Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Welcome to the 13th day of our exciting “Mystery We Write Holiday Blog Tour.” Today I’m presenting Marilyn Meredith, author of over thirty published novels. These include the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Bears With Us from Mundania Press.

Marilyn Meredith

Writing as F.M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel is Angel Lost, the third from Oak Tree Press. Visit her at:   

Let’s give our guest a warm welcome of cyber applause, please.  

Considering Mystery Genres

by Marilyn Meredith 
There are so many mystery genres: private eye, police procedural, cozy, locked-room, puzzle, amateur sleuth, hard-boiled, noir, woman in jeopardy, serial killer, religious, thriller, supernatural, suspense, romantic suspense, historical, vampire, werewolf, zombie and more that I can’t think of right now.

As an author, I know that when I started writing mysteries, I merely wrote the kind of mysteries I liked to read—which were many types.  
In the good old days I don’t think they divided mysteries into genres. Like many girls I grew up on Nancy Drew and quickly changed to adult P.I novels and then any mystery I could get my hands on. I loved Perry Mason and read every Erle Stanley Gardner mystery I could find.
The very first mystery I wrote had a bit of a supernatural element in it, astral projection, and I called it The Astral Gift.
From there I moved onto police procedurals, beginning with Final Respects. After writing more in that series, I switched to a stand-alone called Guilt by Association. The main character in that book kind of evolved into Deputy Tempe Crabtree, a female Native American deputy in a mountain community I called Bear Creek. The first book in the series is Deadly Trail which has a great deal of Native American lore and focuses on Tempe and the fact that she knew little about her Indian heritage. Of course there is a murder which Tempe solves.
Next came Deadly Omen which begins with a Pow Wow, followed by Unequally Yoked about a missing child and Tempe using an Indian ceremonial to find out what she needed to know which upsets her preacher husband. Then Intervention, what might be termed a locked-room mystery since it takes place during a blizzard and Tempe and her husband are isolated with a bunch of movie people in a mountain lodge. In Wing Beat Tempe discovers a marijuana farm hidden in the mountains. In Calling the Dead she investigates a murder and a suicide and calls back the dead to learn the truth. Judgment Fire brings back memories Tempe had hidden away and explain why she didn’t embrace her Native American heritage. Traveling to Crescent City CA to find out more about a murder victim, Tempe learns a lot about the Tolowa people and ultimately her life is threatened in Santa Barbara in Kindred Spirits.  In Dispel the Mist Tempe encounters the legendary Hairy Man on the Bear Creek Indian Reservation. She investigates the death of a popular Native American on the rez and discovers an active paramilitary group in the mountains in Invisible Path.
The latest book, Bears With Us, Deputy Tempe Crabtree has her hands full when bears turn up in and around Bear Creek, a young teen commits suicide and his parents’ actions are suspicious, a prominent woman files a complaint against Tempe and her preacher husband Hutch, a love affair from long ago comes to light, and a woman suffering from dementia disappears.
So, the question is how do I classify this mystery series? Native American, supernatural, police procedural, religious, and maybe cozy since I don’t use bad language and always close the bedroom door.
What I think I’ve written is a mystery with all of the above elements. Putting any mystery into one little niche is nearly impossible.
To read Bears With Us and make your own decision, you can go directly to the publisher’s website and order any version of e-book or the trade paperback:
Bears With Us 
Or find the book on
Thanks, Marilyn for that very interesting article on Mystery Genres.
Remember Readers, our 15-member tour group is giving away over 50 FREE BOOKS during our tour. For a chance to win one (or more) of these mysteries, visit each blog and leave a comment. Start here!


M.M. Gornell said...

Marilyn, great hearing how your series evolved. And loved your post! The whole topic of mystery genre sometimes drives me crazy. But seems like authors are often asked.


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Hi, Madeline, yep, I think genres within the mystery heading can get a bit nuts. When I reread what I wrote, the book, Guilt by Association, started out as a Tempe book, but she evolved so much after that as a character, I changed the name of the heroine in it because was no longer the Tempe she became in Deadly Trail.

Morgan Mandel said...

It's interesting to see the many types of mysteries out there. I started out with Nancy Drew myself, went to Dick Francis, then Mignon G. Eberhart. I guess Gothics would also fit somewhere in the mystery category. I ate those up for a while. Then Mary Higgins Clark and Sidney Sheldon became my favorites. It's great to have such a great variety in the same genre to choose from.

Morgan Mandel

Jackie King said...

Marilyn, Thanks for writing such an interesting post for my readers. You're the best.

Jackie King said...

Morgan, I loved reading the evolution of your reading history. I, too, have loved many writers. I'm so glad you dropped by and left a comment.

And your name is going into my black fedora for a chance to win one of the books I'm giving away in a couple of days. (End of the tour.)

Jackie King said...

Madeline, Thanks for dropping by and chatting for a minute.
Hugs to you, too, my friend.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Your books are all intriging and page turners, Marilyn. I enjoyed your post as much as your novels.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Hi, Morgan, thanks for stopping by.

And Jean, you always say such nice things.

Jackie King said...

Jean, Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Marilyn, Thanks for writing such an interesting post for us all to enjoy.

Tomorrow will be our last author post for our 2011 MYSTERY WE WRITE BLOG TOUR.

On Friday, December 9, I'll draw two names from my (brimming) black fedora and send each winner their book.


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