Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The Hiding Place by Paula Munier

First Line: Summer 1999. Beautiful women kept you waiting with a clear conscience because they really believed that the party didn't start until they got there.
 
When her late grandfather's dying deputy hands Mercy Carr the cold case that's always haunted him, the timing couldn't be worse. The man who murdered her grandfather has just escaped from prison, and a fellow Army veteran has turned up, claiming that Elvis is his dog, not hers. What does finding Beth Kilgore twenty years after she disappeared got to do with these events that are threatening everything she holds most dear?
 
It's the last straw when her beloved grandmother goes missing. Mercy needs help, and it means that she has to forgive Vermont Game Warden Troy Warner long enough to enlist his aid. With time running out, Mercy and her dog Elvis must team up with Troy and his search-and-rescue dog Susie Bear to unravel long-buried secrets and find her grandmother.

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Paula Munier's Mercy Carr series gets stronger with each book. In this third entry, The Hiding Place, much of the mystery and the action concern Mercy's relationships with all the people in her life. A great deal of tension also comes from Hallet, the Army veteran who is determined to take Elvis away from Mercy. Readers of the series will know how important woman and dog are to each other, so I have to admit that I was often more concerned with deducing how Hallet could be convinced to leave well enough alone than I was with all the other elements in Munier's multi-layered mystery.
 
There's much to like about the "bones" of this series. Mercy herself is a strong, fascinating character as are others like game warden Troy Warner. Munier also brings her setting of the Vermont outdoors to life. Of course, there is also the very strong draw of the resident working dogs: Elvis the Belgian Malinois, a former war dog suffering from PTSD, and Troy's search-and-rescue Newfoundland mix, Susie Bear. (I do wish that Munier would stop referring to Susie's "pumpkin head" so much, however.) There's even the added bonus of a third dog, a gorgeous golden retriever, Sunny, whom Mercy calls the "mood ring of dogs."

If you enjoy multi-layered mysteries set in the great outdoors and filled with marvelous dogs and strong humans, you should become acquainted with Paula Munier's Mercy Carr series. Do that, and you've set yourself up for some mighty fine reading.
 
 
 
The Hiding Place by Paula Munier
eISBN: 9781250153081
Minotaur Books © 2021
eBook, 336 pages
 
Law Enforcement/Working Dog, #3 Mercy & Elvis mystery
Rating: A
Source: Net Galley

27 comments:

  1. I do like the setting for this one, Cathy. And Mercy sounds like a well-developed and interesting character. It takes skill to create a story where the sleuth's personal life gets mixed up in the main mystery without it being 'too much' if that makes sense. So I give Munier credit for that.

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    1. Munier does strike a good balance of mystery and personal life.

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  2. Working dogs catch my interest every time. I'd like to start at the beginning of this series!

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    1. Good idea. Starting at the beginning is almost always best for character development.

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  3. I don't know the series, but I'm kind of intrigued about the relationship between the woman and the dog. That's the kind of twist that makes a mystery memorable. I'm finally catching up a bit on my TBR due-dates; might just be time to take a look at another new series.

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    1. You just mentioned the main reason why I don't frequent libraries, although I would fight to the death to keep them open. Due dates!

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  4. I'm waiting somewhat patiently for my library to receive their copies, and for my turn on the hold list to come for this one ...

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  5. Wow. A three-dog night as the song says. That is the draw for me. I will look for this book.

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    1. And they're three marvelous dogs, too. Three Dog Night was one of my favorite groups as a teen.

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  6. I didn't remember their name, but when I looked up their top songs, I remember them.

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    1. I had a dog named Jeremy after my favorite TV character, and every time I started singing, "Jeremiah was a bull frog!" Jere thought I was singing to him.

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  7. I didn't remember their name, but when I listened to Joy to the World, I knew it all, and I knew some of My Mama done told me. So I know the three dogs, human that is.
    I saw Paula Munier and Margaret Mizamishu on PP the other day on Facebook. It was fun. Someone said an author who writes about dogs must have some and rescue some.
    Paula said she has a Belgian malinois mix who always needs to run and exercise, a Newfoundland mix who wakes up happy and is always happt, and a new Great Pyrenees mix who loves to sleep and eat. (that sounds worthwhile). I don't know how she manages with three huge dogs, but she lives in New Hampshire and must have land. And Margaret has a working border collie, who helps with their cattle and two German short-haired pointers.
    So a lot of dog news in that discussion.
    And then I saw David Rosenfelt at PP, on last night. And after all of his and his spouse Debbie's rescues, they have 12 dogs left. They couldn't use his office for the interview, as Lucy, their 185-pound mastiff has sneezed and drooled over his computer, etc. He explained how he became a dog lunatic (his word). Barbara was disappointed their dogs weren't in the interview.

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    1. I'll be watching Rosenfelt soon. I did watch Munier and Mizushima. I enjoy the photos Munier posts on her Instagram account.

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  8. I really could lose myself in those interviews. And then I'm listening to Women's Prize for Fiction podcasts. I have to intermingle my mystery and non-mystery reading these days. Too many dead bodies has to be balanced out.

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    1. You'd think that, with the way I don't mind reading about dead bodies all the time, that I would have made a good coroner or the like, but it's not so.

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  9. That's cute about Jeremy.
    It's so amazig about dog people and readers. Rosenfelt said his books didn't sell until publishers put dogs on the cover.
    At the end of the interview, Barbara brought out her dog, who I don't think was ready for prime time. I could easily spend my life watching and listening to interviews and podcasts.
    I did listen to the Women's Prize for Fiction long list, of which I have read one book. I am determined to intersperse my reading choices.
    No offense to anyone from England, but some of these upper class accents turn me off when I hear speakers from England. My neighbor is a working-class guy from Birmingham. Him I'll listen to for ages, and he's witting. But the upper class accents of those who mainly read their classics is a bit much.

    Give me a Michael Connelly book or a Sara Paretsky book any day.
    I like Elly Griffiths way of speaking, but yikes, listening to some women who all sound so upper-class, takes self-discipline.

    I'd rather read about the streets of LA or NYC than a vast estate with a mansion in England. And I like Val McDermid even though her Scottish accent is so thick. She doesn't have an aura of snobbery nor do many other Scottish or Irish or Welsh writers.

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    1. People's "ears" (or lack thereof) for accents always interests me. If you think Val McDermid's accent is thick, I'd like to turn you loose in certain areas of Glasgow.

      When I learned something about actor Robert Carlyle, it made me like him even more. When he was just learning the craft at RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts), one of the first things the instructors did was try to erase their native accents and teach them the "plummy" posh English accents. Carlyle refused to get rid of his native Glaswegian accent and took acting lessons elsewhere.

      The overblown upper class British accents I don't like at all, but then I have to admit that I'm much more partial to how they speak in Lancashire and Yorkshire and Northumberland. I'm a true northerner in that regard, pet!

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  10. I don't think I've heard a full-out Glaswegian accent. I have heard Denise Mina speak, but I understand her. I'll try to find a speaker of Glaswegian.
    I'd rather hear a regular person from Britain speak without the upper-class accent, too. My neighbor from Birmingham has an accent I understand, and he's convenient when I find a term in a book or a word I don't know in English idioms.
    I've had to either give up or use captions for some Scottish accents.
    It is funny to watch a movie filmed in Britain where every actor has a different accent. I find the Scottish ones the hardest to understand. But I confess I occasionally use the captions.

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    1. I've heard a full-out from-the-poorer-sections-of-Glasgow accent three times, and all three times I felt as though I'd been beamed up on a completely different planet.

      Denis provides the same service for me as your Brummie friend.

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  11. I just listened to a video of a Glaswegian accent. Some words would be very hard to understand.
    When I watched Bloody Scotland zooms, I could understand the discussion, which was hilarious (lots of beer involved). The men tease each other mercilessly, but so funny.

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    1. I love the Scots, but that only stands to reason. A lot of Scots blood runs in my veins.

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  12. Good for you Scottish ancestors.
    I feel that way about my Irish ancestors.

    I'll have to check out those Northern accents. I do understand the hilarious John Oliver, who is from Liverpool. But his mind races as does his voice, so sometimes I miss a few words.

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  13. OK. I listened to Lancashire, Yorkshire and Northumberland accents. The Lancashire was fine. The Northumberland accent was OK, but the person spoke very fast, and if he had slowed down, I would have gotten it all.
    Now, Yorkshire, yikes. I heard a woman pronounce several words, very different from our pronunciation. But then there were several words unknown to me and to the English woman host. So the woman from Yorkshire had to define several words and idioms. Turns out there are four accents in Yorkshire, which were explained. And it's complicated.

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    1. The Lancashire accent is Denis's accent. Someone mentioned his "posh" accent once, and he was stunned.

      I think Yorkshire is proud of being complicated. :-)

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  14. Lancashire's is not a posh accent. What?

    Yorkshire - the woman I saw/heard on a video who is from Yorkshire was so much fun, pronouncing words, but also explaining words new to the host of the video.

    What does one call just a regular English accent that we understand, but is not from a British boarding school?

    It seems that many people can't understand others from different regions. The fact that Yorkshire has four accents is hilarious to me. People guess at which part of Yorkshire residents are from, even those who live there. What fun.

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    1. That's why Denis was gobsmacked when someone told him he had a posh accent.

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