Detective Carrie Shatner comes from a long line of criminals, and, while she’s reluctant to admit it, she’s somewhat proud of her ancestry. As far back as the Shatners can be traced, they have been breaking the law and running from it, too. It’s a family tradition. Over the years, Carrie has tried to distance herself from her family’s criminal activities. But that is easier said than done. Carrie works for the Wyatt County Sheriff’s Department in Eastern Texas, and her main job is to cover up her family’s crimes and keep them out of jail.
Criminal Misdeeds opens at the Wyatt County Fairgrounds with the Shatner family celebrating New Year’s Eve in their usual style – illegal fireworks, homemade moonshine, and a near brawl. After shutting down the party, Carrie does a final sweep of the fairgrounds and finds a dead body in a dumpster.
Good news: the dead man is not a Shatner.
Bad news: the Shatners are now suspects in a homicide investigation.
Soon, the fairgrounds are overrun with law enforcement, including a Texas Ranger who is taking over the investigation. Sergeant Jerrod Hardy has never met any of the Shatners, but he has heard plenty of stories about their criminal activities – most of which are true. Even though Hardy’s initial suspect list is entirely made up of Shatners, even he’s having trouble believing that any of Shatners were dumb enough to kill someone and then leave the body at the scene of the family’s party.
Despite serious misgivings, Hardy decides to allow Carrie to help him investigate. She’s convinced that the Shatners are being framed, and she believes that, with Hardy’s help, she can find the person responsible. Unfortunately, her family isn’t doing much to help prove their innocence. And outsiders aren’t making it easy for Carrie either.