Saturday, September 22, 2012

Author Marilyn Meredith: TV Influences On Mysteries?

It’s always a pleasure to welcome award-winning author Marilyn
Meredith back to Thoughts. She continuously shares an intriguing look at the world of publishing and to our delight has a new release to share with us.

Marilyn’s latest release is RAGING WATER, the 12th installment in her award-winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree Mystery series from Mundania Press. She is the author of over thirty published novels. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel is No Bells, the fourth from Oak Tree Press.

With the release of RAGING WATER, Marilyn is sponsoring a fun and interesting contest. The person who leaves comments on the most blogs during her tour will have his/her name used for a character in her next book. The winner can choose if they want their name in a Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery or a Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel.

Marilyn joins us today to answer a questions for me - Are Readers Expectations in Mystery Novels Influenced by TV and Movies?

Mason asked me if I wanted to answer this provocative question and I decide to tackle it.

I suppose it is possible that some readers may expect the same kind of fast pace that most TV and movies follow. With a TV episode, they have a short period of time to set up the story and quickly bring it to a satisfying climax. A movie has a longer period, but one drawback, unless there is voice over or the star talks to him or herself, the viewer doesn’t know what is going on inside the stars head.

There is one TV movie based on a popular mystery series that seems slow because the writers/director are trying to follow the main character as he’s agonizes over his past with the help of alcohol. Though the star does a great job, I’m not sure it works well in a TV format. 

One thing I’ve discovered in movies that I can usually tell early on which character will probably be killed off. It will be someone the main character cares about, but isn’t necessary for the plot.

Raging WaterIn a book, the reader can follow the point-of-view character as he or she is challenged by the mystery at hand. The reader sees and hears everything through the POV character and knows the character’s thoughts. Because the reader is following along, sometimes the solution to the problem will be apparent even before the sleuth figures it out—which as a reader, I think is great fun. The reader is using his or her own brain right along with the main character.

Sometimes when a book that had a multi-layered plot is made into a movie,  the attempt to put everything into the movie makes it hard to figure out. 

In a good mystery novel, though the excitement will build, the clues will start to become visible and the main character will undoubtedly find him or herself in some peril, I think in most cases, the plots, even if they are multi-layered, are easier to follow and add enjoyment rather than confusion. 

Marilyn, thanks for joining us today and answering this question. As a mystery reader, I had wondered how authors looked at this. While it’s fun to follow along with a TV show or movie, a book does draw me in more.

Marilyn is a member of EPIC, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. For more on her writing and her books, visit her at and follow her blog at

Marilyn borrows a lot from where she lives in the Southern Sierra for the town of Bear Creek and the surrounding area.

When asked about the order her Deputy Tempe Crabtree Mystery series should be read in, Marilyn had this to say, “I know there are some people who like to read a series in order, but let me reassure you that every book is complete. Though the characters grow through each book, the crime is always solved. Here is the order of the books for anyone who wants to know: Deadly Trail, Deadly Omen, Unequally Yoked, Intervention, Wing Beat, Calling the Dead, Judgment Fire, Kindred Spirits, Dispel the Mist, Invisible Path, Bears With Us, Raging Water.”

RAGING WATER continues the intriguing adventures of Deputy Tempe Crabtree in the town of Bear Creek.

As Bear Creek is plagued by a burglar sneaking into houses during the night while the residents are sleeping, a killer is also on the loose. Deputy Tempe Crabtree is faced with the investigation of the murder of two close elderly friends. Both ladies were killed in similar manners leading the deputy to question what their connection was to each other and the killer.

To add to her problems, a storm descends on Bear Creek with relentless rain causing Bear Creek to turn into a raging river. The endless rain causes mudslides, and power outages. Tempe has to help residents find safe shelter as their small town is cut off from the outside world. With supplies getting lower and tempers rising, Tempe has her hands full all the while trying to catch a killer before he strikes again.

Tempe Crabtree is a strong, yet realistic, protagonist. Her character continues to grow and evolve with each new story. Meredith shows that Tempe, faced with challenges in both her professional and private life, struggles with everyday problems too. Meredith has included well-balanced supporting characters that add another layer to the story. They are entertaining and likable.

Meredith has created a delightful setting in the town of Bear Creek and its residents. Her descriptions of the storm and its aftermath places the reader among the residents feeling their heartache and hope at Mother Nature’s wrath. 

RAGING WATER moves at a steady pace holding the reader spellbound from the first encounter with the burglar to Tempe’s last dramatic confrontation. The suspense and mystery will keep readers guessing as they work their way through the twists and turns of this intriguing read. A rainy day may just take on a new meaning.

Do you enjoy books where the protagonist evolves as the series continues? Have books made you think differently about circumstances such as a rain storm or snow storm? Thanks so much for stopping by today. Remember, share a book with a friend.

*FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this eBook as part of the author’s blog tour. It was sent to me by the author in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Raging Water by Marilyn Meredith, A Deputy Tempe Crabtree Mystery, Mundania Press, @2012, ISBN: 978-1606593233, Paperback, 204 Pages


  1. Marilyn, thanks so much for visiting again. Your Deputy Tempe Crabtree Mysteries are always a delight to read. Wishing you much success.

  2. Mason - Thanks for hosting Meredith.

    Meredith - Such an interesting topic about how the media influences our perceptions about what we read. You make a well-taken point that it's harder for certain kinds of books - books with complex plots for instance - to translate well to television or film. Other novels translate better. Interesting points here! I wish you much success with Raging Water.

  3. Mason, I always love stopping by to see you and I love, love, loved your review! Thank you so much.

    Margot, than you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  4. From older generation so not influenced by modern media. Base my expectations upon books enjoyed over the years. Your writings have stood test of time. Like those complicated plots. Thanks to you both for interesting Blog.

  5. Jake, you always make me feel good. Thanks for following me on this tour.

  6. I'd love to see Tempe in a TV show or movie - as long as you retained creative control or at least input.

  7. How fun would that be, Lorna? I don't think you have much choice once you accept the money for the option. But, I'd sure love to have the decision to make, wouldn't you?

  8. Great post, Marilyn. I definitely prefer books to TV, precisely for the things you mention. I also find that TV will often push aside common sense for the sake of a good story. That irks me because authors are expected to keep things real for readers.

    Loved this new book. Hope it does well.

    Shout out to you, Mason. I always enjoy stopping by.

  9. Thank you, Cheryl, I'm so glad you enjoyed Raging Water.

  10. Again, Mason, I want to thank you for hosting me and even more for the lovely review.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.