Julia Spencer-Fleming, “A Fountain Filled With Blood”

Oh, well. So much for the thrill of discovery. I was really excited when I read In the Bleak Midwinter, Julia Spencer-Fleming’s first mystery in this series. The character of the Reverend Clare Fergusson, rector of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Millers Kill, New York, is very appealing. But what totally hooked me was the sexual tension between Clare and the married but craggily attractive police chief, Russ Van Alstyne. Those features, mercifully, are still in place. But the plotting was not the best thing about In the Bleak Midwinter and it’s not the best thing about A Fountain Filled With Blood, either. In fact, it was a little bit clunky. A hefty portion of the book is taken up by the helicopter ride from hell (as if there could be any other kind… but this is really, really bad). And the helicopter is signaled as a plot point very early on — the gun that is shown in the first act, etc. etc. In fact maybe Spencer-Fleming needs to sow a few more red herrings, because I am usually pretty dim about plotting, and I identified this baddie quite early on. Worse, none of the potential killers was much more than a cartoon figure with a few unattractive characteristics. And while I’m complaining, I have a little trouble suspending disbelief when folks get as spectacularly bashed up as Clare and Russ do in this novel, without showing any lasting damage. Mind you, these quibbles will not prevent me from reading the next novel in the series. At some point, Clare will have to meet Russ’s wife, right? I want to be there.

About carolwallace

I spend most of my time writing and reading. Most recent publications: the reissue of "To Marry an English Lord,"one of the inspirations for "Downton Abbey," and the historical novel "Leaving Van Gogh." I am too cranky to belong to a book group but I love the book-blogging community.
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One Response to Julia Spencer-Fleming, “A Fountain Filled With Blood”

  1. Pingback: Julia Spencer-Fleming, “Out of the Deep I Cry” « Book Group of One

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