The first three books in Bill Crider's PI Truman Smith series are now available for the Kindle at $2.99. The author of the popular Sheriff Dan Rhodes mysteries, now numbering eighteen, started the Tru Smith series in 1991 with Dead on the Island. It was nominated for the Shamus Award for Best First Private Eye Novel.
In this first novel, Smith returns to his hometown of Galveston, Texas, to investigate the disappearance of his sister. He gets sidetracked by an old buddy from his past, who wants hm to look into another missing girl. Tru thinks she may have run away until her boyfriend shows up dead. More bodies and an attack on Truman keep things lively.
Publisher's Weekly said Smith was "another well-drawn protagonist, this time a moody, introspective PI in the finest tradition, who works in a seamy city smoldering with old and dangerous secrets."
The second in the series now available as an ebook is Gator Kill. When a family friend who is protective of wildlife finds the butchered carcass of an alligator on his property, he persuades Truman to find who was responsible. It turns out to be somewhat more difficult than the semiretired PI's usual job as a house painter. Publisher's Weekly described the plot this way:
"Soon the brooding gumshoe is stumbling over the bodies of dead humans, is shot at and run down by a souped-up four-by-four as he's embroiled in a plot complete with crooked police, a possible land-grabbing scheme and bad guys who, but for their lack of redeeming good nature, could be Damon Runyon inventions."
The third book is titled When Old Men Die. Tru Smith is called on by his old friend Dino from book one to look into another missing person, a vagrant called Outside Harry who has connections with Dino's family. Smith gets shot at and roughed up and some other characters wind up dead while the action uncovers some unsavory business taking place around Galveston.
As Crider himself describes it, "Does anybody care when old men die? Private Eye Truman Smith does, and he's going to find out who's responsible, even if it kills him."
If you're ready for some good tough PI adventures on your Kindle, check out the Truman Smith series.