"Guilt Strikes at Granger's Store" by Terry Shames: Review/Giveaway

Review by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

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.

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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.

To enter to win a copy of Guilt Strikes at Granger's Store (ebook or print winner's choice), simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "grangers,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 4, 2023. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up next week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).
 Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. How come I've never heard of this series? Count me in!

  2. Being Chief is a big job - don't need
    added problems with family. Sounds
    like a good read. thanks

  3. This is a new to me author! Thank you for the contest.

  4. New author for me, sounds good! tWarner419@aol.com

  5. I have read the first four in this series and liked all of them.

  6. This is a series I love! I recently retired and with all the busy work with that had gotten behind, but did read the previous book finally! I like the characters, the unhurried pace,, the sense of community, all combined with a mystery! Andrea at jeplibrary @netscape.net. (From the wayback time, when they told us not to use our names, so I used my elementary school/job at the time. (School has since closed, so I was at several schools after!


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