The Mercy Thompson books of Patricia Briggs – our heroine is a car mechanic but there are werewolves

Patricia Briggs writes books about werewolves and other supernatural creatures which she imagines are living among us. My favourite of her series features Mercy Thompson who is actually a coyote shape shifter and is a car mechanic by trade. Although Mercy becomes very involved with the werewolves and their politics and with the supernatural world her occupation is important to her, it features in the books and we understand that she needs to earn a living. Mercy specialises in VW engines and works alongside an older man who is not human at all.

The author has developed a whole supernatural world with its own rules, politics and concerns. Our way into that world is through Mercy who has grown up with a werewolf pack and lives near and associates with another but who is not a werewolf herself. In the first book Moon Called she gets involved with a young man who has just been turned as a werewolf and her actions cause her to uncover a serious plot in the werewolf world. Subsequent books find her more involved with the supernatural world; faeries, trolls, vampires, other shifters, witches, and so on. As the overall story develops werewolves and faeries out themselves to the public and she becomes a kind of public liaison between the supernatural world and the real world which is trying to adjust.

Mercy is a great character. She has had to adapt to living in two worlds but not really belonging to either. She seems to attract chaos but tries to impose justice. She understands that there are monsters living among us and deals with them the best way she can. The author also doesn’t hold back from having the consequences of others’ evil impact on Mercy and her life – some authors hint and threaten at bad things possibly happening to their heroines but for Mercy these things often occur. Through all this she tries to keep her garage and business going because it is hers and it is important to her.

I highly recommend the Mercy Thompson books because they are intelligent, well written and great fun. Read them in order (there are currently twelve) because characters and stories develop with each book. And when you’ve finished those you might like to try the same author’s spin off Alpha and Omega series which follows the same timeline but shows events from another point of view. I’ve read a lot of this type of book and these are easily some of the best.