Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Guest Blogger Marilyn Meredith

Today, I have mystery writer and good friend Marilyn Meredith guest blogging. Marilyn writes two different and distinct mystery series, the Deputy Tempe Crabtree Mysteries and the Rocky Bluff P.D. Mystery Series. Today, she tells us about the latest in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, and the difficulty in determining a sub-genre. Today is also Marilyn's birthday, so happy birthday Marilyn and thanks for joining us!!!

So, What Sub-Genre Should My Mysteries Fall Under?

This is a question I’ve pondered for a long time and frankly, I don’t really have an answer.

There are the straight mysteries (and I don’t mean as opposed to ones with gay detectives though I don’t have any gay detectives and so far not even any gay characters) and these are the ones where there is a puzzle to solve and it’s pretty straight forward. The clues are there for both the reader and the sleuth to find.

Remember, the sleuth can be most anyone these days from a cook to a Werewolf, a ghost or a vampire. In my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries, the sleuth obviously is a deputy. She’s much more than that though, she’s a wife to a minister, a mother of a college age son, and she’s Native American.

Since she’s a deputy maybe my books should fall into the police procedural genre. Maybe, but in Tulare county, California, where the book is set (though Bear Creek where Tempe is the resident deputy is a fictional mountain community in Tulare county) the deputies are also deputy coroners though if there’s a violent crime, detectives would investigate. (Now how do you like that run-on sentence? My critique group would scream.)

My latest book, Bears With Us, is more about what goes on in Tempe’s life, both private and in her job as a deputy. Like most people in law-enforcement, she has a lot going on every day. When bears invade Bear Creek, Tempe has her hands full. Not only is she chasing bears off the school grounds, out of people’s houses, and other places, she’s called to a home where a teen has committed suicide. The parents’ strange behavior piques her curiosity. A prominent female citizen makes a complaint against Tempe and her husband. An old romance comes to light, and a woman with dementia is missing from her home.

This story doesn’t fit in any of the mystery sub-genres. Usually people think of them as cozies since I don’t use bad language and I shut the bedroom door, but once in awhile some pretty gory things happen.

What I suppose I’ll do is wait until people have had a chance to read Bears With Us and let me know what sub-genre they think it should fall in.

Bears With Us can be ordered directly from the publisher and all the usual places.

Marilyn Meredith

Bio: Marilyn is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Bears With Us from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel is Angel Lost, the third from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Central Coast chapter, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at and her blog at


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

Thank you, Holli, I had a lot of fun writing this post.


Evelyn David said...

Happy Birthday, Marilyn. Good luck with your new book!

Morgan St. James said...

Happy birthday--you beat mine by two days. As for subgenre, I say take your choice. It looks like you've covered all the bases!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Marilyn. Mine was almost two weeks earlier,but it sounds like a lot of hanky panky went on around Thanksgiving time however many years ago. Good luck with the new book. Sounds great, as always.

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

Thank you everyone, and Evelyn, Morgan and C.K., good luck with your new books too!

Kathy Bennett said...

Hi Marilyn;

I say start your own sub-genre:

Murder/Bear Wrangler!

Happy Birthday!

WS Gager said...

Whatever happened to the mystery genre? I know your pain Marilyn because I try and figure out what mine are as well. Cozy readers would like them but my sleuth isn't female and no sex. Because the reader has to follow clues, it isn't a thriller although a thrilling read. There are subgenres for dogs and cats so I say start a new one for bears! Great post Marilyn
whose also waving at Holli

Mike Orenduff said...

I love Marilyn's Rocky Bluff PD series. I didn't start the Deputy Tempe books until the last one, so Bears with Us will be my second. Having read only one, I don't feel I know the characters as well as I know the gang at RBPD, but I've read about half a dozen of those. So I've got Marilyn's newest to look forward to and Holli's as well. Now all I have to do is find the time to read.

Anne K. Albert said...

I love this discussion, and why not start your own genre, Marilyn? Works for me. ;-)

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

Hey, Kathy, I like bear wrangler mystery. Waving at you, Wendy, I think we're kind of in the same boat--writing mild mannered mysteries.

Hey, Mike, thanks for stopping by--my Tempe mysteries are different from the Rocky Bluff P.D. series.

Hi, Ann, glad you came to visit.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Marilyn!

Your own subgenre name gets a lot of good description in.


LD Masterson said...

We need a designation like the one we use for dogs, American mixed.

Marja McGraw said...

I'm late chiming in, but Happy Belated Birthday, Marilyn! And I agree with a couple of other comments -- maybe we should create a whole new subgenre. Frankly, I'm not sure where my P.I. series fits in either.

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

Thanks, LD and Marja. I sure appreciate you stopping by.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Marilyn!

Theresa de Valence