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Bears With Us

Tempe Crabtree is the resident deputy of Bear Creek, a small mountain community in the southern Sierra. Her continuing interest in the spiritual side of her heritage often causes unrest in her marriage to her minister husband.

In Bears With Us, Tempe has her hands full when bears turn up in and around her town, becoming a threat to kids and adults when an elderly woman is horrifically killed. But are bears really responsible, or is there something else afoot?

Book 10 of the Tempe Crabtree Mystery series

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Marilyn Meredith

Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty books in several genres, but mainly mystery. She embraced electronic publishing before anyone knew much about it. She taught writing for Writer's Digest School for ten years and served as an instructor at the Maui Writers Retreat, has been a judge for several writing contest, was a founding member of the San Joaquin chapter of Sisters in Crime, serves on the board of directors of the Public Safety Writers Association, is also a member of EPIC and Mystery Writers of America.

Marilyn lives in the foothills of the Southern Sierra in California in a place much like Bear Creek where her heroine Tempe Crabtree serves as a resident deputy. She is married to the "cute sailor" she met on a blind date many years ago and is grateful for all the support he gives her and her writing career every day. She is proud of the fact that she and her husband raised five children and now are grandparents to eighteen and great-grands to thirteen.

"What happens in my books is the only place in my life where I have any control," Marilyn says, smiling.


Marilyn Meredith is quite possibly one of the most underrated writers out there. Her book, Bear With Us, delivers an exceptional story that delivers on her previous Tempe stories. In this book, there is a possible break in in the home of a former socialite that suffers from severe dementia.
While this is going on there is a second case in the works where Tempe handles a fifteen year old boy who has shot himself. However, nothing seems to be straightforward in this case and there is speculation there might be more to this case that meets the eye.
This story is superbly told with exquisite details and the characters are all very believable. While the pace at times did seem to dip, I felt like I was rewarded with a fully fleshed and powerfully delivered story. More importantly, those who have not read any of the previous works by Marilyn Meredith will find that this story can hold up on its own.
If you are a fan of Native American stories that deal with mysticism and add in a little mystery, then this is an excellent story that I would strongly recommend for you. In my personal opinion, it is one of the better tales that I have read in a long time.

Joel M. Andre

This is the first book that I have read in this series, even though it is number 11. I can definitely say that I am going to look for the others in the series.

Marilyn Meredith has written characters that are likable and strong. You actually feel like you are there in Bear Creek right along with them.

I also loved that she had all these great subplots weaving in and out of the book. There were plenty of twists and turns to keep my interest.

My favorite character is Tempe. I love that she is trying to explore her Native American heritage. It brings a unique quality to the books. Plus when you figure in that Hutch is a Christian minister, it can provide just the right amount of tension at times.

If you have not had the chance to read this series and you love mysteries, then you don’t want to miss out on them.

Makela -- Ruens World

Author Marilyn Meredith does a wonderful job with the Tempe Crabtree series, mixing aspects of the mystery, police procedural, and cozy genres together in a very satisfying blend. Cozy-like in that there is little “onscreen” violence and no profanity, Bears With Us still manages to maintain a healthy edge of tension and menace as Tempe delves into the circumstances surrounding the teenager’s suicide and his family’s subsequent defensive and secretive behavior. The discovery of a shallow grave in the woods on the outskirts of town adds to the plot, as Tempe first has to discover who it is, then how they got there.
As in previous entries in the series, Meredith uses the somewhat unusual combination of Tempe’s position as a police officer and her husband’s as a pastor to both create tension as well as to explore the differing approaches that can be taken to solving the same problem. Tempe’s Native American heritage also plays a role, adding a nice, and educational, layer to the story.
Readers familiar with the series will find this to be one of the more enjoyable and involved outings for Tempe yet. But it’s not necessary to read the series in order, so if you’re just finding out about the series why don’t you Bear With Us and visit Bear Creek? You’ll be glad you did.

Elizabeth A. White -- Book Reviews by Elizabeth A. White

She really gripped with that one. And, once again, I'm saddened.....saddened that I didn't start way back with book 1 in the Tempe Crabtree novels! This one ROCKED! I love the way Ms. Meredith can grip me with her suspenseful plot lines and fantastic characters that quickly become friends.

This book has lots of details to it. From family struggles of suicide, boys and memory problems, to bears roaming the streets of town, Tempe Crabtree has really got her hands full. With the help of her husband Hutch, she sets out to try and ease everyone's lives, but that just doesn't seem possible with the bears around! And she just can't put her finger on something that seems off....way off.

Through out this novel, you'll find a roller coaster of ups, downs, ins, outs, twists and turns that will blow your mind. You'll laugh a little I'm sure....I mean, bears?! Roaming the town? I know bears roam but sheesh! Poor Tempe! I really felt for her. You'll find the mystery that Meredith is awesome at incorporating into the story. And you'll find lovable characters that quickly take over your heart.

If you are looking for a fantastic new book by a seasoned, talented author, then look no further than this 4 Book worthy novel. It's got me hooked on Tempe's character and I am highly, highly looking forward to going back and reading the other 11 books in this series! Fantastic work, Ms. Meredith!

Molly’s Reviews

Marilyn Meredith has a unique way of writing that takes us into the life of the character. We see everything happening through the eyes of Tempe. Bears With Us drags you in gradually and then grabs you and won’t let go. We follow Tempe as she investigates her various calls and we feel for her and those she is trying to help. A great story written by a great author, Bears With Us and Marilyn Meredith will certainly bear with us. –Debbie, Single Titles

Author Marilyn Meredith once again draws readers into the small mountain community of Bear Creek and the life of her protagonist, Deputy Tempe Crabtree. Faced with everyday challenges and the demands of her job, Tempe is a strong character with soft edges that readers will enjoy. The supporting characters add depth to the story.

As the bears forge for food before hibernating for the winter, their actions are intertwined with several mysteries Tempe is faced with solving. The story flows smoothly and quickly. The author keeps the suspense high right until the end.

There are bits of Native American customs, tips for protecting against bears, and issues families dealing with dementia face sprinkled throughout the story. In addition, there are moments of humor that will have you smiling.

BEARS WITH US is the 11th installment in the Tempe Crabtree Mystery series, but is a stand alone read. This is an intriguing tale of murder, mystery and mayhem you shouldn’t miss

Mason Canyon -- Thoughts in Progress

Four Stars

Marilyn Meredith has a unique way of writing that takes us into the life of the character. We see everything happening through the eyes of Tempe. Bears With Us drags you in gradually and then grabs you and won’t let go. We follow Tempe as she investigates her various calls and we feel for her and those she is trying to help. A great story written by a great author, Bears With Us and Marilyn Meredith will certainly bear with us.

Debbie -- Single Titles

4 Stars

The most tragic of the episodes that Tempe becomes involved in is that of an older woman who is suffering from dementia. The woman keeps wandering away from home. The first few incidents turn out okay but finally the woman wanders too far and Tempe has to try to figure out what has happened to the woman.

This new Tempe Crabtree novel brings Hutch into the action. If you want a few tips on how to keep a bear away from your residence and your food this is the book for you. A very entertaining way to learn bear habits and understand what it is like to work in a small community as a Deputy. When a hitman attempts to harm a local resident, it is even more dangerous than trying to scare away a big bear.

Patricia Reed -- GoodReads

5.0 out of 5 stars

I just love curling up with a Marilyn Meredith novel. Bears With Us didn't disappoint. Marilyn's writing is as usual, crisp and sharp--and her story interesting, touching timely issues in a lot of folks lives, and connected to Native American traditions. I particularly like her character Nick Two John, and he plays a key role in this mystery. For me, by this time, Tempe and Hutch Crabtree feel like old friends. So reading Bears With Us was like visiting familiar friends--very comfortable, and enjoyable. I'd had a long day when I curled up with Marilyn's latest, and it was just the ticket! I read the e-book on my Kindle and loved it.

M.M. Gornell

A strong female lead, Native American mysticism, and well-drawn characters fill Bears With Us. It can definitely be read as a stand-alone novel, but I suggest you read all the Deputy Tempe Crabtree novels. They're a bit like Lay’s® potato chips, "you can't have just one." –Cheryl Malandrinos, The Book Connection

One would think, wouldn't one, that, in a community named Bear Creek, seeing a bear--big, hairy, scary, growly, HUNGRY!--wouldn't be too much of a surprise? Well, maybe it would be today. At least some city-fied move-ins would be surprised. After all, I know a retirement community named Indian Village that hasn't seen an Indian in the forty years of its existence, or at least not a recognizable one. So, one might assume the bears of Bear Creek were gone long ago. Hmmm?

Which brings me to Deputy Sheriff Tempe Crabtree, her working area in Bear Creek, California, and the novel by Marilyn Meredith, BEARS WITH US.

I always await new installments in this series eagerly. Since I have read the entire Tempe Crabtree series (and own copies of all) I know Tempe, her family, friends, and co-workers well. I know the area where she lives, the nearby Indian Reservation, the restaurants and businesses around the community. I could do a drawing of how I picture her home, the inn where she and her husband, Pastor Hutch often eat, and even the mountains not far away. Others may not see these places as I do, but they are almost as real to me as places I can visit by driving there. I enjoy my trips to visit Tempe and Hutch more than I enjoy visiting a few real places I frequent. (The grocery store? The office supply? The DENTIST?) After all, when going to Bear Creek, I have the added attraction of entertaining and scary adventures, crimes, and puzzles to solve, not to mention the happy experience of spending time with "real" people I now know well and like.

There are many puzzles and even many crimes in this story, more than the ordinary number I would say. There's the secretive and unfriendly family who's son has just committed suicide, an apple grower who may or may not be what he seems, and an intelligent and kind Mexican father who is raising a similarly upstanding, kind, and intelligent son, but faces virulent prejudice among the community's "upper crust." Then there's the family attempting to protect and shelter a mother dropping into increasingly dark dementia--causing distress for the distracted and secretive father and the practical-minded daughter, plus aggressive and threatening action by an adult son. In addition there are new retiree residents, some kind and friendly, others aloof and snooty. (I could have said snotty, but I want to keep this dignified.)

What a mix of humanity. Stir into this real bears who, starved out of normal food locations, now seek dinner among trash cans and backyard barbecues--even a few refrigerators behind unlocked doors--in the community. (One of them is especially fond of Rocky Road ice cream.) Ordinarily they aren't really happy moving in among humans, but, just get between a starving bear and a food source, well, watch out! But, will they kill a live human? Or . . . ?

Talk about the cliched term, "page turner!" I kept saying, "Radine, it's time to turn out the light and go to sleep, lot's to do tomorrow." And then I turned the page and began the next chapter.

See how many of the crimes and problems you can solve before answers are revealed within the story. My batting average? 0. I had suspicions, no answers. The reason for the main murder is especially puzzling.

Loved this novel. Bet you will, too.

Radine Trees Nehring -- 2011 Inductee: Arkansas Writers' Hall of Fame

Marilyn Meredith's latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree offering, "Bears With Us," is full of the well-crafted twists and turns we've come to expect from her. It also has a lot of bear action, as we might expect from the title. For those readers who may not live in bear-y areas, it accurately depicts what life with those creatures can be like. (Just check out some of our National Park's pages like Yellowstone and Yosemite and see the real damage bears can do!) Far from the cuddle teddy bear image we've grown accustomed to, we are treated not only to a well-crafted tale, but also it's topped off with the unpredictability of 'nature.' And isn't that what really happens in our lives? Unpredictability.

Victoria Heckman -- author of Hawaii Mysteries and "Burn Out." Sisters in Crime-Central Coast Chapter President

In this latest installment of her Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, Meredith creates an engaging, unique story filled with twists and turns. The unusual storyline pulled me in right away. As the various subplots unfold, there are moments you feel you have it all figured out, just to discover you're nowhere close.

Tempe and Hutch have always made an interesting couple: a Christian pastor and the sole female of the Bear Creek police force, who is part Native American. In "Bears With Us," just like previous books, Tempe's heritage is explored in some way. Nick Two John is one of my favorite characters. He is the one who pushes Tempe to learn more about her heritage and to use the skills she has because of it. This has sometimes put Tempe and Hutch on opposite sides, but in this book, we see a husband and wife working together.

A strong female lead, Native American mysticism, and well-drawn characters fill "Bears With Us." It can definitely be read as a stand-alone novel, but I suggest you read all the Deputy Tempe Crabtree novels. They're a bit like Lay’s(r) potato chips, "you can't have just one."

Cheryl Malandrinos -- The Book Connection
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