Thursday, August 5, 2021


 (I'm hosting my friend Marilyn Meredith today as she discusses her latest mystery. The floor is yours, Marilyn:)

Though this latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery is set in modern times there are two bits of history that I incorporated into the plot.

The oldest was about the Pechanga Indians, who do play a minor part in this story. Like many of the native people of California, they had many struggles because of the Spanish missionaries during the 1700s. In the 1870s they were evicted from their homeland. Over the years, I’ve included much of the horrible things that happened to the California Indians in other Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries, most notably the Tolowa tribe of far northern

California which was nearly wiped out. But many other tribes were forced from their homeland to settle in reservations.

Like the Pechanga Indians, times have changed for many tribes because of casinos. The Pechanga casino, located in Temecula, is a popular place. Besides gambling and many restaurants, it has a venue for concerts and other events, and it even has a large campground.

Another historical thread in The Trash Harem revolves around the author, Erle Stanley Gardner. Gardner’s primary home was located on what had been the Pechanga’s land. The sprawling ranch had twenty-seven buildings including cabins for his four full-time secretaries. Even his doctor had a home there. When Gardner died, his estranged wife sold the ranch in 1970. In 2001 it was sold again, this time to the Pechanga Indians.

Because I was a huge fan of Erle Stanley Gardner’s books and an even bigger fan of the Perry Mason TV show, it was fun to revisit both as I wrote The Trash Harem.

Marilyn Meredith


Deputy Tempe Crabtree has retired from her job in Bear Creek when friends, who once lived in Bear Creek and attended Pastor Hutch’s church, ask her to visit them in Temecula. The husband, Jonathan, is a suspect in what might be a murder case. The retirement community includes many interesting characters, any of whom might have had a better motive than Jonathan. There is also a connection to Earle Stanley Gardner as well as the Pechanga Old Oak. What is a trash harem? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

To purchase The Trash Harem

Marilyn Meredith’s Bio:

She is the author of over 40 published books including the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, and writing as F. M. Meredith, the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. She’s a member of two chapters of Sisters in Crime and the Public Safety Writers Association.











  1. Once again, thank you for hosting m on your blog. As I re-read what I wrote, I'm not sure if it was Gardner's estranged wife, or the one he married after she died who sold the ranch property.

    1. Glad to do it, Marilyn. I don't recall if there's anything about the sale but Dorothy Hughes devoted an entire chapter on the ranch in her excellent biography of Erle Stanely Gardner.

  2. Congrats, Marilyn! Great to know you are still writing as well.

  3. Thanks for commenting, Jacqueline. i enjoy your newsletter.

  4. I find the reference to history in this book fascinating. You've got my attention. I think I'll really enjoy this one. Thanks, Marilyn!

  5. I liked everything about Trash Harem, including the historical ties! This post, Marilyn, reminds me how much I like your latest. Smiling, remembering one tie in particular...

  6. Interesting, Marilyn. Little known history about what we call indigenous people is coming to light as well. A terrible history.

  7. Should have been clearer. I mean in Canada.

  8. Interesting info about Erle Stanley Gardner.

  9. This is one of my favorites in the series--and this is one of my favorite mystery series. Loved the humor and the historical information.