Marilyn Meredith – Not As It Seems
I’d like to welcome back one of my favorite mystery authors, Marilyn Meredith.
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.
Not as It Seems
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.
What Inspired Not as it Seems?
Since this is a question I like to ask other authors, I’m happy to answer this one. Like most of my books, several things percolated in my brain before they combined to become a story.
Far too many murders have been happening in and around Bear Creek. Because of the Cabot Cove syndrome, I wanted to take Tempe someplace new to solve a crime. Because Tempe’s son, Blair, announced his engagement in the last book, River Spirits, going to Morro Bay for the wedding seemed logical. Plus I love Morro Bay and have many friends who live in the nearby area.
Blair’s bride-to-be is Ethiopian with a bit of Italian blood, so I needed to do a bit of research into her Ethiopian heritage. While doing that, I came across the disappearing hitch-hiker legend which has Ethiopian and biblical roots and of course it had to be woven into the plot.
As all plots do, it began reaching out to many other levels, the spirits of the Native people in the Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo area, the beautiful places to hike and visit, and the residential care business for people with mental illness.
To see how it all fits in, you’ll have to read Not as it Seems.
Here is an excerpt:
Tempe and her husband, Hutch, traveled to Morro Bay for her son Blair’s wedding. Blair asked Hutch to officiate at the ceremony, and both he and Tempe looked forward to meeting Blair’s fiancée and her family.
Soon after checking into the Bay Cottage Inn, on one of the main streets of Morro Bay leading toward the beach, Blair arrived.
Her son’s anguished expression alarmed Tempe. .
“Oh, honey.” She hugged him. “What’s wrong?”
Blair sank into a chair at the table in the small room. “I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep anything from you. Amaresh’s best friend is missing.”
“What do you mean?”
“No one has heard from her and we’ve talked to everyone who knows her and she doesn’t seem to be anywhere. Amaresh is so upset I don’t know whether or not we’ll be able to go through with the wedding.”
“You have gone to the police, right?”
“Of course. They were reluctant at first to even take the report. The desk sergeant went through the rigmarole that Kathy, that’s her name, Kathy Welling, is an adult and has the right to disappear if she so desires.”
“Amaresh became so angry I was afraid of what she might say. Though her eyes blazed, she explained carefully that Kathy is one of her best friends and was looking forward to being the maid of honor in her upcoming wedding. Finally the officer took down all the information, but I don’t think the police are doing much about it.”
“Oh, honey, that’s terrible. Have you checked with her family and all of her friends?”
“Of course, Mom, but no one knows anything.”
“What do you want me to do?” Tempe asked.
“I was hoping you’d ask. Do you think you could see what you could find out?”
Tempe glanced at Hutch who ran his fingers through his already mussed auburn hair and frowned.
He said, “Don’t you think it would be better if the investigation was left up to the local police department?”
Blair shook his head. “No, I don’t. They aren’t going to work fast enough for Amaresh. What do you say, Mom?”
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 visiting with Linda Thorne http://www.lindathorne.com/blog/ where I mentioned how I used her name for one of the characters in Not as it Seems.
Marilyn and I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to leave a comment and you may end up in Marilyn’s next novel.
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