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Home at Night: A Mercy Carr Mystery


Home at Night: A Mercy Carr Mystery

Atmosphere can be everything in a murder mystery. Paula Munier goes to great lengths to ensure that HOME AT NIGHT is filled not only with dead bodies, but with lots and lots of creepy Halloween vibes.

The Mercy Carr series is set in Vermont, which is where our protagonist is from. Mercy is a veteran, and her beloved Elvis was a military dog for her fiancé, who was killed in action. She lives in a beautiful cabin with Troy, the game warden she married; a young friend Amy, along with her baby and boyfriend; Troy's working dog, Susie Bear; and a rescued cat. It's a lot for a small house, so they've been shopping for a new place.

They fall in love with a 150-year-old mansion on a large piece of land with several outbuildings. It needs a lot of work, but that's not a huge hurdle for them. Even the long-standing rumors of a ghost on the property don't deter them. What might be an obstacle, though, is the lifeless body they find in the library as they are looking at the house for the first time.

"Munier is like a master juggler. She presents multiple murder victims with various causes of death and keeps all those 'balls' in the air as we try to figure out the 'whodunit' part."

The mansion belonged to a famous poet, Euphemia Whitney-Jones, and Mercy will uncover secrets there. With the fall leaves in New England turning brilliant shades of russet, red, yellow and orange, hordes of tourists are in town. In addition, there are the locals who are supposedly poachers selling endangered wildlife overseas, and the society of poets who gather, so suspects abound. As more bodies pile up over the course of these six days, the number of possible killers and motivations grows.

Levi Beecher, who was the caretaker of the old house for decades, and his sister Adah, a poet and organic gardener (including a poison plant garden), become allies as Mercy and Troy try to stay ahead of the bad guys. As with all of Munier's books in the series, you can jump right in with this one. There's no need to have read the previous novels, although learning the backstory of the characters is worthwhile. Munier catches us up on the important stuff, like Mercy and Troy's wedding.

A lot happens to Mercy in HOME AT NIGHT, and there's one mystery Munier leaves tantalizingly unsolved. We strongly suspect that the ghostly presence in Mercy and Troy's new house will be revisited in a future book. In the meantime, we can satisfy ourselves with the pleasure of reading about Mercy and Elvis, an almost superhero duo. And here's a hint: if Elvis likes someone, you can be sure that individual isn’t stirring up trouble. He's an excellent judge of character.

Munier is like a master juggler. She presents multiple murder victims with various causes of death and keeps all those "balls" in the air as we try to figure out the "whodunit" part. It's all good fun until there's a dead body in the corn maze. Be forewarned.

Reviewed by Pamela Kramer on November 10, 2023

Home at Night: A Mercy Carr Mystery
by Paula Munier

  • Publication Date: October 17, 2023
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books
  • ISBN-10: 1250887895
  • ISBN-13: 9781250887894