This mystery has as many unexpected twists as a car with bald tires driving into a New England nor’easter snow storm. Hang on to the edge of your seat and this author will take the wheel. In full disclosure, this mystery novel is one of an eight-book series. You can dive into the middle of the series with this book and completely enjoy the characters, the plot and the dynamic writing. If you want to start at the beginning of the series, you’re looking for “In the Bleak Midwinter.”
The mystery series takes place in the fictional New England small town of Millers Kill in uptown New York. The main characters were an interesting surprise to me. Clare Fergusson is a faith-filled Episcopalian minister who has retained the skills she learned with her background as a tough, army chopper pilot. Russ Van Alstyne is the town’s police chief, and a veteran as well. They met in Miller’s Kill, and have a strong romantic tension.
But we are all made of mortal flesh, and in this mystery our heroes are confronted by a horrific murder, mayhem, lies and secrets. But then again, are there really any secrets in such a small town? Supporting characters are so interesting, and believably well-written. Who would have thought that such a small town could be home to so many possible suspects? Keep reading, because the clues are all there to be discovered and analyzed by the reader.
As if murder is not enough tension, there is the star-crossed romantics’ dilemma that Russ is a married man, long married to Linda. And yet one more thing, each of our heroes is wrestling with difficult career struggles. Oh, and by the way, they are each included in the list of suspects in this murder and appear to have the means, motive, and opportunity to murder the victim. Yes, solving this murder is not only part of their jobs, but also personal. How will it all resolve, and does destiny play any role in the outcome for our driven characters?
Julia Spencer-Fleming is a multi-award-winning writer, including the Agatha Award for a mystery writer. She has spent most of her life living in a similar small town as the one she’s skillfully brought to life on the page. She says life in upstate New York and Maine has given her an affinity for wintery murder and mayhem. “You realize how snow and ice can rule your life. The weather, like any well-written villain, is both fascinating and deadly.”
Thereby hangs a tale . . . .
– By Wendy Kendall
Wendy Kendall is a writer, project manager and volunteer at the Edmonds Library. She’s enjoyed living in Edmonds for over 20 years. Follow her via her blog here or on Twitter @wendywrites1.