cover image A Borrowing of Bones

A Borrowing of Bones

Paula Munier. Minotaur, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-15303-6

Retired military police officer Mercy Carr, the 29-year-old heroine of literary agent Munier’s delightful first novel and series launch, and her bomb-sniffing Belgian shepherd, Elvis, are recovering in rural Vermont from the death of the man they both loved, Sergeant Martinez, who was killed in combat a year earlier in Afghanistan. During a hike in the woods, Mercy and Elvis discover a baby and contact the authorities. Fish and Wildlife game warden Troy Warner arrives with his search-and-rescue dog, Susie Bear, and the dogs detect human remains buried nearby. When the baby later disappears from a local hospital, Mercy and Elvis investigate, with sometimes reluctant assistance from Troy and Susie Bear. Munier (The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings) allows the attraction between Mercy and Troy to develop organically, though the book falls prey to some typical first novel shortcomings, including a convoluted plot and implausible intuitive leaps. The portrayal of working dogs will appeal to fans of David Rosenfelt and Margaret Mizushima. The blend of lovingly detailed setting and lively characters, both human and canine, makes this a series to watch. Author tour. (Sept.)