Through the Evil Days: A Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery

Julia Spencer-Fleming. Minotaur, $25.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-312-60684-8
In Agatha-winner Spencer-Fleming’s eighth Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne mystery (after 2011’s One Was a Soldier), the individual personal dramas of her leads overshadow the detective work. Clare, an Episcopal priest, and new husband Russ, the police chief of Millers Kill, N.Y., are looking forward to a week’s honeymoon. Meanwhile, Clare’s pregnancy, which began before their wedding, places her career in jeopardy, and Russ learns that his department may be completely eliminated. Clare’s condition evokes conflicting feelings in Russ, whose first wife suffered numerous miscarriages. Russ also fears that Clare’s substance abuse before learning she was pregnant will harm the baby. With all those issues to work through, the story’s central crime—an act of arson aimed at covering up a double murder—almost recedes into the background. While the couple’s complex relationship will engage readers, the very pregnant Clare’s active involvement in getting the bad guys strains credulity. Author tour. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/16/2013
Release date: 11/05/2013
Hardcover - 582 pages - 978-1-61173-906-0
Paperback - 357 pages - 978-1-250-05235-3
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4272-3895-5
Compact Disc - 11 pages - 978-1-4272-3104-8
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-250-02265-3
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