A Tulare County Supervisor, with both Native American and Mexican roots, dies under suspicious circumstances. Because of Deputy Tempe Crabtree’s own ties to the Bear Creek Indian Reservation, she’s asked to help with the investigation.
To complicate matters, besides the supervisor’s husband, several others had reason to want the woman dead.
Tempe has unsettling dreams, dreams that may predict the future and bring back memories of her grandmother’s stories about the legend of the Hairy Man. Once again, Tempe’s life is threatened and this time, she fears no one will come to her rescue in time.
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.
The insistent ringing of the phone woke Tempe. Heart pounding, she rolled away from Hutch and squinted at the clock. A little after three in the morning. Who on earth
Thoughts raced through her head. Please don't let it be anything about Blair. She hadn't heard from her son for almost a week.
She snatched up the cordless phone on the nightstand. "Deputy Crabtree."
A hysterical female voice greeted her. "I know it's late, but you said to call if something came up. Something really terrible has happened."
"Who is this?" Tempe asked.
Tempe had to think a moment. Oh, the woman who wanted to open the home for the developmentally disabled women. "Yes, Mrs. Kinman, what can I do for you?"
"Someone tried to burn down our house!"
Tempe swung her legs over the side of the bed. "What? Are you all right?"
"We're ﬁne, but Deputy Crabtree, I'm scared. Who would do such a thing?"
"Where are you now?" Tempe asked.
"Home. Everything is a mess downstairs, but the upstairs is okay."
"Do you need me to come down there?" She was already headed toward the bathroom.
"I hate to ask you to do that. We were in the living room when it happened. Someone threw a bomb through our dining room window and started the ﬁre. The sprinkler system put out the ﬁre, but the whole downstairs is a mess." Her voice rose. "We could have been killed."
"It'll take me about a half hour," Tempe said, "but I'll be there."
A male voice came on the phone. "This is Frank Kinman. Look, Deputy Crabtree, you don't really have to come all the way down here. The ﬁre department and the police have come and gone. I'm sure they'll ﬁnd out who did this. There really isn't anything you can do."
In the background, Tempe could hear Victoria crying. "I'm almost dressed. It sounds like your wife could use a little extra support."
"Okay, thanks. I'll have a pot of coffee waiting," Frank said.
Tempe was pulling on her boots when Hutch rose up on one elbow. "What's wrong?"
"Victoria Kinman is terribly upset. Someone fire bombed their house. I'm going down there."
"Do you want me to come?"
"No, it's not necessary. I'll stay with them for awhile, but I plan to come home before I start with all my other appointments."
"Okay, honey, be careful. Tell the Kinmans I'm praying for them."