Carter’s MUDDY WATERS is an exceptional first mystery. It is well plotted, suspenseful, and rich in detail and imagery. Her protagonist, Henry “Whispering” Smith is more than just likable. He’s smart, dogged, and unusually talented at following the dangerous trail that leads him through this excellent novel.–Sasscer Hill, multiple award winning author of FLAMINGO ROAD


Henry “Whispering” Smith returns to his North Carolina home after years of tracking livestock rustlers in the desolate Colorado Plateau country. Agreeing to be best man at his uncle’s wedding, Henry faces the two things that drove him away — a pig-headed father he doesn’t like and an unfaithful ex-girlfriend he does.

Plans for a brief visit change after a close friend is murdered. Cattle theft appears to be the motive, but Henry isn’t convinced. When police are reluctant to believe him, he uses his knowledge as a range detective to bring a killer to justice. While struggling to reconcile his past, Henry follows a trail that leads uncomfortably close to his heart.