They Needed Killing

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
248 Pages
Reviewed on 04/26/2024
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Author Biography

Born and reared in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Bill left town in 1969. He earned a BA from Princeton Universty, served with the U.S. Navy in the Panama Canal Zone, married a hometown girl, and worked in group insurance before returning to Tuscaloosa in 1989. He freelanced as an accountant while working in information technology at the University of Alabama.

He credits the 2011 tornado that ripped through town for prompting him to retire, and his wife, Anne Gibbons, for giving him the support, encouragement, and editorial assistance necessary to succeed at his new profession—full-time writer. In 2015 he and Anne moved to Vero Beach, Florida. They share their home with two cats, Luna and Andy.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Nino Lobiladze for Readers' Favorite

In They Needed Killing by Bill Fitts, the sixth book in a series, James F. Crawford, a private detective in the university town of Shelbyville, Alabama, found a body in the river. Crawford recognized Trina Dawson and remembered that he met her at a party just yesterday. Trina was a real estate developer with a bad reputation. Rose McGillicuddy, or Ms. Mac, fell victim to Trina's dirty schemes and was obliged to sell her boarding house. Crawford's friend, Bobby, asked him to help the beloved elderly lady get her house back. But Ms. Mac sold the house to Trina's competitor, Percy Pearson. Crawford must figure out how to make things right and solve the mysterious death of the woman famous for having too many enemies.

They Needed Killing is a delightful read for fans of mystery, crime drama, suspense, and detective novels. Bill Fitts adds a helpful list of characters and reveals their backstories, enabling those who, like myself, started reading the series from the sixth book, to follow the narrative easily. The characters are vivid and complex. Crawford's ability to solve intricate mysteries is impressive. Yet, we can relate to this character. He is a widower who is reluctant to let the past go. A whimsical trait of this character is that Crawford shares the details of the case he investigates with his dog, Tan, and cat, TB. This habit also points out his loneliness. Trina and Percy brilliantly represent the destructive tendencies of the rapidly changing world. Trina's negative traits help tighten the intrigue and keep us guessing about the outcome of the investigation. The first-person narrative with a touch of dry humor is well-paced. Fitts pays close attention to details and catches the imaginations of observant readers.