Author: Marilyn Meredith
Publisher: Mundania Press, LLC
Reviewed by: Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Mystery, murder, and mayhem–you’ll find it all in Marilyn Meredith’s latest installment in the Tempe Crabtree mystery series, Judgment Fire.
Deputy Tempe Crabtree continues to watch over the residents of Bear Creek and expand her knowledge of her Yanduchi Indian heritage. The warning of a shaman leaves Tempe with more questions than answers. Used to the dangerous situations her job constantly puts her in, Tempe pushes aside Dorothea’s warning. But when a battered wife is murdered, and Tempe begins to receive threatening phone messages as she tries to uncover the killer, Tempe is drawn once again to the shaman and her Yanduchi heritage to try and make sense of the flashes of her past which keep appearing in her mind.
Tempe feverishly works to eliminate suspects, but the list of possible killers continues to grow; the newly uncovered facts and unrest amongst Jackie’s neighbors–some who may have wanted her or her husband dead–force Tempe to consider every possible suspect. And as the threatening phone calls increase, Tempe’s family is scared for her safety.
And when it’s all over, Tempe discovers how much the past can influence the present.
With Judgment Fire, Marilyn Meredith pulled me into the story in such a way that I must own the rest of the books in this fascinating series. I wasn’t just reading the story; I was part of it. I drove in Tempe’s Blazer as she traveled along the road and spotted Dorothea in her vehicle off to the side; I was inside Dorothea’s burning van, gripping the steering wheel; I was part of Tempe’s and Dorothea’s conversations.
What a powerful talent it takes to make a reader so much a part of what is happening in a work of fiction.
As suspects were added to the list, then eliminated, and then added back to the list, each twist and turn left me eager for more. Meredith added just enough backstory to allow me to get to know Tempe, without adding so much that faithful readers of the Tempe Crabtree mystery series would be flipping through pages to get back to the present day’s action.
Gripping, suspense-filled, and character driven, Judgment Fire by Marilyn Meredith should be on every mystery reader’s wish list.