Deadly Trail
Prequel to Tempe Crabtree
By Marilyn Meredith
Hard Shell Word Factory - November 2001
ISBN 0-7599-0461-8 - Paperback

Reviewed by: Mary Lynn, MyShelf.Com
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Bear Creek Deputy Tempe Crabtree has a problem. She's one of the few people in her Southern sierra community who doesn't think that Nick Two John poisoned the owner of the local inn. True, Two John had the necessary knowledge of poison to commit the crime. Also true, Two John was having an affair with the murdered man's wife, but Tempe is convinced that the detectives who are about to arrest Two John are making a mistake in not questioning some of the other Bear Creek residents, many of whom had a motive for wanting the innkeeper dead.

Tempe's assertion that Two John is too convenient a suspect causes raffled feelings, not only among the detectives, who want her to butt out of their case, but also in her fiancé, Hutch, who insists that Two John is clearly guilty and questions Tempe's motivation in trying to prove otherwise.

Ms. Meredith's style is pleasing and her descriptive skills are excellent, as is her judgment. Deadly Trail is just the right length to tell the story. Ms. Meredith manages to make her characters come alive and Bear Creek seem like a real mountain community without unnecessary padding. The mystery, although not overly intricate or filled with red herrings, was sufficiently interesting to keep me turning the pages and reading to the end. I enjoyed Deadly Trail and will look forward to reading the next Tempe Crabtree Mystery.

Mary Lynn is the author of Dear Cari.

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