By Marilyn Meredith
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-60659-238-0
2010 Release from
Mundania Press. 224 pages
This charming story from a veteran author is the ninth in her series of Tempe Crabtree crime novels. Tempe is a deputy sheriff in the small town of Bear Creek near an Indian reservation in the mountains of central California.
A young man named Daniel Tofoya is sadly murdered and it develops that while he was a talented and often charming athlete, he could be a nasty bully if the mood took him. There are several possible perpetrators, but as often happens, most attention focuses on a stranger who has come to live on the reservation. The story is complicated by the appearance in town of a small separatist movement, stockpiling supplies in anticipation of a coming explosion of what could be racial and class warfare.
All of this gets sorted out by the patient and wise Deputy Crabtree. With help from her long-suffering pastor husband and exuberant son, Tempe is able to avert several disasters and calm some difficult situations.
The novel is in the classic traditional mystery mode with a lot of emphasis on character development and setting. Relations between members of different races and religious beliefs are very well handled with insight and care. This is another enjoyable and satisfying adventure with Deputy Tempe Crabtree.
Case of the Great Train Robbery, Reunion, Red Sky
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
By Mark Terry
I’ve been thinking a lot about characters -what makes them memorable, what doesn’t. I honestly don’t have an answer about why one character will stay in your mind and others don’t. I’m also not 100% sure why some readers – often critics – will complain about a lack of character development when readers rave about how much they like the character.
That sort of thing’s a balancing act for the writer. And my way of dealing with Derek’s flaws is not to think of them as flaws or even character traits. I just figure out what Derek stands for, what it is his goals and reason for being is, and then put him in situations that test those goals. The character’s there, now let’s see how he reacts.
Put it another way, borrowing from the first Pirates of the Caribbean film, Captain Jack Sparrow, rather tired of Will Turner’s complaints and criticisms, puts him out on the yardarm (I guess, maybe it’s the boom) and says, “The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can’t do. For instance, you can accept that your father was a pirate and a good man or you can’t.”
And as the writer of your flawed character – perhaps very, very flawed character – you need to decide what you can or cannot accept.