Author: Julia Spencer-Fleming

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Works

Book:In the Bleak Midwinter

In the Bleak Midwinter: A Reverend Clare Ferguson Mystery

Julia Spencer-Fleming

It’s a cold, snowy December in the upstate New York town of Millers Kill, and newly ordained Clare Fergusson is on thin ice as the first female priest of its small Episcopal church. The ancient regime running the parish covertly demands that she prove herself as a leader. However, her blunt manner, honed by years as an army pilot, is meeting with a chilly reception from some members of her congregation and Chief of Police Russ Van Alystyne, in particular, doesn’t know what to make of her, or how to address “a lady priest” for that matter.

The last thing she needs is trouble, but that is exactly what she finds. When a newborn baby is abandoned on the church stairs and a young mother is brutally murdered, Clare has to pick her way through the secrets and silence that shadow that town like the ever-present Adirondack mountains. As the days dwindle down and the attraction between the avowed priest and the married police chief grows, Clare will need all her faith, tenacity, and courage to stand fast against…[more]
Book:All Mortal Flesh

All Mortal Flesh: A Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery

Julia Spencer-Fleming

Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne’s first encounter with Clare Fergusson was in the hospital emergency room on a freezing December night. A newborn infant had been abandoned on the town’s Episcopal church steps. If Russ had known that the church had a new priest, he certainly would never have guessed that it would be a woman. Not a woman like Clare. That night in the hospital was the beginning of an attraction so fierce, so forbidden, that the only thing that could keep them safe from compromising their every belief was distance—but in a small town like Millers Kill, distance is hard to find.

Russ Van Alstyne figures his wife kicking him out of their house is nobody’s business but his own. Until a neighbor pays a friendly visit to Linda Van Alstyne—and finds the woman’s body, gruesomely butchered, on the kitchen floor. To the state police, it’s an open-and-shut case of a disaffected husband, silencing first his wife, then the murder investigation he controls.…[more]

Book:Out of the Deep I Cry

Out of the Deep I Cry: A Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery

Julia Spencer-Fleming

On April 1, 1930, Jonathan Ketchem’s wife, Jane, walked from her house to the police department to ask for help in finding her husband. The men, worn out from a night of chasing bootleggers, did what they could. No one ever saw Jonathan Ketchem again.

But the Ketchems were far from forgotten. Over time, the family died off—except for Jane Ketchem herself (whom everyone but a few stubborn optimists/pessimists decided had been made a widow by Jonathan’s disappearance). When Jane inherited substantial funds and a successful dairy business, she grew the money shrewdly enough to be able to endow a charitable clinic bearing the Ketchem name.

The clinic was a solid institution in the town when Clare Fergusson took the position of priest of Millers Kill Episcopal…[more]

Book:One Was a Soldier

One Was a Soldier: A Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery

Julia Spencer-Fleming

On a warm September evening in the Millers Kill community center, five veterans sit down in rickety chairs to try to make sense of their experiences in Iraq.  What they will find is murder, conspiracy, and the unbreakable ties that bind them to one another and their small Adirondack town.

The Rev. Clare Fergusson wants to forget the things she saw as a combat helicopter pilot and concentrate on her relationship with Chief of Police Russ Van Alstyne. MP Eric McCrea needs to control the explosive anger threatening his job as a police officer. Will Ellis, high school track star, faces the reality of life as a double amputee. Orthopedist Trip Stillman is denying the extent of  his traumatic brain injury. And bookkeeper Tally McNabb wrestles with guilt over the in-country affair that may derail her marriage. …[more]

Book:I Shall Not Want

I Shall Not Want: A Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery

Julia Spencer-Fleming

Millers Kill reaches the boiling point in this white-hot novel of love and suspense

People die. Marriages fail. In the small Adirondack town of Millers Kill, New York, however, life doesn’t stop for heartbreak. A brand-new officer in the police department, a breaking-and-entering, and trouble within his own family keep Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne busy enough to ignore the pain of losing his wife—and the woman he loves.

At St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, the Reverend Clare Fergusson is trying to keep her vestry, her bishop, and her National Guard superiors happy—all the while denying her own wounded soul.

When a Mexican farmhand stumbles over a Latino man killed with a single shot to the back of his head, Clare is sucked into the investigation through her involvement in the migrant community. The discovery of two more bodies executed in the same way…[more]

Book:A Fountain Filled with Blood

A Fountain Filled with Blood: A Reverend Clare Ferguson Mystery

Julia Spencer-Fleming

In front of him, the headlights illuminated a swath of achingly green corn, cut off from the shoulder of the road by a sagging fence of barbed wire twisted around rough posts. His door was yanked open, and he wanted to think of Paul, to think of his children, but the only thing in his head was how the fence looked like the one on the cover of Time, like the one Matthew Shepard died on, and he was going to die now too, and it was going to hurt more than anything. “C’mere, faggot,” one of them said as he was dragged from his seat. And the pain began.

In In the Bleak Midwinter, Reverend Clare Fergusson was quickly introduced to a more eventful life than she had expected after moving to the small town of Millers Kill in upstate New York. But the Episcopal priest and former Army Air Force chopper pilot proved to her flock—and to police chief Russ Van Alstyne—that she could cope with the unexpected, even with it was as dire as murder. In this new adventure for the two ill-matched friends (who are gamely resisting something beyond friendship), evidence shows that a small town can hold just as much evil as the Wicked City.

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