By Marilyn Meredith
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-60659-238-0
2010 Release from
Mundania Press. 224 pages
This charming story from a veteran author is the ninth in her series of Tempe Crabtree crime novels. Tempe is a deputy sheriff in the small town of Bear Creek near an Indian reservation in the mountains of central California.
A young man named Daniel Tofoya is murdered, and it develops that while he was a talented and often charming athlete, he could be a nasty bully if the mood took him. There are several possible perpetrators, but as often happens, most attention focuses on a stranger who has come to live on the reservation. The story is complicated by the appearance in town of a small separatist movement, stockpiling supplies in anticipation of a coming explosion of what could be racial and class warfare.
All of this gets sorted out by the patient and wise Deputy Crabtree. With help from her long-suffering pastor husband and exuberant son, Tempe is able to avert several disasters and calm some difficult situations.
The novel is in the classic traditional mystery mode with a lot of emphasis on character development and setting. Relations between members of different races and religious beliefs are very well handled with insight and care. This is another enjoyable and satisfying adventure with Deputy Tempe Crabtree.