Bill Crider (that’s me) was born in Mexia, Texas. So were Les Baxter, Fred “Firpo” Marberry, and Don the Beachcomber. Anna Nicole Smith was not. You could look it up. I went to school for a long time and eventually got a PhD. The title of my dissertation was The Private-Eye Hero, which tells you something about my interests. After getting my degree, I taught school and wrote books. I’ve retired from teaching, but I’m still writing books, which is why I’m here on the blog today. I’m married to the lovely Judy, and we have two grown offspring, Allen, who lives in Austin where he’s a recording engineer. He also does sound for (and occasionally plays guitar in) the Cornell Hurd Band. Angela’s in San Francisco, where she’s an immigration attorney for Homeland Security.
My new book is Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen, and if I’m counting correctly, it’s the nineteenth book in the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series. Just to prove that I’m a “hip” and “with it” kind of a guy, this one has a book trailer, which you can see at this URL if you’re so inclined: http://goo.gl/yoTnh. St. Martin’s has been doing some quite nice covers for me in the last few years, and this one for Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen no exception, as you can see in the video. Or if you don’t care for trailers, you can see the cover at the book’s Amazon page (http://goo.gl/qKTJG). Not that I’m asking you to order it or anything. You can get it at many fine independent bookstores, too.
Okay, now that the shameless commerce department is closed, I’ll tell you a little bit about the book. If you’ve read the other eighteen books in the series (as surely you have), you know that living in Blacklin County, Texas, can be pretty dangerous, especially in the county seat, Clearview. They seem to be averaging a murder or two a year there, and this time the victim is a young woman who works in The Beauty Shack. There have been a few suspicious characters seen hanging around in the abandoned building across the street, and that’s the first place Sheriff Rhodes checks. Sure enough, he runs into trouble, and this leads to some other problems in the little town, which has been experiencing a lot of thefts of copper and aluminum. And car batteries. As usual, aspiring amateur sleuth Seepy Benton wants in on the action.
It turns out that the murder victim had an active social life, including close friendships with a number of prominent citizens in the town. They are not happy to have their privacy invaded by the investigation, and they want the murder solved immediately. They also don’t want their involvement to be known. Those things aren’t as easy to achieve as they’d like them to be, of course, and Rhodes is also dealing with other little things, including drivers who think the sheriff’s job includes changing flat tires for them. There’s never a dull moment in Blacklin County.
To find out if the sheriff changes the tire, and to listen in on some of his conversations with the usual crew at the jail, you’ll have to read the book. I’m hoping this will be the one that puts me on the NYTBR bestseller list, makes Sheriff Rhodes as famous as Jack Reacher, and gets me a big movie deal, though there’s not much chance of that. The sheriff gets beaten up a lot more than Reacher does, and so far Tom Cruise hasn’t come calling about playing Rhodes. All the actors I’d originally hoped might one day play Rhodes in a movie have gotten a bit old for the part by now. They’ve aged, but Rhodes hasn’t. Well, not as much as they have, at least. He’s lucky that way. But I digress. You should buy the book, make me rich, and help me and the sheriff start living in the style to which we’d like to become accustomed. As always, we thank you for your support.
Thanks, too, to the gracious Kaye Barley for giving me this opportunity to say a few words about my new book. It’s always a privilege and a pleasure to visit Meanderings and Musings.