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Murder mystery set in French Alps unravels around couple’s l

by Nicole Brun-Mercer

Nicole Brun-Mercer analyzes why people choose to remain in unhealthy relationships through a spine-chilling murder in her book “The 18th Hole”

(PR NewsChannel) / December 7, 2011 / YORBA LINDA, Calif./ In her book, “The 18th Hole” (ISBN 1463752547), Nicole Brun-Mercer challenges readers to understand the relationships we form and our motives for remaining in destructive ones. Through the main character, Celine, readers delve into 18 years of a relationship gone bad as she works to resolve the mystery surrounding her husband Richard’s murder. While welcoming guests who have come to pay their last respects, Celine’s mind drifts off to the last time she spent with Richard during a round of golf at their local course in the French Alps. These memories open the flood gates for Celine, awakening recollections from previous years, which in turn serve to shed light on Richard’s death and the erosion of their marriage.

Every victory, every obstacle on the course reminds Celine of a happy, frustrating or upsetting time in their marriage. The supporting characters, both on and off the golf course, provide insight into the kind of relationship that Celine had with her husband and what is missing from Celine’s life. As the golf game continues, the suspense builds, keeping the reader wondering who is responsible for Richard’s death and more ominously, whether Celine can be trusted to narrate a full and objective account of events on that fateful day.

While the tale involves a murder mystery, Brun-Mercer considers her book more of a psychological novel than a detective story. She wants her readers to question motives, including the reasons people keep unhealthy relationships alive, while adding the suspense of a sensational murder as a riveting side plot.

“I wanted to explore our motives for remaining in an unhealthy relationship,” she says. “No marriage is solely healthy or entirely destructive, which is why Celine finds herself staying with Richard. She does not see that little by little she is losing her power and even her identity.”

Brun-Mercer set the novel in the French Alps, a region she knows well having lived there over the past decade, because she says Paris tends to monopolize both the classics and contemporary literature. She wanted to capture the beauty and authenticity of the life, language and culture in southeast France so that readers could discover the country in a fresh, less conventional light.

“The 18th Hole” is available for sale online at and other channels.

About the Author:
Canadian-born and California-raised Nicole Brun-Mercer graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz before doing post-graduate studies in conference interpretation at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. She taught English for two years at the American Home in Russia, then for another decade in La Roche sur Foron, France. She continues to teach, translate and write in a small village in Guinea.

Nicole Brun-Mercer
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