Thursday, May 12, 2022

Book & Audio Review: A Borrowing of Bones by Paula Munier

A Borrowing of Bones

Paula Munier
Narrator: Kathleen McInerney
Series: A Mercy Carr Mystery
Publication: Minotaur Books (September 11, 2018); Macmillan Audio (September 11, 2018)
Length: 331 p.; 11 hours and 58 minutes

Description The first in a gripping new series by Paula Munier, A Borrowing of Bones is full of complex twists, introducing a wonderful new voice for mystery readers and dog lovers.

Grief and guilt are the ghosts that haunt you when you survive what others do not….

After their last deployment, when she got shot, her fiancé Martinez got killed and his bomb-sniffing dog Elvis got depressed, soldier Mercy Carr and Elvis were both sent home, her late lover’s last words ringing in her ears: “Take care of my partner.”

Together the two former military police—one twenty-nine-year-old two-legged female with wounds deeper than skin and one handsome five-year-old four-legged Malinois with canine PTSD—march off their grief mile after mile in the beautiful remote Vermont wilderness.

Even on the Fourth of July weekend, when all of Northshire celebrates with fun and frolic and fireworks, it’s just another walk in the woods for Mercy and Elvis—until the dog alerts to explosives and they find a squalling baby abandoned near a shallow grave filled with what appear to be human bones.

U.S. Game Warden Troy Warner and his search and rescue Newfoundland Susie Bear respond to Mercy’s 911 call, and the four must work together to track down a missing mother, solve a cold-case murder, and keep the citizens of Northshire safe on potentially the most incendiary Independence Day since the American Revolution.

It’s a call to action Mercy and Elvis cannot ignore, no matter what the cost.

My Thoughts: Mercy Carr was an MP in Afghanistan until she was shot, her fiancé was killed and she inherited his depressed service dog Elvis. Mercy heads back home to Vermont where she and Elvis are trying to get over their various traumas by taking long walks in the woods. Mercy isn't interacting with anyone except her grandmother Patience who is a veterinarian. 

When Mercy comes across an abandoned baby in the woods and an unmarked grave, her isolation needs to come to an end. She calls 911 and her call is answered by game warden Troy Warner and his Newfoundland Susie Bear. Mercy had had a crush on Troy when she was fourteen and he was one of the lifeguards where she swam. She hasn't seen him since but knows that he married the prettiest girl in town sometime after she left.

Troy's marriage is on the rocks and he's much happier out in the woods than dealing with people. But together the four of them - two two-legs and two four-legs - manage to work together to find and lose and find again the baby's mother, to solve the cold case murder, solve a couple of other murders, and discover what else is happening during a busy Fourth of July weekend.

I really loved Mercy's relationship with her dog Elvis and Troy's relationship with Susie Bear. I liked the growing relationship between Mercy and Troy too. It was great watching Mercy begin to interact with other people again without ever losing her memories of her deceased fiancé. 

The mystery was intriguing. The setting was well-developed. And the characters were interesting and well-rounded people. I look forward to reading more in this series. I mainly listened to the audio version of this story narrated by Kathleen McInerney who did a fine job with the voices and pacing of this story. 

Favorite Quote:
This is what it felt like to engage with the world, to care what happened next, and to whom. This was dangerous. But this was living.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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