Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bill Crider and Sheriff Dan Rhodes - Two of the best guys in the mystery world

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:  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 (  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.


Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Bill - Hey you! Welcome Back! Always my pleasure. And I can't wait to read the latest Sheriff Rhodes. There's something very appealing to me in the title - Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen.


jenny milchman said...

19 books--wow! They sound clever and ironic to boot. Great setting for murder :)

Unknown said...

Thanks for having me here, Kaye. Always a pleasure to visit.

Sandee Barrowclough said...

Another author on my wish list - and at 19 books, I've got some catching up to do!

Carol N Wong said...

I never heard of Bill Crider before and he writes the kind of books that are my favorites. Since I now live in Texas, I just have to read his one about wild hogs. (I just looked him up on Amazon). Going to have to search for his books now. Thank you!


Lesa said...

Thanks for hosting Bill, Kaye. Definitely one of the nice guys in the mystery business. I'm afraid I'm not up to date with this series, but Bill combines mystery and humor with a terrific cast of characters. Thanks, Bill, for everything you do for all of us who love mysteries.

Patty said...

I've had Sheriff Dan Rhodes on my list for a while but the description of this book just might get me going to start the series! Like Sandee, I have some catching up to do.

Anonymous said...

As a person who has had two Dan Rhodes dedicated to him (well, one was as part of a group) I can confirm everything said. Hey, I knew Bill before he wrote his first book, let alone his fiftieth.

If there was any doubt you should buy this book. You can't go wrong.

Jeff M.

Earl Staggs said...

Hey, Bill. A real pleasure seeing you here at Kaye's place. Your new Sheriff Rhodes book sounds as good as all the others, and that's saying something. Best regards from a fellow (though not natural-born) Texan.

research paper said...

I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles.Keep up the good work!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Bill, I have not read one of your books yet, but that's going to change immediately. I like the sound of your setting and characters ... so once more Kaye is being held responsible for growing my TBR list. :D

restylane NYC said...

I will recommend my friends to read this. I will bookmark your blog and have my children check up here often

Pat Browning said...

Hi, Bill:

Great post, and the new book sounds like my cup of tea. Will check out the trailer also.

A question for you. The fans have gathered at Graceland for Elvin week, and I'm wracking my brain trying to remember a story or book about Elvis being alive and entering an Elvis impersonator contest. What that yours? I'd love to re-read it but seems I first read it in an earlier life and can't remember the title or author.

Old age creeping up on me,no doubt.

Good luck with your new book.

Pat Browning

Pat Browning said...

And speaking of creeping old age -- no, this isn't ELVIN week. Who the heck is that guy ELVIN and how did he get into this conversation? This is ELVIS WEEK, and we all know who ELVIS was. Or is.

Pat Browning