cover image Hid from Our Eyes: A Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alystyne Mystery

Hid from Our Eyes: A Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alystyne Mystery

Julia Spencer-Fleming. Minotaur, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-60685-5

It’s the summer of 1972, and the body of a well-dressed young woman turns up in the middle of a remote Adirondacks road, in bestseller Spencer-Fleming’s stellar ninth mystery featuring Episcopal priest Clare Fergusson and her husband, Millers Kill, N.Y., police chief Russ Van Alystyne (after 2013’s Through the Evil Days). The case goes cold, just as in a 1952 homicide, but the stakes rise when a second contemporary murder scene is eerily familiar to Russ, the lead suspect in the unsolved 1952 crime. As Russ struggles to solve the new murders, local politicians are campaigning to disband the understaffed police department for budgetary purposes and rely on the state police instead. Even home offers little refuge for Russ as he and his wife, Clare, struggle with their new parental responsibilities and the ever-present concern of Clare’s fragile sobriety. Spencer-Fleming combines a first-rate mystery with flawed but endearing characters. Readers will hope they won’t have to wait another seven years for the next installment. Author tour. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Apr.)