The Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries is a series of mystery novels written by Julia Spencer-Fleming which follow the exploits of a priest and a police chief who solves crimes.
Order of Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries Series
|1||In the Bleak Midwinter||2002||Description / Buy|
|2||A Fountain Filled with Blood||2003||Description / Buy|
|3||Out of the Deep I Cry||2004||Description / Buy|
|4||To Darkness and to Death||2005||Description / Buy|
|5||All Mortal Flesh||2006||Description / Buy|
|6||I Shall Not Want||2008||Description / Buy|
|7||One Was a Soldier||2011||Description / Buy|
|8||Letters to a Soldier (Short Story)||2011||Description / Buy|
|9||Through the Evil Days||2013||Description / Buy|
Clare Fergusson is 35 when she is first introduced to readers in In the Bleak Midwinter, the first novel in the Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne series. That particular novel initially focuses on the mystery of a newborn infant that Clare finds at the doorstep of her church.
As a much younger woman, finding the parents of a mysterious infant is hardly the task Clare thought she would ever have to undertake. She would have definitely never imagined teaming up with a police chief to solve a murder.
Back then, Clare was in the army. She was a tough Chopper Pilot who understood the importance of perseverance, determination, and discipline. By the time readers meet her in In the Bleak Midwinter, Clare has retired from the army.
Even more astounding is her decision to not only go into the priesthood but to also become St. Alban’s first female priest. New to her post, it doesn’t take Clare’s congregation long to realize that she is a far cry from the traditional priests they normally host.
Clare is loud, impulsive and brave, and she isn’t afraid to speak her mind, even when her opinions are a stark contrast to what the people around her believe and want to heer. While Clare’s life definitely takes an interesting turn when she finds the infant on her porch, it is her encounter with Russ Van Alstyne that truly rocks her world.
Like Clare, Russ is an Army veteran. And like Clare, Russ loves his community. He has spent his life keeping Miller’s Kill, New York safe, so he is more than happy to join Clare in her efforts to find an abandoned baby’s mother.
The Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne mysteries series is spent following Clare and Russ around as they solve crimes and murders. Each new installment in the series introduces a new crime to the community of Miller’s Kill.
And whenever a crime hits a little too close to home for Clare and the people she loves, she does not hesitate to investigate, using the same mind that kept her alive in the army to sift through clues and identify suspects.
Russ tries but rarely succeeds in keeping Clare out of his cases. More often than not, he finds that her cunning is exactly what he needs to break a case. Problems emerge when Russ and Clare realize that they are not only attracted to one another but that they might each be the other’s perfect match.
Unfortunately, the fact that Russ is married means that neither of them can afford to give into their desire for one another.
Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries Awards
Julia Spencer-Fleming won Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, Dilys, and Barry Awards in 2002 and 2003 for In the Bleak Midwinter. All Mortal Flesh was also awarded a Nero Wolfe and Gumshoe Award in 2007.
Best Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries books
The Clare and Russ books are often commended for both their mystery and romance aspects, with some of the best titles in the series including:
I Shall Not Want: A Latino Man is found dead, shot through the back of the head. Clare Fergusson, Reverend of her town’s Episcopal Church has close ties to the migrant community, so she cannot help but investigate, especially when two more murders occur.
Her soul is still wounded but she cannot ignore her responsibilities to her church, her community and her superiors at the National Guard.
Fortunately, Clare knows she can rely on her town’s police chief to come through for her, though Russ Van Alstyne is just as bogged down by his responsibilities to his police department.
One Was a Soldier: Clare and Russ were drawn to each other from the moment they met. Both veterans with scars from the war, they saw their bond break and reform under the weight of numerous adversities. They never thought that anything could tear them apart.
But then another vet died and Russ ruled his case a suicide while Clare asserted her belief that there was more going on than meets the eye. The investigation that follows will threaten lives, jobs, and relationships.
Other Book Series You May Like
The “Simon Serrailler” Series by Susan Hill is another really great read. When Detective Freya Graffham leaves London for a small cathedral town, she isn’t prepared for the wave of physically and emotionally challenging crimes that await her, nor is she ready to contend with the enigma that is DCI Simon Serrailler.
Many readers also enjoy the “Lady Sherlock” Series by Sherry Thomas. Charlotte Holmes lives in a time when women are expected to present a simple, innocent, demure personality. So when she decides to solve the crimes and murders running rampant in her society, she does so under the name of Sherlock Holmes, unbeknownst to her friends and family.
What Is The Next Book in The Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries Series?
There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries Series. The newest book is Through the Evil Days and was released on November, 5th 2013.