Sunday, September 16, 2012

Two Untimely Deaths

Marilyn Meredith has guested for us before. The occasion is the release of Raging Water, to be reviewed next month, her 12th mystery featuring Tempe Crabtree, Deputy Sheriff in the mountain community of Bear Creek. Marilyn is a fellow police procedural author of the cozy persuasion, never shortchanging on suspense or surprise.

One Sunday morning while we were getting ready for Sunday School our pastor received a call from a deputy asking for information about one of the members because she’d died. This woman was a bit odd, eccentric, lived on social security disability and hypochondriac, but was only in her late forties.

Even though she faithfully attended the church services, none of us knew any family members to contact though she had spoken about having a daughter. The pastor suggested the deputy visit her best friend who lived in a nearby low-income housing complex. When he went there, he found that woman dead too. She had no family at all.
Because the deputies in our county are also deputy coroners, they can pronounce someone dead without a doctor or autopsy.

What those of us who knew these women found unusual was the fact that both died the same night. Both were found sitting up. Pain medication was missing from the first woman’s house. None of this was investigated mainly because no one cared. Some family did turn up to claim the few possessions but didn’t ask any questions about the woman’s death.

When I started thinking about what I would write for my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree, I decided to write a different version and outcome in honor of these two women’s mysterious deaths.

Marilyn Meredith

Deputy Tempe Crabtree’s investigation of the murder of two close friends is complicated when relentless rain turns Bear Creek into a raging river. Homes are inundated and a mud slide blocks the only road out of Bear Creek stranding many—including the murderer.

The book can be found in all the usual places and also on the publisher’s website.

Contest: The person who leaves comments on the most blogs will have his/her name used for a character in my next book—can choose if you want it in a Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery or a Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel.

Bio: Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Raging Water from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel us No Bells, the forth from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at and follow her blog at

I know there are some people who like to read a series in order, but let me reassure you that every book is complete. Though the characters grow through each book, the crime is always solved. Here is the order of the books for anyone who wants to know: Deadly Trail, Deadly Omen, Unequally Yoked, Intervention, Wing Beat, Calling the Dead, Judgment Fire, Kindred Spirits, Dispel the Mist, Invisible Path, Bears With Us, Raging Water.


  1. Thanks for hosting me today, Crime Writers, and you in particular, Robert.

  2. Marilyn, it's always nice to have you here with this group! I often read your posts all over and am just amazed at how much you get done! You must be triplets!! You are amazing! Thelma Straw

  3. I remember when you posted about the deaths, but didn't know this was the source of your new book. Very interesting.

  4. Ah, Thelma, there are times when I wish I was/were at least twins.

    Hi, Lorna. Yes, the deaths of those two women and the lack of investigation weighed heavily on my mind. I have no idea if they were really murdered, but it does seem someone should have cared enough to at least find out.

  5. You point out a most interesting societal problem. Sometimes we forget our small town roots. What to outsiders might prove invasive is only looking out for one another. Reminds us all to pay more attention to "lonely" folks in our community. Marilyn you always get me thinking. Thank you. Will definitely keep this in mind when reading your new book.

  6. Hi, Jake, glad you found your way here. Living in a small town is really different than a big city. I grew up in L.A., lived in Oxnard when it was still medium-sized (small compared to L.A.), lived in Norfolk VA, big, and Cambridge MD, small. Now I'm in the smallest place of all, and I love writing about it.

  7. So glad to see Norfolk in your list... I moved there when I was about 13, went to high school at Granby High, where I was Editor of the Newspaper and voted Most Valuable in my senior class. I worked as a Norfolk Girl Scout Director back in the day and loved that work! Small world! Where did you live? We lived in Ocean View, at 12th View, almost at the end of Willoughby Spit! Thelma

    1. It was long ago when I first married (huggy was a sailor) and we lived in the basement of a big old house in an old part of town, near a huge Methodist church that I could walk to--this was eons ago.

  8. Marilyn, It's so nice to see you here again. The premise of your story is so intriguing. I can't wait to see what you did with the facts. Welcome back. PLEASE come again.

  9. Thelma, I was a sailor's wife and I have no idea of the location where we lived. We had a basement apartment in a big old house. No wonderful living conditions.

    Thank you, Annamaria, for you kind welcome.

  10. Yeah, I agree with Jake... And making you think is truly the sign of a good book/writer--I think. Good post.


  11. Thanks, Madeline, for following me along on this tour.