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Love Mercy    by Earlene Fowler order for
Love Mercy
by Earlene Fowler
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Pat Elliott

Love Mercy is a satisfying tale of relationships. It is about love and acceptance. It is about a community pulling together and families celebrating. Though not one of the Benni Harper mysteries for which Fowler is well known (and no bodies turn up in strange places), there is suspense in every chapter.

Fowler's characters are drawn in depth. The reader embraces each one and learns to love them. Eighteen-year-old Loretta Lynn 'Rett' Johnson hitchhiked halfway across America, carrying a stolen banjo, to find her grandmother, Love Mercy Johnson. Rett is a songwriter/singer planning to make the big time in Los Angeles. Morro Bay is just a stop on the way and, oh yes, Rett is nearly out of money.

Love Mercy has accepted the death of her husband, but still misses him terribly. She is beginning to forge a life without him in Morro Bay. She is ecstatic to see her granddaughter but unsure how to handle the situation. Mercy's friend is ex-cop Mel who left Las Vegas to avoid her brother-in-law. If he finds Mel, will she have to leave a town she has learned to love and the friends she cherishes?

You will enjoy reading about Love's mother and father-in-law - and bite your nails when the old gentleman is lost due to diminishing memory. You'll find a few old favorites from the Bennie Harper series - Bennie and Gabe, Grandma Dove and Hud, who is now a sheriff's deputy. They all live in and around the fictional town of Morro Bay, a community of people who stick together in good times and bad.

This novel is excellent. It is chock full of love, understanding, compassion, and common sense. I'm afraid I haven't done it justice in this short review, and I hope to see a sequel soon.

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