"A real twisting puzzler"
Though no longer with the Army, Clare Fergusson knows
as a former military pilot that one flies straight to the
target to get the job done. Now as the first female priest
of the Millers Kill, New York St. Mark's Episcopal Church
she still flies straight to the target though this time it
is typically a person in need. Between her gender as the
first female priest and her no nonsense straightforward
demeanor, Clare annoys some of her congregation.
Clare finds an abandoned infant on the church's step.
The person who left the baby behind also provided a note
requesting that the child be given to Geoffrey and Karen
Burns, a local professional couple seeking an adoption. As
the town's chief of police Russ Van Alstyne searches for
the parents, a murder occurs with the victim turning out to
be the mother of the deserted baby. As Clare assists Russ
on his investigation, an attraction springs up between
them, but he is married and she is the new priest.
The mystery of IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER is filled with
many twists and turns (unlike Clare) that are not used to
further the police investigation. Instead the subplots
provide insight into the key two characters, which slows
down the plot, but enables the audience to appreciate Russ
and Clare. Their first meeting in the hospital starts off
colder than the tundra, but thaws until heat begins to
emanate. Fans of police procedural cozies will delight in
Julia Spencer-Fleming's warm tale and look forward to more
cases starring two delightful characters.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted February 15, 2002