake” (Book No.5 of the Samuel Craddock Mysteries) by Terry Shames

Posted Monday, 12 February, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Borrowed Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction.

I was happily surprised finding “A Reckoning in the Backcountry” arriving by Post; as this is one title I hadn’t remembered requesting. I tried to back-track if I had requested it but never could sort out if this was one title the publisher felt I might enjoy as I read quite a few of their Mystery authors or if I simply had forgotten one of my requests. Either way, I decided to sort out which installment this was in the sequence – finding the series has five titles previously released. Unfortunately, my local library didn’t have a copy of any of them thereby giving me the chance to seek them through inter-library loan. As I pulled together the synopsis of each of the novels, I uncovered a pattern of interest threading through three of them which seemed to speak to the greater whole of the series: A Killing at Cotton Hill (Book One); Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek (Book Three) and The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake (Book Five). I knew I wouldn’t have time to borrow all five and felt by moving in and out of the sequential order with these three I could have a proper overview of the series before moving into the sixth release “A Reckoning in the Backcountry”.

I borrowed the fifth novel in the Samuel Craddock series “The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake” in trade paperback from my local library via inter-library loan through the consortium of libraries within my state. I was not obligated to post a review as I am doing so for my own edification as a reader who loves to share her readerly life. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

on why i am loving reading #samuelcraddock mysteries:

 As I move through the series, I notice different things about Craddock’s character – how tenacious he is to solve crimes using clues which you could almost overlook as ‘clues’ (reminding me of why I love watching Det. Goren, Columbo and Due South‘s lovable Mountie Fraser) whilst he strives to keep his personal views at bay even if there are moments where he struggles with this balance. He also has a lot of compassion for the people involved as life is never cut and dry nor are the circumstances which put people into situations which can alter the course their lives will take. He’s the kind of Chief of police you truly feel empathy for whilst watching how he handles the cases and tries to seek the truth out of complicated crimes. In this way, he does remind me a heap of Jesse Stone who always led with his heart and strove to improve the lives of his community whilst realising sometimes his community will break his heart, too.

There is a truly poignant change of opinion about the previous Chief, the one who was giving Craddock the most angst in A Killing at Cotton Hill and the one where he felt might be a fair share too incompetent to do the work well whilst avoiding his addictive habit as anything more than a secondary interest when it was really overtaking his life. Now, as the tides have turnt against Rodell, Craddock sees how broken he is after he’s had time to address his health. In this, Craddock realises no man is an island – even those who have a harder walk to live and a major crisis of health to overcome have a point where the choices they made eventually catch up to them. The interesting bit is how Craddock reacted to a favour Rodell asked of him and how this proves the truer heart of Craddock of being a man for the people without having a prejudicial heart.

I *knew!* I loved Craddock – yet the way in which he realises a misguided youthful joyride was not befitting the start of a criminal life is what gives your heart a squeeze of joy! He sees people – just as they are and the potential for what they could be – he doesn’t judge out of hand nor does he quickly assess their reasons. He let’s the people he’s speaking to find a way to feel comfortable round him, giving them the chance to lead with something they might wish to impart to the Chief of police but without having to outright put them on the spot. He’s wicked good at his job but it’s how he’s trying to effect change even in subtle ways which makes him a keen role model for his small towne.

-quoted from my review of Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek

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Book Review | “The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake” (Book No.5 of the Samuel Craddock Mysteries) by Terry ShamesThe Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake
Subtitle: A Samuel Craddock Mystery
by Terry Shames
Source: Borrowed from local library (ILL)

Nonie Blake is back home from a mental institution where she has spent the last twenty years, and people are worried. Maybe too worried, for within a week of her return, Nonie is murdered.
Police Chief Samuel Craddock thinks the only possible suspects are members of her tight-lipped family. Ever since Nonie tried to kill her sister when she was fourteen and was sent away to the institution, the family has kept to itself.

Clues are scarce and Craddock is stumped. So he checks with therapists at the mental hospital to see whether they can add anything useful to his investigation. But he discovers that she has not been there for ten years. Now Craddock has to find out where Nonie has been all this time.

Soon Craddock finds himself dealing not only with murder, but layers of deception and secrets, and in the midst of it all—a new deputy, one Maria Trevino, sent by the sheriff to beef up security in the small town of Jarrett Creek.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781633881204

Also by this author: A Killing at Cotton Hill, Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek

Also in this series: A Killing at Cotton Hill, Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek


Genres: Crime Fiction, Police Procedural


Published by Seventh Street Books

on 12th January, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 270

Published By: Seventh Street Books (@SeventhStBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

About Terry Shames

Terry Shames Photo Credit: Margaretta K. Mitchell

Terry Shames is the Macavity Award-winning author of the Samuel Craddock mysteries A Killing at Cotton Hill, The Last Death of Jack Harbin, Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek, and A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge. She is also the coeditor of Fire in the Hills, a book of stories, poems, and photographs about the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire. She grew up in Texas and continues to be fascinated by the convoluted loyalties and betrayals of the small town where her grandfather was the mayor. Terry is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Photo Credit: Margaretta K. Mitchell

The Samuel Craddock Mysteries:

Series Overview: The well-respected, retired police chief of a small Texas town is called upon to solve crimes that the current chief is unwilling or unable to solve.

An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock | Prequel | Synopsis

→ I hadn’t realised this series had a prequel when I first went to gather my ILLs from the library; therefore I missed getting the chance to read the prequel ahead of ‘Cotton Hill’.

A Killing at Cotton Hill | Book One (see also review)

The Last Death of Jack Harbin | Book Two | Synopsis

Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek | Book Three (see also review)

A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge | Book Four | Synopsis

The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake | Book Five

A Reckoning in the Backcountry | Book Six | Synopsis

Converse via: #SamuelCraddock + #Mysteries

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Posted Monday, 12 February, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Crime Fiction, Detective Fiction, Prometheus Books, Small Towne USA, Texas, Vulgarity in Literature

Book Review | “Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek” (Book No.3 of the Samuel Craddock Mysteries) by Terry Shames Otherwise known as the series Jorie is wicked thankful to have become introduced too! (thanks Prometheus!)

Posted Saturday, 10 February, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Borrowed Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction.

I was happily surprised finding “A Reckoning in the Backcountry” arriving by Post; as this is one title I hadn’t remembered requesting. I tried to back-track if I had requested it but never could sort out if this was one title the publisher felt I might enjoy as I read quite a few of their Mystery authors or if I simply had forgotten one of my requests. Either way, I decided to sort out which installment this was in the sequence – finding the series has five titles previously released. Unfortunately, my local library didn’t have a copy of any of them thereby giving me the chance to seek them through inter-library loan. As I pulled together the synopsis of each of the novels, I uncovered a pattern of interest threading through three of them which seemed to speak to the greater whole of the series: A Killing at Cotton Hill (Book One); Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek (Book Three) and The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake (Book Five). I knew I wouldn’t have time to borrow all five and felt by moving in and out of the sequential order with these three I could have a proper overview of the series before moving into the sixth release “A Reckoning in the Backcountry”.

I borrowed the third novel in the Samuel Craddock series “Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek” in trade paperback from my local library via inter-library loan through the consortium of libraries within my state. I was not obligated to post a review as I am doing so for my own edification as a reader who loves to share her readerly life. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

on why i am loving reading #samuelcraddock mysteries:

Straight off the bat, I smiled realising how the series was meant to unfold – the quirky titles for the series are actually a homage to the setting – Cotton Hill, Jarrett Creek and Bobtail are actual ‘places’ within the series itself. I liked how she approached crafting the series together – it reminds me of why I love Southern Lit and being this is set in Texas it does have quite the Southern appeal to how it’s being conveyed. There is the laid-back feel of how time and hours are not generally clicking off the clock at high speed but rather, there are idle hours where a person can appreciate what their doing without feeling the pressure of a deadline. It is here we alight inside the #SamuelCraddock Mysteries – partially reminding me of how I felt when I saw my first Father Brown episode – as this is a small towne where everyone knows everyone else but with an unease about how the sense of safety and security can become shattered overnight by ominous events.

Ms Shames entreats us to pull close to her lead character, Craddock as he regales us with his knowledge and his ability to see past what others are overlooking. He has a keen mind and retirement hasn’t dulled his sense of justice. In this way, he is a winsome character as he’s just a bit unexpected (like Father Brown) but with a genuinely earnest nature to do right no matter what the cost; the kind of character you can rally behind simply because he takes the duties of his job seriously even if he’s not officially in the same capacity to investigate as he had been previously.

I liked how this story evolves forward at a slower pace – similar to the Marjorie Trumaine Mysteries I love so much – whilst recognising this, I can see why the publisher was inclined to think this would be a good match for me! Both authors share a joy of giving us nuanced information about their settings of choice – of tucking into the folds of ordinary days and the slow ache of shifting through the bits and bobbles of clues which cannot be coaxed out easily from whatever is left behind. Either in tangible evidence in the person’s residence or in the living memories of those who knew her best.

I can see I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next novel in sequence – I might even fancy borrowing the three novels I hadn’t been able to this year when the seventh novel releases! It will be my own quirky tradition of celebrating the series! For now, I’m wicked thankful I’ve had the proper chance to ‘meet’ Craddock and settle into his life! You truly do disappear into Jarrett County, walking beside him and watching how he puts all the pieces together. He’s an interesting character with an artistic hobby and an unwavering admiration for the wife he lost too soon. What makes him inspiring to read is how he refuses to give up living and finds new purpose in his retirement. I truly appreciated how Ms Shames wrote this series and how she’s giving us a new dramatic series to love reading!

-quoted from my review of A Killing at Cotton Hill

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Book Review | “Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek” (Book No.3 of the Samuel Craddock Mysteries) by Terry Shames Otherwise known as the series Jorie is wicked thankful to have become introduced too! (thanks Prometheus!)Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek
Subtitle: A Samuel Craddock Mystery
by Terry Shames
Source: Borrowed from local library (ILL)

The small town of Jarrett Creek is bankrupt. Samuel Craddock thought he was retired but now he’s been asked to return as police chief. Gary Dellmore, heir apparent to the main bank, is dead, apparently murdered. Dellmore supposedly had a roving eye, although his wife says he was never serious about dallying. Still, Craddock wonders: Did the husbands and fathers of women he flirted with think he was harmless? What about his current lover, who insists that Dellmore was going to leave his wife for her?

Craddock discovers that Dellmore had a record of bad business investments. Even worse, he took a kickback from a loan he procured, which ultimately drove the town into bankruptcy. Many people had motive to want Dellmore dead.

Then the investigation turns up another crime. As Craddock digs down to the root of this mess, many in Jarrett Creek are left wondering what happened to the innocence of their close-knit community.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781616149963

Also by this author: A Killing at Cotton Hill, The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake

Also in this series: A Killing at Cotton Hill, The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake


Genres: Crime Fiction, Police Procedural


Published by Seventh Street Books

on 7th October, 2014

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 265

Published By: Seventh Street Books (@SeventhStBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

About Terry Shames

Terry Shames Photo Credit: Margaretta K. Mitchell

Terry Shames is the Macavity Award-winning author of the Samuel Craddock mysteries A Killing at Cotton Hill, The Last Death of Jack Harbin, Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek, and A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge. She is also the coeditor of Fire in the Hills, a book of stories, poems, and photographs about the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire. She grew up in Texas and continues to be fascinated by the convoluted loyalties and betrayals of the small town where her grandfather was the mayor. Terry is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Photo Credit: Margaretta K. Mitchell

The Samuel Craddock Mysteries:

Series Overview: The well-respected, retired police chief of a small Texas town is called upon to solve crimes that the current chief is unwilling or unable to solve.

An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock | Prequel | Synopsis

→ I hadn’t realised this series had a prequel when I first went to gather my ILLs from the library; therefore I missed getting the chance to read the prequel ahead of ‘Cotton Hill’.

A Killing at Cotton Hill | Book One (see also review)

The Last Death of Jack Harbin | Book Two | Synopsis

Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek | Book Three

A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge | Book Four | Synopsis

The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake | Book Five | Synopsis

A Reckoning in the Backcountry | Book Six | Synopsis

Converse via: #SamuelCraddock + #Mysteries

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Posted Saturday, 10 February, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Crime Fiction, Detective Fiction, Prometheus Books, Small Towne USA, Texas, Vulgarity in Literature

Book Review | “A Killing at Cotton Hill” (Book No.1 of the Samuel Craddock Mysteries) by Terry Shames

Posted Wednesday, 7 February, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Borrowed Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction.

I was happily surprised finding “A Reckoning in the Backcountry” arriving by Post; as this is one title I hadn’t remembered requesting. I tried to back-track if I had requested it but never could sort out if this was one title the publisher felt I might enjoy as I read quite a few of their Mystery authors or if I simply had forgotten one of my requests. Either way, I decided to sort out which installment this was in the sequence – finding the series has five titles previously released. Unfortunately, my local library didn’t have a copy of any of them thereby giving me the chance to seek them through inter-library loan. As I pulled together the synopsis of each of the novels, I uncovered a pattern of interest threading through three of them which seemed to speak to the greater whole of the series: A Killing at Cotton Hill (Book One); Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek (Book Three) and The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake (Book Five). I knew I wouldn’t have time to borrow all five and felt by moving in and out of the sequential order with these three I could have a proper overview of the series before moving into the sixth release “A Reckoning in the Backcountry”.

I borrowed the first novel in the Samuel Craddock series “A Killing at Cotton Hill” in trade paperback from my local library via inter-library loan through the consortium of libraries within my state. I was not obligated to post a review as I am doing so for my own edification as a reader who loves to share her readerly life. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

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on settling into a new series:

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, as I felt like this series sort of landed in my lap so to speak – the titles of the series held a certain layer of pause to contemplate as did the premises within them. I do have a hankering of reading a wicked good detective novel every so often, but I have the tendency of setting the bar quite high. I blame this on my affection for Crime Dramas I’ve watched on television – when you have Det. Bobby Goren, Jesse Stone, Special Agent Gibbs, Miss Fisher, Rizzoli and Isles plus the motley crew of other infamous detectives stateside to Canada and the UK – you garnish a particular attention to what drives a certain kind of suspenseful narrative into your heart.

As soon as I picked up the novel though, as I was starting to settle into the pace and flow of Ms Shames style of narrative – I noticed a few things. Craddock has an ease about him reminiscent of Jesse Stone but without the anguish and her narrative voice in regards to placing you wholly inside her setting had me hungering for the next Marjorie Trumaine Mystery – as the two series have a cadence of similarity for how they are easily able to be stepped inside for the first time!

The kind of series you will linger over and happily re-visit each time a new installment brings you back to centre with the characters. In essence, rather than feeling a bit out of depth to tackle a new series and becoming acquainted with everyone therein – I almost felt as if this might be a homecoming – as if I had been here previously; a credit to Ms Shames for giving us an approachable character such as Craddock to feel comfortable in this setting.

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Book Review | “A Killing at Cotton Hill” (Book No.1 of the Samuel Craddock Mysteries) by Terry ShamesA Killing at Cotton Hill
Subtitle: A Samuel Craddock Mystery
by Terry Shames
Source: Borrowed from local library (ILL)

In this award-winning debut mystery novel, the chief of police of a small town is also an unreliable drunk. So when Dora Lee Parjeter is murdered, her old friend and former police chief Samuel Craddock steps in to investigate. He discovers that a lot of people may have had it in for Dora Lee—the conniving rascals on the farm next door, her estranged daughter, and her live-in grandson. And then there’s that stranger Dora Lee claimed was spying on her. As Craddock digs to find the identity of the killer, the human foibles of Jarrett Creek’s residents—their pettiness and generosity, their secret vices and true virtues—are also revealed.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781616147990

Also by this author: Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek, The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake

Also in this series: Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek, The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake


Genres: Crime Fiction, Police Procedural


Published by Seventh Street Books

on 16th July, 2013

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 235

Published By: Seventh Street Books (@SeventhStBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

About Terry Shames

Terry Shames Photo Credit: Margaretta K. Mitchell

Terry Shames is the Macavity Award-winning author of the Samuel Craddock mysteries A Killing at Cotton Hill, The Last Death of Jack Harbin, Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek, and A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge. She is also the coeditor of Fire in the Hills, a book of stories, poems, and photographs about the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire. She grew up in Texas and continues to be fascinated by the convoluted loyalties and betrayals of the small town where her grandfather was the mayor. Terry is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Photo Credit: Margaretta K. Mitchell

The Samuel Craddock Mysteries:

Series Overview: The well-respected, retired police chief of a small Texas town is called upon to solve crimes that the current chief is unwilling or unable to solve.

An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock | Prequel | Synopsis

→ I hadn’t realised this series had a prequel when I first went to gather my ILLs from the library; therefore I missed getting the chance to read the prequel ahead of ‘Cotton Hill’.

A Killing at Cotton Hill | Book One

The Last Death of Jack Harbin | Book Two | Synopsis

Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek | Book Three | Synopsis

A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge | Book Four | Synopsis

The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake | Book Five | Synopsis

A Reckoning in the Backcountry | Book Six | Synopsis

Converse via: #SamuelCraddock + #Mysteries

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Posted Wednesday, 7 February, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Crime Fiction, Debut Novel, Detective Fiction, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Prometheus Books, Small Towne USA, Texas, Vulgarity in Literature