The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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August 26, 2011

One Was a Soldier

I just (finally) finished listening to One Was a Soldier, the latest (seventh) book in the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series by Julia Spencer-Fleming. {I say finally, because it was on my Ipod, reserved for power and after-dinner walks, and I've been listening to it for a month. Saying so to shame myself into doing better.}

If you're not familiar with these mysteries, they are set in Miller's Kill, a small town in the Adirondacks. Russ Van Allstyne is the Chief of Police, and Rev. Clare Fergusson is the priest at the Episcopal Church of St. Alban's. (It must have been mentioned often in the earlier books, but Clare is from Virginia, which I hadn't realized until I heard the somewhat grating accent the narrator gave her.) They have had a growing attraction/romance, but just after Russ' wife is killed in a car accident, Clare (who is also an Army helicopter pilot), shaken by the possibilities open to her, decides to re-enlist for a tour in Iraq.  In this book, she has just returned, Russ proposes to her, and she and Russ become involved in a case involving millions of missing dollars, the suicide of a bookkeeper working for a military contractor (a man who is Russ' nemesis), and the difficult adjustments faced by Clare and the other vets in her therapy group.

Although I'm usually more drawn to British mysteries (or mysteries with British characters/settings), I've always enjoyed this series, and this book was a good one. And it was romantic! Julia Spencer-Fleming is a mystery writer who spends as much time on her characters' personal and inner lives as she does on the crime(s), and when it's well done (as it is here) that's one of the reasons I love to read books like this.

So, now I'm trying to focus on all the relaxing reading I can do during the hurricane. :) It is making me a little nervous, but I think that's more because of the hype than because of what could actually happen where I live. This would, after all, be my second hurricane. I was just out of college when Hurricane Gloria came through Connecticut. I just remember my boss waiting till the last possible moment to cancel work for the day, and how sunny and peaceful it was for a hour or so right in the middle of the storm. I hope everyone will be safe and undamaged!

1 comment:

Kristin said...

I enjoy this series too! Hope you find some good hurricane reading, and that it doesn't get any more stressful than choosing which book to read :)

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