Bears With Us by Marilyn Meredith

Bears With Us by Marilyn Meredith “You aren’t going to be satisfied until you’ve uncovered whatever it is they are hiding, are you?” – Pastor “Hutch” Hutchinson

Hutch knows his wife, Deputy Tempe Crabtree, all too well because she absolutely will not stop until she finds out everything she needs to know to keep the people of Bear Creek safe. And this is a good thing for readers of author Marilyn Meredith’s charming series, as Tempe makes her return for an action-packed eleventh outing in the series’ newest entry, Bears With Us.

Located in the southern part of the Sierra Nevada, the small community of Bear Creek finds itself dealing with a handful of its namesake, as hungry bears preparing for hibernation begin showing up in apple orchards, garbage bins and, startlingly, snout-deep in a carton of Rocky Road ice cream in one unfortunate family’s kitchen. Unable by law to shoot the bears unless they present an immediate threat to life, Tempe finds herself coming up with creative ways to run the hungry critters off.

Even if bears were the only thing Tempe had to deal with she’d still have her hands full, but Meredith has provided Tempe with a plate overflowing with situations all requiring her immediate attention: the decline of a former town pillar into dementia, necessitating tracking her down repeatedly when she keeps wandering off; an amazingly self-important and obnoxious mother who expects Tempe to intervene and keep the “wrong sort” of boy away from her teenage daughter, and who threatens to make formal complaints of misconduct against her if she doesn’t; the suicide of a teenager and his family’s strangely cold reaction to it… yes, Tempe more than has her hands full.

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.

Bears With Us is available from Mundania Press (ISBN: 978-1606592649).

Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest of which is Bears With Us from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel is Angel Lost, the third from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. To learn more about Marilyn, visit her website or catch up with her on Twitter.


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16 Comments

  • Jaime

    October 27, 2011 - 11:41 pm

    Though I like to follow a series as it is being written, I do like that there are eleven books to go back and read. It’s like thinking you have one M&M only to discover you have eleven. All the more to enjoy!

  • Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm

    October 27, 2011 - 5:12 pm

    I’ve never read any of these, but they sound interesting! Actually, I think they might be perfect for my mom: what you said about them blending cozy with police procedural sounds like they’ll be right up her alley.

  • Sabrina Ogden

    October 26, 2011 - 6:54 pm

    This sounds like a fun read… and new to me. That means it’s shiny =) Great review, Elizabeth.

    • Elizabeth A. White

      October 26, 2011 - 6:58 pm

      And there are ELEVEN!! in the series to explore. 😉

  • W.S. Gager

    October 26, 2011 - 6:45 pm

    Marilyn: Those bears can get you in trouble. Not too many bears here but could use some help with coyotes if you don’t mind. Great review Elizabeth. Thanks for providing it.
    Wendy
    W.S. Gager on Writing

  • Marilyn Meredith

    October 26, 2011 - 2:48 pm

    Thank you for all the great comments.

    Since I wrote the book, I’ve heard of more bear encounters including a 12 year old girl coming downstairs to find a bear in her kitchen.

    They will go through a screen if a window is open. We all learned that once when we were at a church camp. We left our goodies in the lodge (cookies, chips, etc.) as we’d been told. A bear came through a screen and ate everything but the red licorice–he did eat the black licorice.

  • Jean Henry Mead

    October 26, 2011 - 12:50 pm

    I love all of Marilyn’s books and look forward to reading this one.

  • Cheryl Malandrinos

    October 26, 2011 - 12:03 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful review of Marilyn’s latest. Readers can find a trailer for this book at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjaY5GVht5A

    Good luck to all who enter the contest.

    All my best,

    Cheryl

  • Anne K. Albert

    October 26, 2011 - 11:52 am

    There are so many reasons I enjoy Marilyn’s books, but I agree with Elizabeth. “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…” Well said.

    Great review. Great book. Super author!

  • Madeline (M.M.) Gornell

    October 26, 2011 - 11:33 am

    As always, Marilyn has given her fans another enjoyable adventure. I love curling up with Marilyn’s books and “getting” away! I’m a knee jerk animal lover, but have never been confronted with a bear, and honestly don’t know what I’d do!

    Madeline

    • Elizabeth A. White

      October 26, 2011 - 11:39 am

      Well, thankfully Marilyn includes in the book some handy tips about how to handle such a situation! 😉

      • Charles Wingfield

        October 26, 2011 - 2:26 pm

        Tips on dealing with Bears? Stuff worth knowing!

  • Marilyn Meredith

    October 26, 2011 - 10:25 am

    Elizabeth, thank you so much for such a terrific review!

    • Elizabeth A. White

      October 26, 2011 - 11:10 am

      Thank you for another enjoyable read. 🙂

  • Charles Wingfield

    October 26, 2011 - 9:56 am

    Sounds like a fun story. Thanks for the tip! Bear in the kitchen with the rocky road ice cream!? That would be quite startling!

    • Elizabeth A. White

      October 26, 2011 - 11:11 am

      Yes, finding a bear in the kitchen raiding the fridge would be quite startling… who knew they knew their way around in there? 😉