MA: I am honored to welcome back to my blog, Marilyn Meredith, arguably one of the most prolific mystery writers who has ever guested with me. Marilyn first appeared on my blog back in 2010 when I interviewed her about her then newly-released novel, Dispel the Mist, her eighth in the Tempe Crabtree mystery series. You can read that former post by going here: Marilyn Meredith Sleuths In For An Interview With Mike Angley.
F.M. Meredith aka Marilyn Meredith is the author of over 30 published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest being Bears With Us from Mundania Press.
Marilyn is a member of EPIC (Electronically Published Internet Connection), four chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Internet chapter, and Mystery Writers of America. She is also on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America.
CONTEST: The person who comments on the most blogs on Marilyn’s tour will win three books in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series: No Sanctuary, An Axe to Grind, and Angel Lost. Be sure and leave your email too, so she can contact you!
Welcome back, Marilyn! I know you are anxious to tell us about your newest novel, No Bells. Is it a standalone story or one of your many series books?
MM: No Bells is number eight in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. Though this is that far along in the series, I write each book so that it can be read without going back and starting at the beginning. (Because I’ve had so many different publishers for this series—and that’s a whole other story—the first four in the series are only available as e-books.)
MA: Tell us about the series and about No Bells.
MM: In this series, there is a group of ongoing characters, the men and women of the Rocky Bluff Police Department and their families. In each book, though everyone does make an appearance and you find out what’s going on in each one’s life, one or two characters have what might be called the starring role. In this particular book, that person in Officer Gordon Butler.
MA: That’s an interesting approach, rotating through different protagonists in each book of the series. So tell us about Butler and his role as the protagonist in No Bells.
MM: Gordon Butler was never meant to be the hero of any book or at least I never expected him to be. He made his first appearance in Fringe Benefits when his training officer turned out to be a very bad cop. Gordon’s life was changed because of what happens in this tale—but not his personality. He made small appearances in subsequent books and I learned that he’d become a favorite of many of my readers.
MA: Tell us more about his personality; I’m interested in the fact that he’s an unlikely hero based upon his roles in prior Rocky Bluff PD books.
MM: Officer Gordon Butler loves being a cop, that’s all he ever wanted to be. He knows all the laws and he’s definitely a “by the book” police officer. He’s loyal to his friends and in No Bells stands up for his new love even though she becomes the major suspect in a murder case.
No matter what Gordon does, things never turn out quite like he hopes. At times he seems to be like the cartoon character with a dark cloud hovering above him. If something can go wrong for Gordon, it probably will. In No Bells his actions jeopardize his job.
The “bad guy” isn’t known until near the end of the book. No Bells is a murder mystery, a puzzle where the detectives are trying to figure out the identity of the murderer.
MA: When and where can my readers get a copy of No Bells?
MM: No Bells is available now as a trade paperback and e-book for all the usual places.
MA: Marilyn, it’s always a pleasure to have you as a guest on my blog, and I wish you well with No Bells. Is there anything else you’d like to add.
MM: Mike was kind enough to allow me to visit his blog today while I’m on my tour for No Bells. I’m a big fan of his thrillers. My book, though it is a police procedural, it borders on being a cozy. My police department, Rocky Bluff P.D., is small and most of the detecting is done the old-fashioned way. I always like to say the RBPD is my department and I can do it anyway I want.
Rocky Bluff is a beach community on the Southern California coast located between Ventura and Santa Barbara. There is no real town like Rocky Bluff.
My goal in this series is, and has been since the beginning, to show how what happens on the job affects the family, and how what is happening with the family affects the job.
MA: THANKS, Marilyn!