A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge: A Samuel Craddock Mystery

Seventh St: Prometheus. Apr. 2015. 250p. ISBN 9781633880467. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781633880474. M
Though he's semiretired, Samuel Craddock is still the law in his small Texas town of Jarrett Creek. When good friend and neighbor Jenny Sandstone tells him that her mother is at death's door, Samuel visits Vera Sandstone at the hospital in nearby Bobtail. Although barely lucid, Vera is clear when she warns Samuel that Jenny may be in danger and gives him a cryptic message about locating a long-lost woman from the family's past. When Vera dies, Samuel, worried that the already private Jenny will retreat even further, discreetly starts looking into her family history. Things get dicey when Jenny's estranged brother, Eddie, shows up unexpectedly, claiming that Vera changed her will at the last minute to include him. Determined to both preserve his longstanding friendship with Jenny as well as uncover the hidden knowledge in her past, Samuel must balance his role as law enforcer and concerned friend.
VERDICT Shames wonderfully evokes small-town Texas life and Samuel is a slow-talking but certainly not slow-witted hero squarely in the Walt Longmire vein. This emotional fourth installment (after Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek) from the Macavity Award winner will surely satisfy series fans.
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