Friday, August 12, 2011

A Midsummer's Review

In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming

In the Bleak Midwinter is the award-winning first book in a mystery series featuring Reverend Clare Fergusson. The main character is an Episcopal priest and former Army helicopter pilot in the fictional town of Miller’s Kill in upstate New York. Even though the title for each book in this series comes from a hymn, readers aren’t treated to a sermon. Clare is a serious do-gooder, but she drinks and cusses. Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne is the other major character in this series; he is also retired from the Army. He and Clare are fast friends when they discover their common bond of both formerly being in the Army. 

I discovered this series thanks to a recommendation from another fan of the Maisie Dobbs mystery series. There are similarities with these two series in spite of their very different settings. Both women provide emotional counseling in the course of their responsibilities. Maisie Dobbs is a detective and former Army nurse in London during the era of World War I and Clare Fergusson is in the fictional town of Miller’s Kill in upstate New York in present time. This is a wonderful book. I’m looking forward to reading the whole series!

- Shirley, Adult Services.
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