Current Reading: Julia Spencer-Fleming

Last September I read and reviewed the first in Spencer-Fleming’s series set in Miller’s Kill, New York, In Bleak Midwinter. (here). Now I’ve finished the second one, A Fountain Filled With Blood and liked it even more. The title comes from a line in the Common Book of Prayer, and isn’t indicative of the plot, though there is some violence as Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne and his small force deal with a series of crimes, including a murder, all of the victims gay. Are these just violent attacks by a group of red-necked gay-haters, or is there a deeper threat against a plan to open an upscale spa in Miller’s Kill?

Episcolal Preist Claire Ferguson is the discoverer of the third victim, which pulls her into the case. She and the Sheriff work together to stop the crimes from continuing.

My take:
I like the setting in the Adirondacks, the characters and the plot. I’ll be reading the next in the series right away.

The Claire Ferguson / Russ Van Alstyne series:

In the Bleak Midwinter – 2002
Fountain Filled with Blood  – 2003
Out of the Deep I Cry – 2004
To Darkness and To Death – 2005
All Mortal Flesh – 2006
I Shall Not Want – 2008
One Was A Soldier – 2009
Through Evil Days – 2013
Hid From Our Eyes scheduled for April 2020


About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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9 Responses to Current Reading: Julia Spencer-Fleming

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one so well. I like this series very much

  2. tracybham says:

    I have not read the third book in this series yet either. I am putting together a reading list for summer, I will add Out of the Deep I Cry to that list.

    • Tracy, once I got on a roll with this series, As soon as the next book arrived from the library, I put a hold on the one after that. I just gobbled them up. For your list, if you haven’t read the Posadas Country mysteries by Steven Havill. It’s another terrific series I lately discovered (thanks to Jeff Meyerson). The first book is Heartshot.

  3. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Good choice. We’ve been big fans of the Julia Spencer-Fleming series from the beginning, and despair as the waits between the books get longer and longer. I won’t give any spoilers, but just say I agree with you on the quality of the series.

    I read a couple of things this week. Why Don’t You Write My Eulogy Now So I Can Correct It? is a short, entertaining collection – “A Mother’s Suggestions” – by Patricia Marx, illustrated by Roz Chast.

    George Easter has been touting Mark Greaney’s Gray Man series for years in his Deadly Pleasures, so when someone left a bunch of the paperbacks in our basement laundry room library, I brought them upstairs and read the first one, titled (surprise!) The Gray Man. Court Gentry was dumped and later betrayed by his former masters in the CIA. He’s an assassin, but with a code – he will only take a contract on really bad guys who deserve to die. But now he is on the run from people who want him dead. It’s easy to see why Lee Child praised this fast-moving thriller. I’d recommend it to Barbara more than to you.

    Also reading the short story collections by Robert Silverberg and Mollie Panter-Downes. I’m halfway through the first in Claire Booth’s Sheriff Hank Worth series, The Branson Beauty. Among other things, I like the way she doesn’t hit you over the head with a lot of exposition and back story, but lets the reader figure out the characters and their relationships as the story goes on.

  4. I’ve been reading Library Books, alternating between fiction and non-fiction. I just finished a slim book on Robert E. Howard’s CONAN. I read Thomas Harris’s new thriller, CORI MORA, in one day. And I’m reading some literary essays by Kenneth Rexroth. Typical Summer Reading!

  5. No, I haven’t tried Spencer-Fleming, but I might have some of the books you list. Tell Barbara to keep her expectations low and she’s enjoy CORI MORA. It reads like it was a draft of a film script.

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