Paula Munier: The Wedding Plot

Paula Munier’s insanely readable Mercy Carr series has so far never disappointed, and The Wedding Plot is no exception.  As the book opens, Mercy’s mother, Grace, has been meticulously planning her mother’s wedding to her long-time beau Claude at the swanky inn her aunt Prudence runs (with an iron fist).   Between these two intimidating ladies, the wedding is proceeding on a path that looks to have Mercy in bridesmaid’s satin pumps and a blowout hairdo before she knows it.

It would not be a mystery novel, however, if all went as planned.  Frist, the spa’s yoga instructor disappears, and Mercy is pressed into service, leading the wedding guests through the classes he was supposed to take on.  And while all this sounds slightly like a cozy set up – wedding, yoga instructor (and wait, there are goats) – it’s far from it.  Munier takes a normal domestic situation – a wedding, something everyone has experienced as guest or participant – and turns it into an action novel. read more

Best of 2021

There are two authors whose work is so consistently excellent I don’t add them to my best of lists anymore, but I can tell you that William Kent Krueger’s prequel to his Cork O’Connor series, Lightning Strike, is beautifully written, felt and told; and Louise Penny’s The Madness of Crowds, a sly look at devotees of a flawed charismatic leader, is a beautiful read.  Both writers have a quality of heart and spirit that give their books an extra something, and their main characters, Cork O’Connor and Armand Gamache, are beloved by readers. Soon to join these two are Elly Griffiths and Ann Cleeves, both of whom turned in stellar reads this year (see below).  I invite readers to cast their reading nets a bit wider and consider some of these other fine titles.  These are all books that stayed with me and left me thinking after I finished them. read more

Paula Munier: The Hiding Place

This is a favorite new series.  The books feature Mercy Carr and her military dog, Elvis, who have come home to Vermont to nurse their wounds (and their PTSD) after losing the love of both their lives, Martinez, in Afghanistan.  Both have reacclimated to a degree, though Mercy has a hard time with trust and tends to hold herself back when it comes to relationships.  While Mercy is slightly on the outs with her perhaps boyfriend, game warden Troy, her life is a full one.  She’s taken in a teenage mother, her baby, and her boyfriend; she has a tight relationship with her grandmother, Patience, a vet; and she and Elvis are now working as a complete team. read more

November Book Club: A Borrowing of Bones

Join us on Thursday, November 21, 6 p.m. at the Session Room to discuss Paula Munier’s debut, A Borrowing of Bones.  This well written novel focuses on Mercy (human) and Elvis (canine), both back from Afghanistan and both suffering from PTSD.  Together they form a good team.  Setting, character and plot are all excellent – all are welcome to join our discussion! Read my review here