The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake by Terry Shames
“She was a dangerous girl and people think she’ll be a dangerous woman.”
Nonie Blake is back home from a mental institution where she has spent the last twenty years, and people in Jarrett Creek are worried. Maybe too worried, for within a week of her return, Nonie is murdered.
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 Texas town.
“In small towns, secrets won’t stay buried and the past is never dead. But murder, however necessary it might seem, is still against the law. The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake is another fine outing for police chief Samuel Craddock, with all the finely observed details of small-town life and quirky characters that readers have come to expect in the novels of Terry Shames, and it’s sure to win her even more fans.”
—BILL CRIDER, author of Between the Living and the Dead, the latest in the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series
Praise for prior Samuel Craddock mysteries:
“The lead’s folksy tone belies astute detecting, and the plotting will dazzle readers.”—Library Journal STARRED REVIEW
“A gritty take on small-town crime.”—Booklist
“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
“Shames has come up with a sleuth for the long haul.” —Toronto Star
“Following up on her stellar debut, Shames proves that she isn’t a one-hit wonder…. [Her] grizzled, world-weary Craddock is a nuanced and artfully drawn character who embodies the positive values of small-town Texas as he gets deeper into a multilayered story of trust and betrayal. Jarrett Creek is much more than a backdrop—it’s a complex character in the story. Samuel Craddock is a hero worth rooting for….
—Sheldon Siegel, New York Times-bestselling author (on The Last Death of Jack Harbin)
“Terry Shames does small-town Texas crime right, and 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, Texas, often.”
—Bill Crider, author of Compound Murder, A Dan Rhodes Mystery (on A Killing at Cotton Hill)