Even though I live in the Tri-Cities (about half way between the Seethe and Mercy's Garage, according to the map), and have met Patricia Briggs a few times, I remained ignorant of the true genre of this series. I thought it was about zombies. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it is about weres. Oh, there are a few other folk mixed in, and mayhaps a zombie in a later book, but for the most part, it's about werewolves, and our heroine, Mercy Thompson who is not were but a skin walker, or shape changer. Most time human mechanic, part time coyote, raised by a pack of werewolves, she knows the ins, the outs, and the politics of the pack.
This is not a book where the wolf-pack control or terrorize the locals. They actually blend in, and only a very few humans know of their existence. Adam, the local pack Alpha, keeps a tight reign on his pack, and considers Mercy his mate, thereby under his protection. Mercy may have other ideas. However, wolves and coyotes not the best of friends and he doesn't want anyone to go after her. She has also befriended a vampire or two from the seethe near my house, and some members of the fae community. All this makes for some great story lines, and some serious mysteries to be solved.
Because Mercy is NOT a member of Adam's pack, she does not have to follow the rules of the pack, nor Adam's orders. She is not a submissive to his dominance. That allows her to do things his pack cannot do. It also allows her to get into trouble now and again.
Mercy is beautiful, though possibly more from the inside than the outside. She is intelligent, and runs a garage that works on used VW and German cars almost exclusively. Her coyote senses, especially that of smell, tell her more than most people realize. She can smell her friend, the undercover cop, no matter his disguise. She can smell a newly made wolf who has not been trained. And when her old love, Samuel, arrives to rent a room at her home, there are sparks between him and Adam, her neighbor. She can smell when it's time to leave the room before they decide to turn and go at it in order to 'win' her. Oh, those silly wolves. It will take more than that to win Mercy Thompson.
This book has made me a fan of Ms. Briggs, of were wolves, and of Mercy Thompson. Almost makes me want to buy a VW so Mercy can work on it. This book is urban fantasy as well as preternatural thriller, there's humor, there's pathos, and all these characters are believable. Who knew I lived in the midst of such excitement? For a good time, read Moon Called.