Putting the planning of her wedding on hold, Tempe searches for
the killer of the owner of Bear Creek Inn. It doesn't take long
for her to discover there are several people who wanted the victim
dead, including his wife. Tempe follows the trail of clues putting
her job, her upcoming marriage and herself in peril.
THE GENESIS OF DEADLY TRAIL
I was fortunate to meet a Native American couple who had an interesting
garden filled with native plants and herbs. They shared with me
all the many things that could be done with all these plants from
healing to harm. In Springville, the town I live in and the inspiration
for the Bear Creek of my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, there is
a wonderful inn. In Deadly Trail, I' ve created
a similar inn with a garden much like the one I learned about.
This is also the book where I introduce Nick Two John who faults
Tempe for not knowing more about her Indian history. Nick is a
composite of several Native American men I've met through the
It is interesting to note that I held the book launching for Deadly Trail at the Springville Inn. Though the
male owner of the inn in the book is murdered, the female owner
of the Springville Inn is very much alive and she told me she
wished she had some of the things at her end like I describe in
"Deputy Tempe Crabtree arrests Nick Two John for slashing
the tires of a logging truck during a protest. On the way to the
jail, he repeatedly begs for his freedom. He believes that with
her Native American heritage, she should understand she should
understand what the loggers represent and not arrest him. Then
he offers to reveal a secret information if she'll release him.
While she is curious to know the information, she does not give
She begins to regret that decision when Andre Donato, owner of
the Bear Creek Inn, collapses and dies in the kitchen when Tempe
and her minister boyfriend Hutch are there eating dinner. It is
ruled a heart attack until another worker collapses with similar
symptoms. She is saved, but it becomes evident that both people
The police center their investigation on Nick Two John. Deputy
Crabtree is convinced he didn't do it, but she is soon pushed
out of the investigation. She comes up with other suspects with
good motives and begins to investigate on her own.
When she becomes the target of the killer, she knows she's close,
but can she discover the identity of the killer before the killer
takes care of her?
I highly recommend this book. It is the first I've read in this
series. It won't be the last. Deputy Crabtree is a very likeable
character. Her son and fiancé really add to the story. The townspeople
do too. I like the setting. It is a very fast and enjoyable cozy
-- Reviewed by Dawn Dowdle - firstname.lastname@example.org
"A prequel to the popular series featuring female Deputy Officer,
Tempe Crabtree, Deadly Trail proves to be a solid and clever,
cozy-mystery. Marilyn Meredith style is poised and efficient,
and her storytelling ability is comparable to anyone writing in
Bear Creek is a backwoods town. Quiet. But just because everyone
knows everyone else, does not mean that everyone likes everyone
else. This becomes obvious when Andre Donato, owner of the town's
main restaurant, is murdered.
Deputy Crabtree, aside from being the only female officer in
the department, is also a single mother of a teenaged boy and
engaged to marry the town's pastor. When she learns the detectives
assigned to the case follow a close-minded approach and plan to
arrest Nick Two John, a local Native American, Crabtree conducts
an investigation of her own.
Tempe Crabtree quickly learns that, aside from Two John, there
are a host of suspects who could benefit, financially and physically,
from Donato's death. As her hunt for answers leads her closer
to the truth, she winds up placing her own life and lives of others
Meredith has written a taut, compact mystery with three-dimensional
characters. She knows how to draw her readers in with short chapters
and tension-building scenes. A true puzzle with all of the pieces
for the reading-sleuth to gather. I look forward to reading the
other titles in the series."
--Phillip Tomasso III, author of Johnny Blade & Third
"Bear Creek is a quiet town in the southern Sierras. The townspeople
adore the tranquil way of life. However, someone is not happy
with the way things are going, and that person is about to change
the town forever.
Deputy Tempe Crabtree works hard to get her boss and fellow officers
to take her seriously. When the owner of the local inn is murdered,
Tempe is convinced that detectives have arrested the wrong man.
Going against orders, Tempe is determined to find the real killer
even if it means putting her own life on hold.
DEADLY TRAIL is a short, pleasing mystery that introduces a fantastic
mystery sleuth. Tempe Crabtree is honest, dependable, and smart.
Her battle to be taken seriously in a "man's world" is well written
All in all, I quickly became fond of Tempe and Hutch and intend
to seek out the other books in this wonderful series. Ms. Meredith
has created a compelling series with her convincing characters."