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To Darkness and to Death (Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries


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About the Author

Julia Spencer-Fleming was born at Plattsburgh Air Force Base and spent most of her childhood on the move as an army brat. She studied acting and history at Ithaca College and received her J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law. She lives in a 185-year-old farmhouse outside of Portland, Maine, with three children, two dogs, and one husband.


Global Woods Products is set to purchase thousands of Adirondack timberland, but some residents of nearby Millers Kill, NY, are less than happy about the sale. Arrogance, greed, and, at times, stupidity combine with kidnapping, assault, and murder to achieve an engrossing, well-written thriller that spans a single day. Clare Fergusson, Episcopal priest, and Russ Van Alstyne, police chief, team up again as a search and rescue becomes a murder investigation. Their ambiguously platonic relationship and mutual attraction are still evident as they work their way through the tangle of events. Less time is given to the interplay between these two characters, which may disappoint some series fans. But overall the riveting plot melds with solid characterization and a fine reading by Suzanne Toren. At times credulity may be stretched a bit as events are connected, yet the solid plot creates an entertaining thriller. Recommended.-Denise A. Garofalo, Astor Home for Children, Rhinebeck, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne make a fresh and unusual detective partnership, and I always welcome Clare's impetuous but wise take on the world around her."--Sara Paretsky, author of the V. I. Warshawski novels "Add harrowing tension a la TV's "24 "to Julia Spencer-Fleming's always lyrical prose and beautifully drawn characters, and you have one of the year's must-reads! Spencer-Fleming has topped an already shining series with this fourth outing."--Deborah Crombie, award-winning author of "Dreaming of the Bones "and "In a Dark House" "A Rube Goldberg plot that crams all manner of secrets and crimes into the most hectic 21 hours in Millers Kill's history...the results show that God has both endless compassion for mortal screw-ups--and a terrific sense of humor."--"Kirkus Reviews "(starred review) "A rich and fulfilling story...time spent with these characters is to be cherished."--"Chicago Sun-Times" "Disparate elements fuse with elegant plotting...Spencer Fleming parcels out the excitement until the stunning conclusion. She also continues her sensitive handling of the tension between Clare and the very married chief of police she's fallen in love with."--"Rocky Mountain News" (Grade: A) "Spencer-Fleming makes effective use of her vividly realized Adirondack setting, and she keeps the story moving at a good clip...the fourth installment in a satisfying series."--"Booklist" "The friendship of these solid, down-to-earth characters moves closer to romance, and the intrigue continues to build, revealing a riveting, well-plotted criminal adventure."--"Romantic Times BOOKclub""Magazine" (starred review)

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