THE BEGINNING OF DEADLY OMEN
A visit to a Native American Pow Wow gave me the idea for Deadly
Omen. I so enjoyed the dances and the explanations of them I
knew I had to write a book that incorporated these ideas.
It also brought about my first visit to the Tule River Reservation
which is the model for Bear Creek reservation. Though the Tule River
Reservation now has a casino, I liked the simpler life that it had
before, the life you'll read about in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree stories.
"Deputy Crabtree is proud of her mixed-Indian heritage and enjoys
working among the people of Bear Creek, California. When she's assigned
to keep watch over a Pow Wow celebration she's drawn into the death
of a beautiful Pow Wow Princess. A feather left behind is Tempe's
only clue. Set against the drumbeats and dances of the festivities,
Deadly Omen builds to an exciting climax, as the reader absorbs
the color and culture of this unique mountain community."
--Penny Warner, author of the Connor Westphal series
"Bear Creek deputy sheriff Tempe Crabtree is part Yanduchi.
She has a son from a previous relationship and recently married
a minister. Though she resides near the Yanduchi Reservation, she
knows very little about this part of her heritage. Her superior
Sergeant Guthrie assigns Tempe to keep the peace during the Pow
Wow. That provides Tempe with chances to learn about her people
which simply fascinates her.
However, her enjoyment in her current assignment ends when Tempe
finds the murdered corpse of Marella Kelso. The very popular teen
was considered a sure shot to become the next Princess of the Pow
Wow. Though the homicide detectives conduct the official case, Tempe
operates he own investigation on her own time where she finds suspects
overlooked by her peers.
Though this is the first Tempe Crabtree mystery, Marilyn Meredith
provides much insight into the characters so that readers feel they
previously met them. At the same time, the intriguing who-done-it
provides many viable suspects with motives, means, and opportunities
that surface as the book progresses. The addition of attaining understanding
and knowledge about life on the Yanduchi Reservation adds depth
to an entertaining tale. Fans of Native American mysteries will
take much pleasure from Deadly Omen and want similar stories from
--Harriet Klausner, for the The Midwest Book Review
"Tempe Crabtree faces the dilemma of many women as she divides
her time between her job and family. Adding to Tempe's stress is
the nature of her job as a police deputy. In this, the first of
a series, Tempe solves a murder and learns that love is there for
her, even though she feels guilt over the time spent away from her
family. The book paints vivid portraits of reservation life and
customs. This is an excellent read-one you can't put down."
--Scribe and Quill
"Deputy Tempe Crabtree resides in the small Sierra Foothills California
Community of Bear Creek. When a young Native American Pow Wow princess
is murdered, Deputy Crabtree's determination to identify the killer
not only puts her own life in danger, but gets her in trouble with
her Sergeant. Her growing interest in her Yanduchi Native American
heritage is also causing trouble in her new marriage to Hutch, the
local minister, and further complicates the raising of her adolescent
son. A veteran mystery writer, Marilyn Meredith's Deadly Omen no
only introduces a fascinating protagonist, but also authentically
captures the essence and history of California Native American tribal
culture. A brilliantly crafted and highly recommenced mystery, Deadly
Omen is the first of a promised series to feature the exploits of
Deputy Tempe Crabtree."
"I like Tempe, her capacity to hold her own against all pressure,
even her own guilt, and I am taken with a series that will put two
spiritual traditions side by side with neither being the right or
only one. I think this is a positive and wonderfully feminine approach.
Meredith did a great job of getting all the suspects in from the
beginning and in the reader's view and keeping the reader guessing.
I love the inclusion of place as a major element of any novel and
this setting particularly."
--Lesley Kellas Payne, independent editor
"Deputy Tempe Crabtree is proud of her Indian heritage and enjoys
working among her people in Bear Creek, California. When she's assigned
to keep the peace at a Pow Wow celebration, she discovers the body
of a beautiful Pow Wow Princess. An eagle feather is Tempe's only
clue. Set against the drumbeats and dances of the festivities, Deadly
Omen builds to an exciting climax as the reader absorbs the color
and culture of this unique mountain community."
--Under The Covers
"Tempe Crabtree is the resident deputy of Bear Creek. Being part
Native American, Yanduchi, she is the one assigned to cover at a
native American Pow Wow. While there, one of the teenagers who was
a candidate to be crowned the princess is murdered.
The investigation takes her into the Yanduchi reservation. The
number of suspects is many and the murderer is getting nervous as
Tempe gets closer to the truth.
This series is great for all ages, but perfect for young adult
to bite their teeth on! Tempe's son is not old enough to be a volunteer
fireman, however, is allowed to hang around the station, help it
out, and go with the men to some calls. The author, Marilyn Meredith,
also shows much of the traditions and dances among the Yanduchi.
I expect this series to take off quickly!"
"Fans of Margaret Coel and Jean Hager will find much to enjoy in
this new series by Marilyn Meredith, with action relation to Native
Americans of the Yanduchi Reservation. Deputy Tempe Crabtree, part
Yanduchi has much to balance in her life, having been widowed and
reared her son alone. Now with a new husband, who happens to be
the Anglo minister of the local community church, she concentrates
on learning about her neglected heritage while solving the murder
of a young Yanduchi girl. Tempe must work with the sheriff and other
law enforcement officials, all male and all Anglo, to prove her
worth to them and to herself.
"A book that entertains as well as educates, this is a rewarding
read. Set on an Indian reservation, Marilyn Meredith, in Deadly
Omen, seizes a unique opportunity to pass on her knowledge of Indian
customs and traditions while presenting a good old-fashioned "whodunit."
A culture clash between Indians and non-Indians, an inter-Indian
feud, and the inherent isolation of an Indian reservation combine
to create a tense and suspenseful atmosphere in which mistrust and
jealousy abound. Meredith thoughtfully imparts a valuable lesson
of tolerance in an oft-ignored setting."
"Deadly Omen is the second in a series of Tempe Crabtree mysteries
written by the talented Marilyn Meredith. With a cast of 3-D characters,
and a back-woods setting, Meredith proportionately incorporates
Native American culture to plots of murder and intrigue.
Tempe Crabtree, the deputy of Bear Creek, is part Yanduchi. In
this tale, she has recently married Hutch, the town's Christian
pastor. Despite working in law enforcement and being newly married,
Crabtree also is raising her teenage son, Blair. That's just background.
Assigned to keep peace and order at a Native American Pow Wow,
Crabtree finds herself dragged into a murder mystery when the body
of a candidate for princess turns up along the outskirts of the
fairgrounds. The deceased was more than likely going to win the
crown and responsibilities associated with being a Pow Wow princess.
Who would want to kill a young girl, and why? Though only a deputy,
Crabtree can not help but investigate the circumstances behind the
heinous crime committed while she was on duty, despite the warnings
she receives to back off from the male detectives assigned to solve
the case. Most of the evidence points toward a rowdy young Native
American. The detectives think the case is as simple as open and
shut. So how can Crabtree not get involved when clearly the detectives
seem closed minded? She knows they are not asking the right questions,
or talking to the right people. Sure, Daniel Redwing was drunk at
the Pow Wow, and sure, he had an amazing crush on the victim, but
would that be enough to motivate him to murder? And what about the
pushy stage-mother of the other princess candidate, did she want
her own daughter to win badly enough to kill? After all, she warned
people someone was going to die that day. How about the crazy old
man always feuding with the Native Americans, does it seem likely
that he was carrying around a gun during the Pow Wow, but it lost
before shooting took place .. and his lost weapon just happens to
be the murder weapon? And what about the victim's boyfriend? Everyone
thought they were destined to get married. How many people knew
she had broken off their relationship? And what about the victim
herself, what skeletons did she have locked away in a closet?
Engrossing from start to finish. Like Deadly Trail, Deadly Omen
is a character-driven mystery with enough edge to keep it suspenseful
and intriguing. Fast-paced and beautifully written, the reader quickly
sympathizes and relates to Crabtree and the rest of her family.
It can't easy working as a police officer, so having a newly formed
family must only make things more complicated. I am anxious to start
the third in the series, Unequally Yoked.
--Phillip Tomasso III, author of Johnny Blade & Third