Monday, September 21, 2015

A visit with Oak Tree Press Author Marilyn Meredith: WHAT DOES ETHIOPIA HAVE TO DO WITH MY LATEST MYSTERY?

Today, I'm hosting fellow mystery writer and Oak Tree Press author, Marilyn Meredith, whose credits include the Rocky Bluff P.D. series as well as the Tempe Crabtree series. Marilyn, tell us about your latest Tempe Crabtree mystery, "Not As It Seems".

In the last Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, River Spirits, Blair announces his engagement to a young woman whose family came from Ethiopia.  I felt like the next book should incorporate the wedding which, of course, should include the bride’s family.

This meant of course, doing some research into several things.

The bride’s name is Amaresh Barili. I mentioned in the previous book that she is Ethiopian and Italian. I needed some history about why Italian.

Of course I had to find names for her mother and father, and come up with a history for both of them.

For their home, I described the house that our Italian neighbors  built and lived in across the street from me when I was growing up in Los Angeles.

Because I like to include food in my mysteries, I needed to discover some Ethiopian dishes for the parents to serve. Though I’ve never tasted what I included, writing about them made me hungry.

I love legends. A major part of the plot is the Ethiopian legend of the disappearing hitchhiker which comes from the New Testament.

Though the wedding itself isn’t Ethiopian, I wanted to include some Ethiopian touches.

While doing the research, I also learned a few things from a friend on the Central Coast, Paul Fahey, who’d been assigned to Ethiopia while in the Peace Corp.

Research took me on a fascinating journey to a most intriguing place.
--Marilyn Meredith

Not as It Seems Blurb:
Tempe and Hutch travel to Morro Bay for son Blair’s wedding, but when the maid-of-honor disappears, Tempe tries to find her. The search is complicated by ghosts and Native spirits.

Character Naming Contest:
Once again, I’ll name a character after the person who leaves a comment on the most blogs.
Tomorrow I’ll be stopping by
with the topic, Eating Your Way Through a Mystery.  

Bio: Marilyn Meredith now lives in the foothills of the Southern Sierra, about 1000 feet lower than Tempe’s Bear Creek, but much resembles the fictional town and surroundings. She has nearly 40 books published, mostly mysteries. Besides writing, she loves to give presentations to writers’ groups. She’s on the board of the Public Safety Writers Association, and a member of Mystery Writers of America and three chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Central Coast chapter.


  1. It was great having you and I loved the book! Can't wait to see what's up next for Tempe!

  2. The research for this novel sounds as fun as writing it. Wonderful how we can never stop learning about new cultures/foods/places.

  3. Hi, Nancy, I agree. I had a great time finding out new facts about Ethiopia!

  4. Among those posts I've seen, this is the most particular one, and I think the blogger must have spent lots of time on it, thank you so much!

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  5. Dear Ms. Meredith,

    I have been trying to find out the where about of my beloved Peace Corps English teacher, Mr. Paul Fahey, back in Addis Abeba,Ethiopia in the sixth, ever since I came to the US in 1973. You have no idea how excited I was to google and find your mentioning his name above!

    I hope he is still with us and well! I would be most grateful if you would pass along my best wishes to him!

    Best wishes to you as well!

    Dan Bekele
    Atlanta, Georgia