The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake
A Samuel Craddock Mystery by Terry Shames
Review: Samuel Craddock is an aging lawman, the Chief of Police of the small rural town of Jarrett Creek, Texas. He has two part-time deputies to help in a place where not much happens. But now Nonie Blake has come home to Jarrett Creek after spending twenty years in a mental health facility for the attempted murder of her younger sister. Just two weeks after her return home to her family, Nonie's body is found dead, floating in a pond behind her parent's home, in The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake, the fifth mystery in this series by Terry Shames.
It doesn't take any time at all for Craddock to determine that Nonie did not die by an accident or suicide — she had been murdered, her head smashed in with a rock. He begins in a slow, orderly way to acquire the necessary information which could lead to finding Nonie's killer. His neighbor and good friend keeps him up to date on the gossip and rumors spreading among the town's people. They had been nervous about Nonie's return. They thought that if she tried to kill once, maybe she will try again. Nonie's family is not big on co-operation. The more he tries to get information concerning Nonie, the more he is shut out. Except for lies the tell him. He begins to think any of the remaining five members of the family could possibly be her killer. Maybe they had something to hide and were protecting one of their own. To get more background he goes to the mental hospital where Nonie had been incarcerated for twenty years, only to find out she had been released ten years earlier. Where had she gone? What had she been doing these past ten years? Her family denies knowing she had left the hospital — of course. While Craddock is at a loss to unravel the family's deceits, he has another problem. The state has sent him a new deputy, courtesy of an affirmative action grant. She is a young Hispanic female out to prove her worth. This is something Craddock never asked for or expected. Although Maria Trevino is headstrong and a tad sassy, she does, however, steer him in the right direction to solve this case.
The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake is a pleasure to read. An interesting, sometimes edgy, murder mystery in the style of a cozy, with no overt violence or crude language to distract from the characters solving a most puzzling crime, something many readers appreciate (but is increasingly difficult to find). The small town setting is perfect, where everyone knows everyone else's business but pretends not to. The characters are generally homey and likeable, everyday people going about their everyday lives. Except with a murder, of course. Overall, a strong, solid entry in this series.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake.
Acknowledgment: Seventh Street Books provided a copy of The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake for this review.
Review Copyright © 2016 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
A Deadly Affair at Bobtail Ridge
Seventh Street Books (Trade Paperback), April 2015
ISBN-13: 9781633880467; ISBN-10: 163388046X
Location(s) referenced in The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake: Texas
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The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake by Terry Shames — A Samuel Craddock Mystery
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: January 2016
List Price: $15.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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