Recurring Supporting Characters in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series

Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. She borrows a lot from where she lives in the Southern Sierra for the town of Bear Creek and the surrounding area, including the nearby Tule River Indian Reservation. She does like to remind everyone that she is writing fiction. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at and follow her blog at

Marilyn Meredith at CRSA Conference

Marilyn Meredith at CRSA Conference

Frankly, these are the folks I have fun with in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. I certainly don’t know as much about them as I do Tempe and Hutch, mainly because I only know what Tempe knows.

One of the most important ones, of course, is Nick Two John. Nick is an Indian like Tempe and the one person instrumental in helping her become aware of her Native American heritage. Nick has guided her in his most enigmatic way through many difficulties, sometimes causing difficulties between Tempe and Hutch. At other times, Hutch and Nick are more like best friends.

Then there’s Claudia—the owner of Bear Creek Inn, and Nick’s significant other. She is on stage only periodically and unlike Hutch, doesn’t seem to mind Nick and Tempe’s close friendship.

Another Indian who has guided Tempe in the past and does again in Spirit Shapes, is the shaman, Doretha. She lives on the Bear Creek Indian Reservation. At one time there was a great deal of animosity between her and Hutch because of their opposing spiritual beliefs, but that has mellowed.

And then there are the two detectives, Morrison and Richards. The best way to explain them is to take a paragraph right out of Spirit Shapes.

Morrison, the first out of the car hailed Tempe. “Crabtree. What have you got?” His bulky body and battered face with its lopsided nose always reminded her of a retired linebacker. Though it had taken a number of years and her help solving several murders, he’d come to respect Tempe and her detective skills.

That wasn’t the case with the tall, angular Detective Richards. He still dismissed her as a lowly deputy linked with a prejudice against Indians and women in law enforcement. With his face pulled into its perpetual squint, he grunted in Tempe’s general direction.

These two detectives play a part in every Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery because, of course, they rely on Tempe to help them out with crimes that happen in the mountain area or that involve Indians.

Like with the creation of any characters, some may resemble people I know, but it most cases they have arrived out of the blue—or should I say my imagination.

The exception being with Nick who does look very much like an Indian I’d seen several times—since I don’t know the man, Nick’s personality is his alone.

What’s fun is sometimes these characters cause conflict for Tempe—and conflict between characters is the added spice to any mystery.

Marilyn Meredith


Spirit ShapesBlurb for Spirit Shapes: Ghost hunters stumble upon a murdered teen in a haunted house. Deputy Tempe Crabtree’s investigation pulls her into a whirlwind of restless spirits, good and evil, intertwined with the past and the present, and demons and angels at war.

To buy directly from the publisher in all formats:
Mundania Press

Also available directly from Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Amazon.


The person who comments on the most blogs on this blog tour will have the opportunity to have a character named after him or her in the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.

Tomorrow I’ll be visiting here: