Paula Munier debuts a new series that’s destined to become a reader favorite with A Borrowing of Bones.

Any mystery that features dogs is already off to a good start, and this one has two incredible working dogs: Elvis, the Belgian Malinois bomb-sniffer that belonged to ex-MP Mercy Carr’s recently deceased soldier fiance`; and Susie Bear, the Newfie-retriever mix search-and-rescue cuddler owned by game warden Troy Warner.

Warner responds to Mercy’s call when she’s out in the Vermont wilderness with Elvis and they find an abandoned baby. But that’s not all they find: there’s a shallow grave with bones, with a few clues left behind, and the scent of explosives, which brought the area to Elvis’ attention.

With the baby girl safely in hospital, its mother, Amy, steals Helena to keep her away from an abusive home situation, and begs Mercy for help. And while Mercy’s doing that, she and Troy are also on the trail of those bones, to the chagrin of the State Police.

Mercy is an interesting character and so is Elvis. Both are healing wounds and suffer from PTSD, and try to keep others from getting too close to them. It’s highly original to see a former military cop and her dog suffer from this, as most readers will be surprised a dog can have PTSD.

The characters are drawn from reality, from Mercy and Troy, to Mercy’s grandmother, revered Quaker vet Patience, and the baby’s mother, Amy. And that setting, lovingly described, makes any reader want to drop everything and visit Vermont if you haven’t been there yet.

There’s plenty going on here for any mystery lover, involving the art world, Shakespeare, and that beautiful Vermont countryside, the perfect backdrop to an intriguing new series with original characters.