Customer Reviews for

In the Bleak Midwinter (Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 212 )
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(89)

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(78)

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(20)

2 Star

(16)

1 Star

(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

54 out of 55 people found this review helpful.

One of the best mystery/thrillers I've read

I absolutely loved this book. For the longest time I have been a fan of fantasy/paranormal fiction and now you can't throw a rock w/o hitting one. The whole genre has become,for the most part, boring and over played. So I started reading mysteries. This book is original...
I absolutely loved this book. For the longest time I have been a fan of fantasy/paranormal fiction and now you can't throw a rock w/o hitting one. The whole genre has become,for the most part, boring and over played. So I started reading mysteries. This book is original. You don't pick it up and think this is just like this or just like that. I love how realistic the story line is and even the romance in the book is just enough to entice but not over done. After I read this book I ordered every single book in the rest of the series and if they're even half as good as this one I won't be disappointed. The only fault I can think of is on the B&N website they don't list the order of the series which can make it kind of confusing if you're wanting to read them in order...
Here it is if you're wondering.
* In the Bleak Midwinter
* A Fountain Filled With Blood
* Out of the Deep I Cry
* To Darkness and To Death
* All Mortal Flesh
* I Shall Not Want

Read this book/series. I promise you its worth your time.

posted by Nat-the-Cat on April 30, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Good ... with potential

This is my first Spencer-Fleming mystery. My primary complaint is that "Father" Claire does too many things that are just silly, as a priest and as an amateur sleuth. I can't imagine a priest confronting as many of the church members/potential protagonists as she did --...
This is my first Spencer-Fleming mystery. My primary complaint is that "Father" Claire does too many things that are just silly, as a priest and as an amateur sleuth. I can't imagine a priest confronting as many of the church members/potential protagonists as she did -- otherwise, the idea of Claire as former chopper pilot and priest is a good one. Given the survival training she had as pilot, her inability to find the right footwear or clothing is a little silly. I do like her, and I like Russ if the author can rise above the expected and push this to the next level, it has the potential to be a series I'll look forward to reading.

posted by NorthShore on February 19, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2012

    Should be a movie

    Best book I've read all year. Exciting, thought provoking mystery. The lead characters are strong but believable. Will buy the series.

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  • Posted March 6, 2012

    Wonderful characters, setting, story. So glad it's the first in

    Wonderful characters, setting, story. So glad it's the first in a series. I'm a lapsed Epicopalian, so it all feels very real to me; I can even picture Clare as one of the women priests I knew. The writing is great-- just the right amount of vivid descriptions and atmosphere to make me feel the New England cold and to picture the characters in my mind. The mystery and the police work are well plotted and make it hard to put the book down at bedtime. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2012

    Great mystery with wonderful characters.

    This first look into Clare Fergusson is done beautifully by Julia Spencer-Fleming. I'm thrilled it is the first book in the series which means there is more to learn about the town and its people. Page turner leaving you wanting more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2012

    Great New Series!

    I just finished this and loved everything about it. Great story, great pacing, great strong heroine, and the use of one of my favorite hymns as a title. Can't wait to read the rest of the books in this series about a small town Episcopal priest who isn't afraid to speak her mind, get her hands dirty and kick a little butt.

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  • Posted February 22, 2012

    I reccommend this it is good.

    I liked this book, the characters were likeable. The plot grabbed me from the beginning. I good mystery.

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  • Posted February 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Mystery To Take the Chill Off

    An abandoned baby left on the church's doorstep on a midwinter's night. A body of a young woman found in the freezing snow. A chilling trail of clues all add up to a suspenseful winner. In The Bleak Midwinter, introduces us to Millers Kill, New York. This is the home of Russ Van Alstyne, the Chief of police and his wife. Also the new priest of the Episcopal church, Clare Fergusson. The author knows how to build suspense and also handles the action very well. The Chief finds himself working closely with Clare to solve the crime of the abandoned baby. The mystery deepens when a murdered girl, possibly the baby's mother, is found murdered. The bond between the Chief and the Priest blossoms into friendship and perhaps more as the case evolves. The plot has some familiar moments, but the author carries them off well, with enough new twists to keep the story fresh and interesting. Provided for review by the well read folks at Library Thing and Minotaur books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    Loved it

    This is my first time reading this author. Glad I decided to give her a try. I will continue on with this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    Great read!

    This is the first book I've read from this author but it certainly not be the last. Great story line, fast pace and interesting characters. I really enjoyed it and think you will too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    Great Read

    Suspenseful, Kept you turning the pages

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  • Posted January 31, 2012

    I Recommend This Book

    I don't usually read mysteries but decided to try this since it was on sale to e-readers. I was pleasantly surprised! I found myself trying to make more time available for reading and then I didn't want it to end.
    The author had me involved from the git-go. It is written well, easy to follow and fairly concise. I was not aware that this is the first book in a series, but I will purchase the next one. You will enjoy this mystery too, I believe.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Excellent fast paced read

    Clare Fergusen is such a different and likeable character. If anyone had suggested that an Episcopalian priest would be so down to earth and well-versed in combat theory I would have been dumnfounded. But here she is, crime stopper of small town crime in a mystery that is as old as time yet entirely contemporary. I'm on to the second book in the series immediately. A must read for those of us who are bored with syrupy cozies but don't want disgusting violence.

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  • Posted January 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    You won't want to put this one down

    Mysterious murders, somehow connected to an abandoned baby, in the dead of winter in the Adirondacks, lead to some interesting circumstances for a small town police chief and the new female Episcopalian priest in town. This book is a classic whodunit, one that I read in a day because I just had to know the answer. I was surprised! The twists and turns in this book are interesting involving the crimes themselves, but the most interesting part is the relationship developing between the two main characters, Russ and Clare. There are more books in this series - I hope to read them all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Loved it!

    Easy, enjoyable read.

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  • Posted December 19, 2011

    Great read

    Great page turner. Relationship that played out between Clare and Russ was intriguing to the end. Well written.

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  • Posted July 19, 2011

    Awesome!

    Unexpectly well written and engaging. As enthralling as Patricia Cornwell, but with even more warm characters.

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  • Posted July 4, 2011

    Great Story!

    I can't wait to read more from this series!

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  • Posted May 4, 2011

    Must Read

    loved it I hope they keep coming. Well written and entertaining.

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    Wonderful read!!

    I loved the suspense and the little bit of romance that was the undertone of these 2 characters!! Kept me on the edge of my seat throught the whole book. Greatly anticipating book #2!!

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Surprisingly good

    Having recently read multiple disappointing mysteries, I had low expectations for this book. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was really quite good. The story and characters were well developed. The somewhat impulsive priest jumping to conclusions was more interesting that I had anticipated. Overall, it was an enjoyable read.

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  • Posted April 30, 2011

    Loved this Book!

    This was one I couldn't put down. An excellent book; highly recommend it.

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