Guilt Strikes at Granger's Store
by Terry Shames
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Pub Date 03 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 30 Sep 2023
Trouble hits an animal feed store in a small Texas town, leaving Samuel Craddock grappling with a deadly mystery.
"The Samuel Craddock series may be the best regional crime series around today. This installment is no exception" Library Journal Starred Review
Chief of Police Samuel Craddock is perplexed by a series of increasingly troubling events at Granger's Store. The shop owner's son, Mark Granger, has plans to renovate and modernise the popular animal feed store in the small Texas town of Jarret Creek. But when he's assaulted, its clear that some town folk are against his ideas. Could the devastating fire that follows be linked to the threatening phone calls Mark has been receiving?
When the body of an outsider originally from Jarret Creek is found in the scorched shop, Craddock's investigation takes a sudden deadly turn. Who is determined to stop the renovation at any cost, and why? As Craddock investigates, he unearths dark secrets stretching back thirty years . . .
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 13 members
I have loved this series from the start, Samuel Craddock and his Jarrett Creek is a nice sleepy old Texas community with a surprising ly high murder rate. Terry Shames has come up with some marvelous characters and mysteries in this small town setting. Even though I feel that the first few books are the best, none of the books lack anything in quality. Guilt Strikes at Granger's Store is the latest and tenth book in this series and even though Samuel is getting old he still can show the young officers how it's done. In this book there are two situations at the same time, some mysterious assaults at the feed store and Craddocks girlfriends daughter is in jail in Mexico. How will it end? Well, if you buy the book in stores by October third you can find out. But I do recommend that you start from the beginning. I send a big thanks to Severn House and Netgalley for supplying me with an advance copy.
This was the first book by Terry Shames that I've read, but it definitely won't be the last. I liked the easy folky narration and was intrigued by the story. Despite being part of an ongoing series, you should have no problems reading this as a stand-alone.
Thanks to Severn House for access to a digital ARC on NetGalley.
I have been trying to read different genres lately. Some that I have picked have been really good and some not so much. This book, Guilt Strikes At Granger’s Store, written by Terry Shames is really good. It is a little love story but more of a mystery. The main character is a police chief in a small town. The storyline is well written and the characters are well developed. The book is written in a first person perspective of Samuel Craddock, the police chief. It is almost like you are sitting in the town’s coffee shop and Chief Craddock is sitting across the table from you and telling you the whole story. Good book. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an advance copy for my honest opinion.
The latest in the always worthwhile Samuel Craddock series set in small-town Texas. Sam is a reluctant police chief, with an abundance of common sense and a forthright but not confrontational manner. This one has some small town ugliness in it.
The old owner of the local feed store has some health issues, and his son has come in from out of town to run the store. He is planning on some renovations and this has ruffled a few feathers. He is attacked in the store and gets some phone warnings about leaving things alone. But he goes ahead anyway. A dead body is found after hours, a man who grew up in the town but later moved away. Then, when they actually start construction work, they uncover a 30 year old corpse wrapped up and stuffed under the floorboard. What is the common link? Who is the old body? What old secrets led to the murder or murders?
Meanwhile, Samuel's lady friend's spoiled brat of a grown daughter has gotten herself in legal trouble in Mexico so his Hispanic deputy Maria goes down to see if she can get the ungrateful woman out of jail.
Samuel is easy-going but ever watchful, and not much gets by him. It's always interesting to watch him worry a problem, pulling on the various threads here and there. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
I would like to thank Netgalley and Severn House Publishers for an advance copy of Guilt Strikes at Grainger’s Store, the tenth novel to feature Chief of Police, Samuel Craddock, set in the fictional small Texas town of Jarrett Creek.
Strange things are happening at Grainger Feed Store. Mark Grainger, the owner’s son, wants to expand, but when he is roughed up after some threatening phone calls it becomes clear that some of the locals aren’t keen on the idea. Then there is a fire and a dead body, a man who once lived in the town and hasn’t been back in thirty years.
I thoroughly enjoyed Guilt Strikes at Grainger’s Store, which is an engrossing read with a good story. I am quite new to the series, but it is fast becoming a favourite with me as it is a beguiling mixture of small town folksiness and bad deeds. I hesitate to call it a cozy as there are more undercurrents than the genre usually allows for, although it does paint a fairly idyllic picture of neighbourliness and good deeds outwith the crimes.
The novel has two strands, the murder and a subplot of Samuel’s girlfriend, Wendy’s daughter’s incarceration in Mexico. She is such an unattractive person, self centred and selfish, they should have left her to rot in Mexico as far as I am concerned, but it’s a good story, even if her brazen callousness is like a slap in the face or perhaps a reminder that not everything in the garden is rosy. And that’s enough about her.
The main plot is very interesting. There isn’t much by way of forensics, so Samuel has to take the long way. This involves unraveling a web of interconnecting relationships and overcoming a general disinclination to tell the whole story. He soon finds that the origins of the story date back thirty years with the repercussions are still resonating in the present. As ever, it is fuelled by the worse side of human nature. I was glued to the pages and was still surprised by the resolution as I didn’t see it coming.
Guilt Strikes at Grainger’s Store is a good read that I have no hesitation in recommending.
There's a lot more going on in Jarrett Creek than you might expect. Sheriff Samuel Craddock can't figure out why exactly there's so much objection to the fact that Mark Granger is finally going to update the offerings and facility at his father's feed store but wow- there's a fire and then a body is found inside, But there's a deeper secret that's uncovered when the fire is out. Someone in town- more than one someone probably- had good reason to keep things the same. No spoilers. Oh, and the genial Samuel enlists his Deputy to deal with the problems of his almost-step daughter who has gotten herself into a mess. Thanks to netgalley for the ARC. This is indeed part of a series but entirely enjoyable as a standalone,
It's always a pleasure to read a story featuring Samuel Craddock and Jarret Creek. This is a twity and highly entertaining one that kept me hooked and guessing.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine
I'd rate Terry Shames' 10th Samuel Craddock Mystery, Guilt Strikes at Granger's Store, as one of the very best in the series. I'm eternally fascinated by the inner workings of small-town Texas police chief Samuel's mind as he methodically wades through a maze of clues and leads and makes canny observations based on his vast experience, intelligence, and interpersonal skills. He persists even when the officious Department of Public Safety director tries to take over, rejecting Samuel's help, and more than one person in town tries to convince him to give up.
Since Samuel is the book's present-tense narrator, the reader knows only what he knows and sees, what he is thinking, and how he plans to bring the criminals to justice. If that sounds too claustrophobic--trust me--it's anything but. We also get to experience suspense and action through his narration.
Samuel has been in law enforcement for many years and is highly regarded by most of the inhabitants of Jarrett Creek and the surrounding towns. In this book, the son of the ailing, elderly owner of a feed store has plans to renovate and expand the store, but there is resistance--some violent--from those who oppose his plans. Then, a series of events result in a fire, the death of one man, and the discovery of a mysterious long-dead body under the floor in the shop. Clearly, there is more in play than just opposition to change. At the same time, the wayward adult daughter of Samuel's lady friend, Wendy, has been arrested and imprisoned after a car accident in Mexico, and both Samuel and his deputy, Maria, are called upon to navigate a difficult political climate in Mexico to get her back home.
The combination of an immersive rural setting and an intricately plotted mystery is a winning one, and I'm happy to say the next in the series is in progress.
My thanks to NetGalley and Severn House for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book.
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Guilt Strikes at Grangers Store
By Terry Shames
Review by Cynthia Chow
Jarrett Creek Chief of Police Samuel Craddock’s day begins with a panicked call from his girlfriend, but it’s an emergency concerning something that he’s come to expect. Wendy’s adult daughter Allison has once again managed to get herself in trouble, this time being in a car accident in Mexico and not having insurance. After getting advice and recommending an attorney, Craddock must table this matter while he deals with a case much closer to home. After taking over his father’s animal feed store following a stroke, Mark Granger is renovating Granger’s Store and updating it to more modern times. Not everyone is happy with these changes though, and while setting fire to it seems extreme far more alarming is the discovery of a body inside. It’s going to be awhile before Granger’s Store reopens, as one crime scene is barely cleared before the construction crew discovers yet another corpse buried deep in the foundation.
While the Texas Department of Public Safety is normally more than happy to allow Craddock to take the lead in Jarrett Creek homicides and conduct his own investigations, this time a new district head seems determined to make his own mark and prove his authority. What Sergeant Leland Reagan is overlooking is just how strong of an information network Craddock has built in his town, mostly consisting of his all-knowing neighbor Loretta Singletary and the other locals who are less than friendly to outsiders. It’s going to take a lot of careful mediation to get past Mike Granger’s protective daughter, but once he does Craddock learns that there is no shortage of secrets that have been buried – sometimes literally – for decades. With his dry wit and constant canine companion Dusty, Craddock follows a trail to those willing to kill in the present to cover up crimes of the past.
Every time I read a new Terry Shames novel I am reminded why this has become an award-winning series on the level of the works by C.J. Box and Craig Johnson. Craddock’s wry humor and sharp intellect make him a thoroughly engaging lead character, one who has seen it all but has still not lost any of his compassion or ability to sympathize with others. Craddock does have to bite his tongue when helping Wendy deal with her ungrateful, selfish daughter, but hopefully Wendy will eventually allow Allison to accept the responsibility for her actions. Craddock’s investigation has him questioning a close circle of suspects, yet the final reveal is a surprising twist that few readers will see coming. This 10th in the series is as strong and fresh as its debut, placing Samuel Craddock at the top of the list for readers looking for admirable, compassionate, and extremely perceptive investigators.