Tempe Crabtree, the resident deputy of Bear Creek, a small community in southern Sierra, Tempe Crabtree must do her job while adjusting to a new marriage and raising her teenage son. Part Yanduchi, Tempe is in the process of learning about her heritage. Her involvement in Native American spirtualism cause problems in her relationship with her husband, Hutch, the minister of the local church.
In Deadly Omen a candidate for princess is murdered in a Native American Pow Wow while Tempe is working there in her capacity as deptuy. Tempe's investigation takes her onto the Yanduchi reservation. Hutch has difficulty with Tempe's grwoning interest in her heritage as she seeks the identity of the killer.