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The murder novel 116 . . .

A Biblio Mystery with a dog . . .

and a twist!



"Retreating to his bed of crinkly old parchment, the terrier mix of dishwater grey gnawed thoughtfully on the corner of a land deed older than the Constitution and settled contentedly back to sleep."


Sol and Anna Slyde sit down to dinner at their forest home in rural New York and hear a message on the answering machine that will change and threaten their lives.  A bizarre manuscript has been missing since 1828, and the mysterious caller from the West is sending Sol a huge retainer to find it.


I can’t explain how significant this would be,” warns their jealous friend Margie  –known to her customers as “Joh” . . .


Imagine if the Ark of the Covenant could be found, and in it, an older version of the Bible than anyone has seen before.  Suppose George Washington’s love letters turned up somewhere, and they weren’t written to Martha.  Hell, let’s have a flying saucer land in Washington and actually stay around for photos and an interview.  The hundred and sixteen pages are the ultimate quest of any Mormon historian, and we have to presume they were destroyed long ago.  But if you can turn them up - and convince us they’re real - then your $10,000 won’t be enough to buy a single page from the pile.”

Readers are saying . . .   


CLICK HERE to watch Rick read a selection from Chapter 35 as a finalist at the AML Conference 2021.




I am having SUCH a good time reading 116!!! . . . The plot is definitely thickening - you are terrific!  Diane DeBlois, editor, The Ephemera Journal.


I love the writing and the way you’ve structured the mystery.  I’m so into the story.  Maxine Hanks, historian, theologian, author of Women and Authority: Re-Emerging Mormon Feminism.


It’s wonderful to be able to enter the world that you’ve created.  Joel Silver, Director, Lilly Library.


I REALLY enjoyed it! . . . your character development was great, and there were some truly wonderful turns of phrase.  Christian Goodwillie, Director and Curator of Special Collections, Hamilton College, Burke Library;  Associate Editor, Richard W. Couper Press.

"Reading 116 is a gripping experience. . . .   Surprises abound, the plot is complicated but easy to follow.  Each one of the many characters comes to life, and one feels that they are real live people.  The narrative sparkles with unusual wit and turns of phrase that make the reader smile.Review by Richard Packham for the Association for Mormon Letters.


I could feel the rush of excitement while discovering a rare item again.  Steve Barnett, collector of Mormon manuscripts.


Rick Grunder's characters are strikingly real, and I love the insight he brings. He handles the dramatic tension in an exciting way – I'm constantly wondering what's going to happen next.  William L. Davis, author of Visions in a Seer Stone: Joseph Smith and the Making of the Book of Mormon.


The plot turns were ingenious, and the little asides about the quirks and foibles of Mormon book collectors, manuscript hunters, church officials, the faithful, apostates, slatternly waitresses, and, of course, dealers were delicious.”  William P. MacKinnon, author of At Sword's Point: A Documentary History of the Utah War of 1857-1859 ;  past chairman of the Yale Library Associates;  past president, Mormon History Association.


Grunder’s story captures the confluence of Mormon scripture, the process of translation, Mormon parallels, the compulsion to collect and the temptation to forge.  Michael W. Homer, historian and collector;  author of On the Way to Somewhere Else: European Sojourners in the Mormon West, 1834-1930  and Joseph’s Temples: The Dynamic Relationship between Freemasonry and Mormonism.

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