Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 4
( 213 )
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(89)

4 Star

(78)

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(20)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

57 out of 58 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

4 out of 6 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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  • Posted April 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    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. 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.

    57 out of 58 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 9, 2011

    Watch out - this series is addictive!

    Reading is my passion and I especially appreciate a book that sweeps me off my feet and into the story. Each and every volume in Julia Spencer-Fleming's Clare Fergusson series did that and more. Clare, the lead female character, is a former helicopter pilot turned Episcopalian priest. (Yes, you read right!) She is deeply committed to her vocation, but she is unlike any minister you may have ever met in fiction or real life. Russ, the lead male character and chief of police, finds that Clare has a way of inserting herself into police business that drives him crazy in more ways than one. Clare, Russ, and all the supporting characters are very well developed, believable, and grow so much through the series. In fact, the author had me feeling as if I lived in the town and knew everyone as a neighbor or friend-- or perhaps a threat. Spencer-Fleming has managed to take romance, suspense, drama, humor, and mystery and serve them up in one tasty dish that keeps you wanting more. I've read a lot of trilogies. However, I rarely feel as enthusiastic about book #3 as I did about book #1. Usually when they're over, I'm ready for them to be over. That's why Spencer-Fleming amazed me! I read all seven books-- one after the other-- and now that I'm done I can't wait to see what happens next. That's unheard of for me. If there were seven more books in the series I'd download them on my Nook this minute. I highly recommend this book and the entire series to anyone who wants to make a deep connection with characters without tiring of them. You will not be disappointed. Ms. Spencer-Fleming: thank you for many hours of absolute enjoyment and escapism with lessons learned along the way. You are a gifted writer and story-teller!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I must confess...

    This book came highly recommended to me, and although I was very skeptical at first- I absolutely loved this book! The synopsis left much to be desired for me, but I was pleasantly surprised by the plot and ending. I was completely put off by the idea of a female priest and thought this may end up being one of those religious works disguised as a mystery to bring me the word of God. Not the case at all! (thank goodness) what I got was an intelligent heroine and an intriguing mystery with some underlying tones of lust. Awesome book!

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    One hell of a ride

    Julia Spencer Fleming has created one of the most fun filled reads that I have experienced in ages!!! Her creations of the characters in the town of Millers Kill will keep you riveted to their trials and tribulations for many hours---Keep writing Julia

    Skip Hughes --- Grand Junction

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    A great start to a new mystery series!

    I very much enjoyed this: it is well written, has interesting characters (a female priest does the detecting!), a believable plot and a possibly burgeoning romance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2012

    Bumbleflight

    He stared at the tom. You killed Jayflight.... you killed my mate!!! He chased after Rabidsnarl and tackled him. He was filled with rage and he tore him apart. You killed you sister! My mate! He kept tearing at him. He eventually riped his throat out.
    Bumbleflight

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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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 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    Great Read

    Suspenseful, Kept you turning the pages

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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 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 April 30, 2011

    Loved this Book!

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

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2011

    Love this series

    Warning: When you start and finish this book, you will be unable to get Clare and Russ out of your head until you get the next book, and so on....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2011

    Great plot!!!!!

    It kept me guessing the whole time! Would recommend hard to put down.

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