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    Laugh out loud mystery!

    The Mercy Watts mysteries just keep getting better and better. My Bad Grandad by A. W. Hartoin is the seventh entry in the Mercy Watts Mysteries series and I loved it. Mercy’s got troubles. She’s Mercy; she’s always got troubles. Her cop boyfriend Chuck is dealing with some trauma. In addition, they need to make some money after their trip to Paris in “The Wife of Riley” so Mercy is singing with the band Double Black Diamond. Not her favorite thing. The members seem to count their age in rock years, kind of like dog years but in reverse. Ugh. So when she gets the chance to leave her troubles behind and attend the motorcycle rally and Vietnam Veteran Reunion in Sturgis, South Dakota, with her grandad, Ace Watts, Mercy jumps at it. But by now we know that where Mercy goes, trouble follows, or is already there in advance just waiting for her. Sturgis is no different. The bizarre characters that usually accompany her fade a little into the background this time around. Chuck and Spidermonkey and Uncle Morty are still there and as weird as ever, but because she is “on-site” with Ace the interaction with them is long-distance. Instead, she gets to see a side of her grandad she never imagined and meet a group of his war buddies. Raptor – oops, Raquel – is the granddaughter of one of Ace’s pals and has always been just a bit hostile to Mercy. “I spit in your drink” is about as nice as she gets. The two of them are thrown together and it’s not always fun. And if Raptor isn’t enough, Wallace the Wonder Pug makes the trip with them. Wallace becomes famous and is oh so lovable – when she’s not biting Mercy’s ankles or peeing on her feet, that is. Typical Pug. As always, Mercy is smart and sassy and droll and loyal and dedicated and stubborn. And really, really funny. Two minutes into the story and I’m laughing out loud. The visuals and Mercy’s take on things are hilarious. I always forget that Mercy is a Marilyn Monroe lookalike until she says something like, “You look great, said one, but he wasn’t talking to me. He was talking to my chest. Honestly, that happens all the time. My chest had its own Twitter handle.” When one of Ace’s Vietnam veteran buddies dies, her grandad’s group of friends expect her to investigate. But they won’t answer any questions. What are they hiding? Mercy is determined to get to the bottom of things. People are dying and Grandad could be next. It will take all of Mercy’s investigative skills to figure this out. Her nursing skills and medical knowledge are needed more often than she would like. Even though Mercy’s situation will often leave you chuckling, serious issues are raised and the mystery and suspense are compelling. It’s dangerous. Her partner, the “little weirdo” Aaron is by her side, protecting her and doing pretty amazing things when we least expect it. After all this time I think I’ve come to really like him. And the food descriptions are mouth-watering. Once again, the continuing story of the Klinefeld Group and the Bleds is woven into this story. The mystery in Sturgis is satisfactorily resolved – but – My Bad Grandad ends with a cliffhanger about Mercy and her family’s history, making you wish the next book in the series was already written and waiting on your bedside table so your delightful journey with Mercy could continue without interruption. Note: I was given an advance copy with a request to provide a fair and honest review. I can’t wait to read more about Mercy, and neither should you.
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