Writer's Notes

Guest Post, Research

by Marilyn Meredith, author of the Rocky Bluff PD mysteries and the Deputy Crabtree series

Violent DeparturesThonie asked me to write about what I do in the way of research for my writing.
Because I write police procedurals, I do have to do some research on the right way to do things. I often email police friends and ask them. I’ve even asked for one of them to share a particular type of crime—and I received lots of responses.
I like to read about certain crimes—especially murder—that might work for one of my Rocky Bluff P.D. mysteries. I often print out something I find online or clip a newspaper article that sounds like something I might use one day.
I’ve researched different ways to kill someone including poisons and unusual murder weapons.
Because my policeman son-in-law told me more than once, that it wasn’t like in movies and TV shows, in real life a police department is working on several crimes at a time, I like to collect different reports of unusual and mundane crimes that might work in one of my tales. (I’ve noticed TV shows are getting better at that, Blue Bloods is a good example.)
However, and I feel I must state this, I am writing fiction that I hope will entertain. You will not find a lot of forensic science in this series. Rocky Bluff is a small, underfunded and understaffed agency. Because of this, any forensic evidence is sent to the county. Most crimes that occur in Rocky Bluff are solved the old-fashioned way, by asking many questions, and putting the information together to come up with answers. The readers will learn right along with the characters and have a chance to see if they come up with the same solutions.
I have fun writing this series, creating the mystery, and I hope that my readers enjoy following along.

Marilyn Meredith on left
Marilyn Meredith
on left

F. M. aka Marilyn Meredith


Violent Departures:

College student, Veronica Randall, disappears from her car in her own driveway and everyone in the Rocky Bluff P.D. is looking for her. Detective Milligan and family move into a house that may be haunted. Officer Butler is assigned to train a new hire and faces several major challenges.
F.M. Meredith, also known as Marilyn Meredith, is the author of over thirty published novels. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Besides having family members in law enforcement, she lived in a town much like Rocky Bluff with many police families as neighbors.


Because it has been popular on my other blog tours, once again I’m offering the chance for the person who comments on the most blog posts during this tour to have a character named for him or her in the next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery.

Or if that doesn’t appeal, the person may choose one of the earlier books in the series—either a print book or Kindle copy.


Link to purchase book: Violent Departures

Tomorrow you can find me here: where I answered the question, “What’s Up Next?”

Writer's Notes

Use (or Not) of Cop Talk

By Marilyn Meredith



After being friends with Thonie on the Internet, a fan of her blog, and having the same publisher, I had the privilege of meeting her at the PSWA Conference. She’s a delight.

She asked me to write about the use of cop talk in River Spirits.

The quick answer—there isn’t much.

The reason might be because most reviewers have categorized the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series as a cozy police procedural. Cozy because though some of the characters very well may swear—I don’t quote them, and I always shut the bedroom door. It is a police procedural in that Tempe is a deputy sheriff.

She is what is termed a resident deputy which means she lives in the area she serves and protects. In her case it’s the town of Bear Creek and the surrounding mountains (the Southern Sierra). Though the nearby Bear Creek Indian Reservation has its own tribal police force, she’s often called upon by the tribal police chief and the county detectives to assist if there is a murder on the rez. In both cases, it’s because Tempe is an Indian.

My Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery series contains a bit more cop talk, though not a lot because besides the crimes that must be solved, the books also focus on what’s going on in the police officers’ private lives. In that particular series, the police department is small and has limited resources. Most crimes are solved the old fashioned way—gathering evidence, finding suspects (or persons of interest) and witnesses, and asking lots of questions.

Though there isn’t a lot of cop talk in the Tempe series, there is always a mystery to solve. In River Spirits, along with a murder, an Indian legend plays an important part.


River Spirits
River Spirits

 River Spirits:

While filming a movie on the Bear Creek Indian Reservation, the film crew trespasses on sacred ground, threats are made against the female stars, a missing woman is found by the Hairy Man, an actor is murdered and Deputy Tempe Crabtree has no idea who is guilty. Once again, the elusive and legendary Hairy Man plays an important role in this newest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.

Marilyn at Writers Festival
Marilyn at Writers Festival

Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty-five published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest River Spirits from Mundania Press. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra. Visit her at and her blog at



Contest: The winner will be the person who comments on the most blog posts during the tour.

He or she can either have a character in my next book named after them, or choose an earlier book in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series—either a paper book or e-book.


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, enjoy the day.

On Friday you can find me at

Below are links to places to find Marilyn’s work:

From the publisher, all formats:

For Kindle:

Amazon paperback:

For Nook