There’s so much to praise here: Munier’s deep knowledge of the culture of hunting (especially the bow-and-arrow variety); her brisk, incisive characterizations; the way she maintains a taut line of suspense throughout; and, best of all, her portrayals of wounded yet still courageous pairs of humans and dogs. A not-to-be-missed K-9 mystery.
Munier does an admirable job of portraying such a plight with sensitivity; indeed, she showcases Henry’s extraordinary abilities (mathematical prowess and photographic recall among them) rather than focusing solely on the things that make him vulnerable, though the latter certainly enhance the story’s overall sense of urgency. The ongoing flirtation between Mercy and Troy, and the ill-timed reemergence of Troy’s estranged wife, add an element of romantic suspense that further complicates their halting relationship. And then there’s the picturesque New England setting, as seductive as it is savage, its seeming splendor belying the harsh realities of hunting season ... on target with the promise set forth with A Borrowing of Bones. While the story should stand alone adequately for new readers, the progression of characters (both human and canine) and circumstance will appeal to loyalists who’ve been anxiously awaiting a follow-up. Bottom line: If Paula Munier isn’t yet on your 'must-read' list, she should be.
Charming working dogs are the icing on the cake in this story, Vermont is as tough a character as Mercy, and Munier writes them with both intricacy and ease ... Returning readers will celebrate this sequel; those new to Mercy and Elvis will be delighted to catch a solid series in its early days. All will look forward to more.
There's much to enjoy here. Aside from the main characters (and dogs), the supporting players are well drawn and fascinating, including the wealthy scion of a Vermont family whose friends from prep school are not all they appear to be, including the scion’s wife. The Vermont setting is also depicted in detail, making non-New Englanders want to become 'peepers,' as the visitors who come to see the autumn colors are called. Mercy's grandmother, Patience, is a veterinarian, and her calming presence helps keep her granddaughter’s life in order ... The plot is intricate ... In this delightful book, there are subplots and mysteries within mysteries galore, along with a touch of romance. Above all, there are dogs --- lots of dogs doing wonderful things, like keeping children safe, following bad guys and finding a long-buried murder victim. Readers will look forward to the next installment for the chance to solve another mystery with Mercy and hear about the developments in her relationship with Troy and Susie Bear.
... appealing ... The hunting party’s overly complex interpersonal relationships often bog down the action, but Munier’s affection for the dogs she depicts, as well as Henry’s sweet bond with them, will warm hearts. Readers will look forward to the irresistible Mercy and Elvis’s next adventure.