Book Talk Tuesday: One Was A Soldier


I’ve been a fan of Julia Spencer-Fleming for years now.

Because she writes:

  • well crafted mysteries.
  • complex characters who change and grow.
  • a dynamic setting that has come alive in my mind.

I’m in the middle of her seventh Millers Kill book, One Was A Soldier.

One Was a Soldier

The series began with In the Bleak Midwinter. In the Bleak Midwinter

In the Bleak Midwinter is currently on sale at Amazon for $2.99 for the ebook and $9.57 for the paperback. Bargains, both of them!

The Reverend Clare Fergusson is new to Millers Kill, New York. She’s also a newly ordained Episcopal priest. She’s from the warm southern states. She’s an Army helicopter pilot.

Millers Kill police chief RussVan Alstyne is retired Army Military Police who recently moved back to his hometown with his wife Linda.

Russ and Clare are thrown together as murder and mayhem strike Millers Kill.

Each book title in the series takes its name from a hymn or a line in a hymn.

Clare takes her vocation seriously.

Russ takes his marriage vows seriously.

I had a few trepidations as the series continued because of Russ and Clare’s growing friendship and attraction. I was afraid they would have an affair, especially because his wife’s character is not a part of the early books. Then I was afraid his wife would die a convenient death just so Clare and Russ could be together.

I won’t give away the story, but suffice it to say, I haven’t been disappointed.

In the latest book, Clare is back from a stint as a National Guard chopper pilot in Iraq. She’s drinking too much, self-medicating too much, and having nightmares. She’s not alone. She joins a support group for other returning vets and gets drawn into their stories. The double leg amputee. The married woman whose battlefield affair follows her home. The doctor who can’t remember which patient he just saw and what he prescribed. The cop with anger management issues.

Last fall I visited an area of New York state that felt very familiar and comfortable. The lake. The farms. The dairy. The village. The brick storefronts. It wasn’t long until I realized why I felt like I’d seen it before. It was the Julia Spencer-Fleming books. She did such a great job making the setting of Millers Kill come alive on the page that it was a short hop to thinking I’d been there when I saw it for real.

Anyone else a fan?

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