Billy Ray Chitwood: One of the Top Ten Writers of Crime Fiction You Need To Be Reading
April 23, 2020
The charm of the novels – and the series – is driven by Bailey’s unmissable musings on life and love.
I’m a young man in an old man’s body, trying to catch up to myself, trying to find pieces of me I left back in a disconnected youth and the early years of manhood.
I’m a stereotype of many in my generation who can play the ‘blame game’, yell ‘foul’, and ‘let’s start over’.
But, we are what we are, the sum of all the scary kid-emotions we experienced, the gin mills and piano bars that became our sandboxes of pleasure – lotus-eaters of the best (or, worst) kind, the love affairs that did not quite settle us down, the sad poetry and songs written in bars and motels along the way…
A Dreamer! A Wanderlust! The world needs such fools as we to write our books, our poetry, our songs, to offset the madness that plagues the soul.
Most important among the searching, I found Julie Anne.
I’ve written nineteen books, twentieth ‘in the oven’, over four-hundred blog posts, in search of those pieces of me left somewhere in many parts of the globe. For more information, go to my Website: http://www.brchitwood.com
Meet Bailey Crane, a son of the south, now firmly transplanted in Phoenix, Arizona. Bailey is six feet tall, one hundred eighty-five pounds, a ruggedly good looking guy in the mold of a young Christopher Plummer, the “Sound of Music” gentleman.
Bailey has just enough nuance in his charming southern manners and speech to make him appealing to most, perhaps a bit flamboyant for some. He’s got a soft manufacturing rep business that brings in easy money. He’s an actor on the local and regional scene, doing television commercials, print modeling, and some theater.
He’s a private investigator for a few attorney friends in town, and, a former cop, he is an auxiliary detective for the Phoenix PD. Bailey has love, friends, golf, and a bon vivant lifestyle. For the most part, the man is a crusader without a cape and has a life just about where he wants it.
In An Arizona Tragedy, Bailey Crane’s life takes a perilous and tumultuous twist when a young lady friend is brutally murdered in the Arizona desert. The friend, a twenty-six-year-old single mother and model, goes missing for weeks, is then found in a desert arroyo just northeast of Scottsdale, her skull crushed, her body ravaged and unrecognizable.
Working privately on an estate matter for one of his attorney friends, Bailey finds the name of his lady friend’s boyfriend. The discovery does not necessarily have great significance but it does start the wheels turning in the mind of our southern sleuth.
Bailey becomes a target for an unknown pursuer and ends up battered, bruised, and angry. His strong feeling of hostility pushes him deeper into his friend’s murder, and, finding a possible connecting link, he travels to Washington, D. C., to the hallowed halls and offices of the nation’s lawmakers.
At his hotel across the Potomac, the unknown assassin strikes again, this time wounding our noble protagonist. The bad guy gets away, and Bailey has a temporary stay in a Reston, Virginia hospital.
Through more ironic turns and twists, Bailey goes on to solve not only his friend’s homicide but another brutal slaying in the nation’s capital. With the help of his PPD buddies, and, one very special female cop, the bad guy behind the gruesome killings is caught. The climatic ending scene in this Bailey Crane caper is nail-biting tense and will keep the readers riveted to their seats of choice.
An Arizona Tragedy was inspired by two actual homicides. The Phoenix slaying of the young mother and model has never been solved. With the decomposition of the body, accelerated by the desert’s extreme heat and denizens of the habitat, evidence was scarce.
In Phoenix, Arizona, a young woman on a Sunday evening bike ride in Encanto Park is murdered in a most gruesome way – she is decapitated! The authorities have no leads in the case, and Bailey Crane is sought out by the victim’s desperate mother. She must know the awful truth of her daughter’s death, must come to some semblance of closure.
There are no clues, no evidence, for Bailey to follow, but the mother’s plea for his help in solving her daughter’s murder has an emotional impact on the detective.
As Bailey anxiously searches for links he finds homicides of young women in San Diego, California, Texas, and other states that have some similarities…
By focusing on memorabilia provided by the distraught mother, Bailey’s attention is subliminally directed toward a long-ago Summer Camp in Ohio and provides a trail that will lead him to physical and psychological confrontations that will leave his relatively sane world rearranged and shaken.
There is a strong woman’s presence in all Bailey Crane books…his partner, Wendy, is not only lovely but a fierce warrior for law and order and can hold her own in the dark and gritty world of crime and its dark and shady characters…
Bailey is happily married but there are some interesting moments for these partners of the Phoenix Police Department.
The bizarre conclusion comes in a small mountain town in Colorado. Our always musing southern sleuth will find a very personal and near sacred part of his life finding its own endpoint.
There is emotional pain and there is a new beginning for our endearing Sherlock.
It is a sunny Sunday in May 1993. After church, a mother and her lovely fourteen-year-old daughter walk three miles to a country store for cigarettes and ice cream. It is a walk that members of the family often take in this rural Sulphur Springs Valley area of southeastern Arizona near the Mexican border.
The mother and daughter arrive at the store in a jovial mood, trading pleasantries with customers and the owners… The daughter timidly flirts with a boy from her school. The daughter and mother leave the store in a silly mood, finger painting ice cream on their faces.
They never make it home…
The deputy sheriff of the county believes there has been a ‘stranger abduction’.
There are lots of action, interesting characters, and romance to go with this fictional account of an incident inspired by true events…events that brought tragedy to a shaken family.
Former sleuth Bailey Crane and lovely wife Wendy are enjoying their penthouse pleasures until a cartel sting operation at their Mexican resort brings chaos and emotional uncertainty into a blurry reality.
Wendy is kidnapped, and Bailey faces the demons running loose in his mind as he struggles with his choices.
Also, President of the resort’s HOA, Bailey has not only kidnapping and murders with which to contend but other problems that add to this suspenseful chapter in his life.
The surprising end point brings back to Bailey and Wendy those memories better left in the memory vault.
An exciting, intense thriller in the sand and cacti of Mexico’s Sonoran desert by the beautiful Sea of Cortez.