Tempe Crabtree Mystery Series #18
Marilyn Meredith, March 2019
Tempe Crabtree’s eighteenth adventure is a winner. She’s back, in all her righteous stubbornness, determined, as always, to not only solve the crime in front of her, but to protect the innocent as well. This time she’s forced to also deal with the persistent resistance of her husband, Pastor Harry Hutchinson, who expected the pair would spend a couple of weeks relaxing at a coastal resort. But he also is experienced dealing with his wife’s often abrupt changes of direction.
Tempe, a deputy sheriff in Bear Creek, California, a small Sierra Mountain community, is enticed to visit Tehachapi and stay at the Stallion Springs resort. An acquaintance, one Lorna Collins, a ghost hunter, whom Hutch was less than enthusiastic to hear of again, was searching for the ghost of a lost female prison inmate.
Tempe, not unfamiliar with the spirit world, due in part to her Native American heritage, sympathized with the aims of her friend, not for a moment suspecting there were unholy forces abroad in Tehachapi. Almost from the moment they arrive the couple is embraced by a local detective. the ghost hunter and a strange spirit manifestation.
The story moves along apace, evokes the physical area and several intriguing and disparate characters. As usual, Tempe efficiently and realistically blends her well-developed policing skills with the sensitivity of her awareness of unseen forces around us.
This is a fine, highly satisfactory and enjoyable novel of murder, manipulation, the history of the area and it blends the known and the unknown with judicious balance and at a good pace until the final explosive resolution.