Writer's Notes

Guest Post: A Crushing Death

The Setting for A Crushing Death

By Marilyn MeredithA Crushing Death Right (1)

I love the California coast and its beach communities, particularly the small ones. My affection comes from growing up in Los Angeles and as a teen being able to take public transportation with my friends and visit the beach often. My family made excursions to many nearby beaches whenever we had a free summer weekend.

When my own family was growing up, we lived in Oxnard, one mile from the beach and from April until fall we trekked to the beach and spent as much time there as possible. At that time Oxnard and Hueneme beaches weren’t like they are today. There was public access to all the good places to swim and sun.

The Rocky Bluff in my series is much like the beach community of the earlier times in Oxnard. Because it is fictional, I moved it north to a place between Santa Barbara and Ventura, but still in Ventura County. If you try to find it, you’ll be disappointed because it’s completely fictional, including the bluff that gave the town its name.

I’ve written about Rocky Bluff so much, I can see it in my mind as well as a memory of any place I’ve ever been. I know the broken-down condemned pier and have used it in many of the mysteries. The sand dunes are much like those that my family and I traipsed over and settled near for barbecues.

Things are changing in Rocky Bluff, just like they change in any town. The low-rent cottages along the beach will soon be nothing but a memory as developers come in to build condos along the ocean front. Of course the city council expects this to bring in more revenue. Hopefully some of this revenue will be used to hire more police officers and purchase more up-to-date equipment. But that’s all in the future.

For now, the Rocky Bluff P.D struggles with being understaffed, underpaid and having to rely on Ventura County’s labs and coroner.

I love writing about this beach community.

F.M. aka Marilyn Meredith

A Crushing Death Blurb:

A pile of rocks is found on a dead body beneath the condemned pier, a teacher is accused of molesting a student, the new police chief is threatened by someone she once arrested for attacking women, and Officer Milligan’s teenage daughter is has a big problem.


  1. M. Meredith who is also known as Marilyn Meredith is nearing the number of 40 published books. Besides being an author she is a wife, mother, grandma and great-grandmother. Though the Rocky Bluff she writes about is fictional, she lived for over twenty-years in a similar small beach town. Besides having many law enforcement officers in her family she is counts many as friends. She teaches writing, loves to give presentations to writing and other groups, and is a member of Mystery Writers of America, three chapters of Sisters in Crime and on the board of Public Safety Writers Association.



Buy: A Crushing Death

Facebook: Marilyn Meredith

Twitter: MarilynMeredith

Contest: Once again, the person who comments on the most blogs during this tour, can have a character named after them in the next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery. Tomorrow you can find me here:





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


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