Fringe Benefits #3 in the RBPD series

Available in paper or for Kindle::

A bit about Fringe Benefits from the author.

This is the beginning of Officer Gordon Butler's woes.

Officer Cal Sylvester is loosely based on a police officer I once knew--he was not the best person or cop--but as far as I know didn't do what Cal does in Fringe Benefits.

It all began when I asked my cop son-in-law, "If you were going to kill your wife, what would you do so you could get away with it?" He gave me a really good idea and I used it in Fringe Benefits.


“...Fringe Benefits take you into the lives and homes of several police officers of Rocky Bluff a small community in California. You learn their interactions with their wives and families as well as their thoughts towards their jobs....

“F. M. Meredith keeps you guessing throughout the book. I am hoping that she will continue the Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery series. This is the third book in the series and my first so I have some catching up to do. Fringe Benefits is a fast, interesting read and ...”I think the police officers in Rocky Bluff are typical of police officers everywhere with the same ambitions and stumbling blocks...” but I hope there aren't too many Cal Sylvester's out there.”

Book Bitch Reviews:

FRINGE BENEFITS by F.M. Meredith: If you are going to commit a murder, it can be helpful to be a cop. Officer Cal Sylvester’s affair with Darcy Butler, wife of a fellow policeman, is going into the deep freeze. Only money will rekindle the flame and Sylvester thinks he knows how to get it, by collecting his wife’s life insurance. Of course, there is one little detail that needs to be taken care of. Enter sixteen-year-old Adler “Patch” Costello, who runs away from home and right into trouble. In the meantime there is a dangerous rapist on the loose who strikes every Wednesday. The third of Meredith’s Rocky Bluff P. D. series. Lets hope there are many more. 02/07 Jack Quick          

Set among the Rocky Bluff P.D., Meredith weaves an intriguing tale of Officer Cal Sylvester who takes a fancy to his rookie partner’s luscious wife Darcy Gordon.
The tale covers the daily lives of department P.D. Officers, their families, trials and tribulations, and their woes.

But wait, is it just the normal department, is it the normal day-to-day meanderings of those chosen to serve the people. Notice the pun on “service the people.” Cal Sylvester goes above and beyond the service of duty when his attraction to Darcy Gordon takes a turn to the hills.
Highly recommended reading for those looking for a good mystery, an entanglement of lives and the results of deadly provocation.” Review by Bonti
In a way, Fringe Benefits is reminiscent of a Wambaugh novel. It is a tale of police work, the lives and trials and tribulations of the cops on the small town force of Rocky Bluffs, CA. It is the third in the Rocky Bluffs P.D. series, although it is the first read by this reviewer.

While the book consists of short vignettes of cops on the job, the main thrust of the novel is the illicit sexual liaison between the bored wife of one patrolman and one of his co-workers, which leads to the planning of the “perfect” murder. The sex-driven cop, to satisfy his paramour, arranges the death of his wife to obtain $2 million in double-indemnity insurance money. They then marry and the plot takes a twist, which the reader (at least this one) doesn’t expect. It’s a fast and enjoyable read.—Theodore Feit on DorothyL

The third novel in the Rocky Bluff Police Department series opens with base behaviors depicting bad men. A young mother is raped in her apartment building's laundry room on a Wednesday morning. Cal Sylvester is a training officer for the rookie Gordon Butler and he hates it though he admits that Gordon's wife makes it somewhat worthwhile. He fully intends to get intimately acquainted with her despite his own marriage and hers. Elsewhere in the small town, an out of control teenager plots his escape.

Those are just a few of the storylines in the slice of life police procedural style novel by F. M. Marilyn known to most as Marilyn Meredith. As the days pass and the cases intermingle, so do the lives of numerous officers depicted in this novel. Some will do the right thing as they serve and protect their community and each other. Others will dishonor the badge they wear and the oaths they took and slide downhill morally bankrupt. Stress is a common theme throughout all their lives and the way the characters cope with the demands of the job at work and off duty tells readers everything they need to know in this ongoing series.

The result is an entertaining read that holds reader interest with several twist and turns. While not as gritty or intense as other reads in this genre niche, this novel is interesting and enjoyably depicts police life in a fictional small town. The concepts covered are universal and apply not only to members of law enforcement but for any readers who work in high stress jobs. The book, though short on length, delivers a good tale told well and one that for the most part is completely resolved by the end of the book.
--Kevin R. Tipple © 2007

F. M. Meredith aka Marilyn Meredith


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