Monday, July 25, 2022

"The Wedding Plot"

Paula Munier is a literary agent and the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Mercy Carr mysteries. A Borrowing of Bones, the first in the series, was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award and named the Dogwise Book of the Year. The sequel Blind Search, inspired by the real-life rescue of a little boy with autism who got lost in the woods, was followed by The Hiding Place in 2021.

Munier applied the Page 69 Test to The Wedding Plot, the new Mercy Carr mystery, and reported the following:
Turn to page 69 in The Wedding Plot, my fourth Mercy Carr mystery, and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a crime scene. The crime scene is a stall in a barn on a goat farm in southern Vermont. Our heroine Mercy has gone there with her retired bomb-sniffing dog Elvis on a mission to find Bodhi St. George, the spa director at the fancy resort where her grandmother Patience is getting married that weekend. Bodhi has gone missing, and the wedding planner from hell—Mercy’s mother, determined to give Patience the perfect nuptials—has gone ballistic. Without Bodhi, wedding guests will miss out on the special spa day she’s planned as part of the extravaganza. She calls upon Mercy to find Bodhi and bring him back. Bodhi lives in a bungalow on the goat farm, so Mercy and Elvis head there. They search his place, and find nothing. That’s when Elvis leads her to the barn—and they find a man skewered by a pitchfork.

And no, it’s not the spa director.

By page 69, the medical examiner and the Crime Scene Search Team have examined the body in the barn. When Dr. Darling and CSST leader Bob come out, Mercy’s waiting for them with Elvis. Game warden Troy Warner and his search-and-rescue dog Susie Bear are with them.

From page 69:
“Have you been able to identify the victim?” Mercy had to ask.

“Go ahead and tell her,” said Dr. Darling. “She’s going to find out sooner or later anyway.”

“No wallet, no ID, no keys.”

“Maybe the killer took them,” said Mercy.

“No cell?’ asked Troy.

“Just a burner.”

“If the killer did empty his pockets, why not take the phone?” Mercy wondered aloud.

“Found the phone hidden in the hay by the gate.”

“So maybe the killer missed it.”

“Anything else?” asked Troy, with an edge to his voice that revealed his growing frustration with the CSST chief.

Bob appeared not to notice Troy’s impatience. “The victim’s clothes and boots are common brands you can buy most anywhere.” He shrugged. “Going back in.”

He trudged back into the barn. Mercy was glad he was gone; Dr. Darling was always the better source of information. Especially when you got her on her own.
Page 69 reflects the fact that The Wedding Plot is a mystery, but there’s a lot more to this story than murder. As anyone who’s ever been in a wedding knows, weddings can be murder in more ways than one. The dead body in the barn is just the first in a series of deadly disasters that plague the resort and the wedding party—and it’s up to Mercy and Elvis to keep the bride and groom safe, till death do they part.
Visit Paula Munier's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Paula Munier & Bear.

The Page 69 Test: A Borrowing of Bones.

The Page 69 Test: Blind Search.

The Page 69 Test: The Hiding Place.

Q&A with Paula Munier.

My Book, The Movie: The Wedding Plot.

--Marshal Zeringue