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Houston Homicide (Five Star First Edition Mystery) Hardcover – December 31, 2007

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Product Details

  • Series: Five Star First Edition Mystery
  • Hardcover: 261 pages
  • Publisher: Five Star (December 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594146039
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594146039
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,798,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In 1969, Houston Police Detective Sergeant Ted "Steve" Stephens has had wild mood swings since his wife walked out on him; at times he rages at her while at other moments he wallows in self pity. He fears he will never move on and prays his humiliation is not impacting his work or locker room talk.

Steve finally receives a welcome distraction from his personal depression. A professional hitman executed prominent Houston attorney Ralph Parker, his wife Dorothy and his mob-connected mother. Rival detective Wetsel, who detests Steve, insists that the victim's hippie son killed his parents and grandmother after they removed him from their respective wills. However, Steve thinks otherwise and with the help of Clive, a private investigator, seeks the truth that the brass prefers closed.

This is an interesting historical police procedural starring a cop who is at his best when he goes through a diatribe about his wife that runs the gamut from self incrimination to holding her culpable to a macho fear that his peers will think he is a wimp. The rest of the cast especially the cops are two dimensional stereotypes. Although an improbable and out of nowhere late spin resolves the case, sub-genre fans will enjoy Houston as Armstrong is about to take a giant step.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Tipple VINE VOICE on August 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Detective Sergeant Ted Stephens isn't bothered by the heat and humidity of Houston, Texas in the summer of 1969. Known to one and all as "Steve" he is bothered that his Lieutenant is shoving him onto a case assigned to other detectives. Lieutenant Bolce has his reasons and knowing the fact that Detective Wetsel is on the case explains at least part of it. Wetsel isn't one of the best in the Houston Police Department though he thinks he is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

The well kept exterior of a nice home in the River Oaks section of the city hides a nightmare inside. Three adults are dead. Each adult was shot multiple times. Several kids were also in the house and slept through the shootings. That fact allowed them to survive the massacre and they are now safely in the custody of CPS. Before the bodies are removed, investigators already know that at least one of the victims had ties to organized crime. Investigators already know that the grandson had threatened to kill the rest of the family before and that the grandson has a history of drug dealing.

For some the information regarding the grandson makes it a simple case. Steve doesn't agree and begins to turn up other pieces to the puzzle. His investigation increasingly leads elsewhere and is constantly hampered by interdepartmental politics and a chaotic personal life.

Bill Crider and Clyde Wilson have created a steady tale full of interesting characters, plenty of action and a case that is far from simple. Relationships matter in this novel and relationships are what drive most of the events.
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More About the Author

I was born and brought up in Mexia (that's pronounced Muh-HAY-uh by the natives), Texas, went to college at The University of Texas and North Texas State University, and taught high school and college classes for many years. In 2002 I retired as Chair of the Division of English and Fine Arts at Alvin Community College, in Alvin, Texas. I'm married to the lovely Judy, and we have two grown children, Angela, who's an attorney in San Francisco, and Allen, who's in the music business in Austin. Other than that, I'm a pretty boring guy.