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