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In the Bleak Midwinter
In the Bleak Midwinter: A Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Mystery | Julia Spencer-Fleming
It's a cold, snowy December in the upstate New York town of Millers Kill, and newly ordained Clare Fergusson is on thin ice as the first female priest of its small Episcopal church. The ancient regime running the parish covertly demands that she prove herself as a leader. However, her blunt manner, honed by years as an army pilot, is meeting with a chilly reception from some members of her congregation and Chief of Police Russ Van Alystyne, in particular, doesn't know what to make of her, or how to address "a lady priest" for that matter. The last thing she needs is trouble, but that is exactly what she finds. When a newborn baby is abandoned on the church stairs and a young mother is brutally murdered, Clare has to pick her way through the secrets and silence that shadow that town like the ever-present Adirondack mountains. As the days dwindle down and the attraction between the avowed priest and the married police chief grows, Clare will need all her faith, tenacity, and courage to stand fast against a killer's icy heart. In the Bleak Midwinter is one of the most outstanding Malice Domestic winners the contest has seen. The compelling atmosphere-the kind of very cold and snowy winter that is typical of upstate New York-will make you reach for another sweater. The characters are fully and believably drawn and you will feel like they are your old friends and find yourself rooting for them every step of the way.
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Lynnsoprano
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This is a series that I binge read, and I don‘t normally do that. I won the first book in a giveaway from another author, and I quickly bought the rest at retail, which should tell you how much I liked it 😂This is the first book, and it showed up today on Bookbub. I‘m also excited because, after five years of waiting, a new book in the series is coming out next year.

Crazeedi I really enjoyed this one, but the second one just didn't click for me, I put it down. And I was so excited to find this series, maybe I need to revisit the 2nd book or just skip to the 3rd 1mo
Clare-Dragonfly I never seem to be satisfied by mystery novels but I might have to check this out just because of the names 😂 1mo
46 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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EadieB
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If you haven‘t read Julia Spencer Fleming‘s Clare Ferguson series, you need to. I‘ve been waiting for her 9th book since 2014. Her husband passed away and she was in the middle of writing Hid From Our Eyes and now it is at the publisher for editing and will be out early 2020.

#juliaspencerfleming #inthebleakmidwinter

Crazeedi I've never read these, I must check out! 6mo
SW-T Such a good series! Hadn‘t heard about her husband or Hid From Our Eyes update. Thanks for posting! 6mo
60 likes2 comments
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Tove_Reads
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This just looks and sounds so good!

EadieB I‘ve read this whole series. It is a good one! 6mo
Tove_Reads @EadieB Good to know! 6mo
EadieB @Tove_Reads I‘ve been waiting for her next book but it seems that her husband died a few years back and she hasn‘t finished it yet. 6mo
Tove_Reads @EadieB ☹️ I just got so many books on Overdrive, and I have several I need to finish by Saturday when they are due. Always at the same time, you know the drill 🤷🏼‍♀️ Well, I guess I‘ll just spend my last few recovering days reading... Are you ready for McKinty next week? 6mo
EadieB @Tove_Reads yes I‘m all ready for McKinty! Julia Spencer Fleming has finished her 9th book and it will be published next winter called Hid From Our Eyes. 6mo
36 likes5 comments
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bookishkris
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1. Spent my first 25 years in Rhode Island and the past almost 17 in Denver, Colorado.

2. Alexander C Eberhart, he writes amazing queer YA

3. I have two bookcases full of unread print books, never mind my digital collections. So like my yarn stash, my tbr is SABLE: Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.

4. Bed, with a dog.

5. The tagged book; the entire series is wonderful. She writes character driven mysteries, and they‘re SO good.

TrishB I love SABLE 😁 7mo
Suet624 I‘m with @TrishB! 7mo
tessavi I second @TrishB 😁 7mo
Ellebeekay I‘m another New England to Colorado transplant. Been in the Springs since 1991. 😊 7mo
33 likes4 comments
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Lynnsoprano
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❄️ In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer Fleming
❄️ Frozen. I can‘t help it, I‘ve watched it too many times with our grandson 😄
❄️ Cold As Ice by Foreigner
#ManicMonday

JoScho 💙💙💙 7mo
Kimzey Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer 🥶 7mo
Lynnsoprano @Kimzey I forgot about that one! 7mo
50 likes3 comments
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thea-block
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Pickpick

Began this book because I wanted something appropriately winter-like. I got that, and so much more! The winter atmosphere really adds to this mystery, social commentary, and building relationship of the main characters. I found this book mostly realistic, while occasionally requiring you to suspend belief for the sake of the story. Overall, a captivating mystery series. Looking forward to the future books!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2

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EadieB
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Day 23 - adventrecommends

This is the first book in another favorite series.

Heavy Snow...Icy Desires...Cold-Blooded Murder
Clare Fergusson, St. Alban's new priest, fits like a square peg in the conservative Episcopal parish at Miller's Kill, New York. She is not just a "lady," she's a tough ex Army chopper pilot, and nobody's fool. Then a newborn infant left at the church door brings her together with the town's police chief, Russ Van Alstyne.

Booksnchill I recently got a copy of this one- you make it sound great for this midwinter!🌬 9mo
EadieB @Booksnchill Enjoy! It is a great series! 9mo
Tove_Reads Never heard! 9mo
EadieB @Tove_Reads Great series! Started reading them in 2002 and read them all and then her husband died in the middle of her last book and she has never finished it. 9mo
77 likes4 stack adds4 comments
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Susanita
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From the sublime to the ridiculous:
Silent Night
Breath of Heaven
In the Bleak Midwinter
Christmas Waltz
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

I also love all those moody songs in minor keys like Coventry Carol and I Wonder as I Wander.

#SundayFunday

Tonton God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Annie Lennox 10mo
Tonton Here‘s the link https://youtu.be/ZlsJD8RlhbI 10mo
Susanita @Tonton That‘s lovely! I think she sings Coventry Carol on that CD too. 10mo
sebrittain ❤🎄❤🎄❤ 10mo
38 likes4 comments
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esurient
This post contains spoilers
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Panpan

#unpopularopinion Really disliked the characters here. Hated reading the heroine behaving deferentally to the local blowhard -- he apparently reminds her of interactions appropriate to her military background. And I gather she eventually develops a romance with the local sheriff -- he's married, unhappily, in this book.

esurient The idea of the adultery bothers me less than the thought of getting stuck reading whole books of the priest guiltily participating in adultery. Though it would be almost worse if the author fridged the wife. 1y
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EadieB
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Pickpick

I love this series about Clare Fergusson, St. Alban‘s new priest for a Episcopal parish at Miller‘s Kill New York. She‘s an ex-Army chopper pilot and nobody‘s fool. She works with the town‘s police chief in search for an abandoned baby‘s mother. Excellent series not to be missed!
#readingwomenmonth

Andrew65 Never heard of this one! 1y
Weaponxgirl I've not heard about this one either! 1y
EadieB @weaponxgirl @Andrew65 The author was in the middle of writing the 9th book when her husband died a few years ago and she still hasn‘t finished the book. 1y
Andrew65 @EadieB That‘s sad! 😢 1y
EadieB @Andrew65 Writing that book must remind her of her husband‘s death. I agree - very sad! 1y
71 likes5 stack adds5 comments
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Lizpixie
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#2018BookBinge #day3 #Wintry This novel by Julia Spencer-Fleming is the first in the Clare Ferguson/Russ Van Alstyne series.Set in the Adirondack mountains during a bad winter,a baby is left at Clare‘s door,the new priest in St Albans.Joining the search for the parents is Russ, the chief of police in the town. With vivid descriptions of the snow, ice & freezing blizzards of the area, it‘s a very wintry read. Especially in audiobook form, like mine

howjessreads Ooh! I‘ve thought about trying that series! 2y
kspenmoll Love this series! 2y
64 likes2 comments
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Little_Reader
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My favorite thing about winter is curling up by the tree to read. 😍

britt_brooke Beautiful! 2y
ElizabethAndino I‘m reading what‘s on your kindle too. We are actually on the same chapter!!!! 2y
Little_Reader @ElizabethAndino That‘s crazy! 2y
See All 6 Comments
Kshakal I can‘t wait to get my tree up so I can do the same thing! 2y
annahenke I'm doing the same tonight and loving it! 2y
TheBookKeepers The lights on that tree! 😍🙌 2y
44 likes6 comments
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raelaschoenherr
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Pickpick

Enjoyed this start of a small town mystery series with the crime-solving duo of a female Episcopal priest and a police chief. I heard about it as a read-alike to Louise Penny, and I'm curious to see if it continues with some of the secondary characters as well, like Penny. #audiobook

Suetara This is one of my favorite series, and one of the few I still buy new in hardcover on release day. 2y
raelaschoenherr @Suetara I'm so glad to hear that! I already have the audiobook of book two ready to go ☺️ 2y
26 likes2 comments
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Lizpixie
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#MarchIntoReading #day22 #AwesomeAudiobooks I've been an Audible member for years now,ever since I bought my first iPod.I have a library of over 300 audiobooks & I still fall asleep every night listening to one. These are nine of my current favourites.Cocaine Blues is so Aussie,The Exorcist is even scarier than the movie,As You Wish & The Stupidest Angel are giggle worthy,Not My Fathers Son & Columbine are heartbreaking,they're all fabulous!

bookishkris Excited to see In the Bleak Midwinter on your list. Have you listened to the rest of the series? 2y
Lizpixie @bookishkris I have up to I Shall Not Want on audio. They're very good 😊 2y
59 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Lynnsoprano
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#Marchintoreading Since I used Silent Spring for a prompt last week, I'll go with this for #aseasoninthetitle.

76 likes1 stack add
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Bookworm83
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The list of things I could blame on Litsy is long, but two of my recent acquisitions from the library were Litsy recs....Lincoln in the Bardo ( @Liberty and everyone else) and In the Bleak Midwinter ( @bookishkris ). I'm enjoying both of them! I also blame Litsy for introducing me to my incredible #litsygoespostalOG family (notice our awesome bookmark made by @MeganAnn ) ❤❤ #marchintoreading #blameitonlitsy

bookishkris I love getting new people hooked on the Julia Spencer-Fleming books! Can't wait to hear how you like it! 3y
LitsyGoesPostal 😊👍🏻 3y
109 likes5 stack adds2 comments
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lisakoby
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Pickpick

Interesting relationships but there are plot holes that cause some issues. I struggle with the trope of spunky impulsive woman. Also, she's served in the army and can't light a fire in a fireplace despite having survival training? It's the little things that bug me. I'm giving the second in the series a chance - need a new audiobook series for my commute. Well read audiobook and well written for the genre despite the issues.

⭐⭐⭐

Suzze I am not caught up on this series, but always enjoyed it despite these kinds of missteps. 3y
GardenJess Oh good to know the audio is well done! 3y
lisakoby @Suzze Yes, that's why I got the second on audio. The relationship between the two main characters is charming and a lot of fun. 3y
lisakoby @GardenJess Great narrator! It made the book for me. 3y
22 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Lynnsoprano
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The first book in one of my favorite series, this will put a chill on even the warmest Florida day. When I think #chillyreads, this is at the top of my list. I just wish the author would write more in this series. #photoadaynov16

Lizpixie I love this series! I have them on audiobook & the narrator does a great job of making you feel like you're there in the freezing cold. I love reading and listening to books like this during our ridiculously hot Aussie Xmas.🌞 3y
saresmoore Must. Read. Immediately. So. WARM! I mean, please, Florida, could you at least accommodate the wearing of jeans? Sigh. It's almost December and my A/C is still humming defiantly. 3y
Lynnsoprano @saresmoore I know! Ours is going strong, too. We got some great cool weather on our trip to north Georgia last week, but now it seems even hotter here. 3y
Lynnsoprano @Lizpixie We've had lots of hot Christmases in Florida, too. It still seems weird to me to see people decorate palm trees in their yards, and we've lived here 40 years. 3y
58 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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GardenJess
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Pickpick

It was a slow start for me, and by the end I wanted to know ..... though the bumbling of the main character did annoy at times I ended up fully vested in reverend Clare and chief Russ.

lisakoby This is exactly how I felt. 3y
GardenJess I haven't read another but keep thinking I might try another. Have you @lisakoby ? 3y
8 likes2 comments
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Lynnsoprano
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Pickpick

The first of a great series, Spencer-Fleming books are hard for me to put down.

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Imagineannie
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Pickpick

This was recommended to me by @bookishkris to whom I am most grateful. A smart cast of characters, keen social observations and a lot of sexual/romantic tension. I didn't like the way it was read on audible; I'll definitely read the rest in the series but I'd rather "hear" the voices in my own way.

bookishkris Yay, I'm so happy you liked it! The social observations are one of my favorite things about the series! As always, different people like different things, but I feel like the fourth, seventh, and eighth books are the weakest in the series. The ninth looks like it's going to be really good, though. 3y
21 likes1 stack add1 comment
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bookishkris
Pickpick

Fantastic opener to a great series. More than a mystery, this is a character driven book that uses a sense of place as its own character. If you fall in love with this (and everyone I've given it to has), there are seven more in the series to read.

2 likes1 stack add