In the Bleak Midwinter - Julia Spencer-Fleming A Fountain Filled With Blood - Julia Spencer-Fleming Out of the Deep I Cry - Julia Spencer-Fleming To Darkness and to Death: A Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Novel - Julia Spencer-Fleming All Mortal Flesh: A Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Mystery - Julia Spencer-Fleming I Shall Not Want: A Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Mystery - Julia Spencer-Fleming One Was a Soldier: A Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery (Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries) - Julia Spencer-Fleming Through the Evil Days: A Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery (Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries) - Julia Spencer-Fleming

Day 13: Your favorite writer.


There is definitely more than one, but I am just going to go with one, who is not one of the obvious choices.


Julia Spencer-Fleming has only written the Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Mystery series but there are eight books and counting so far. I've talked about this series in this challenge a couple of times. I read In the Bleak Midwinter and was immediately hooked. I plowed through all seven books in a month (which is fast for me, don't judge). 


From my ItBM review: "I love Julia Spencer-Fleming's writing style. It is descriptive without being over-flowery. There are no lines that stand out as trying too hard, she has a very consistent voice. She sets scenes that draw you into what's happening in an almost effortless way. It can dip into a bit of the cliche, but it never really dives in. Fleming doesn't write a mystery that drops clues along the way, allowing the reader to play junior detective along with the characters. You get the information as the characters do and it's a snaking vine that keeps you guessing but never allows you to get it right. I'm sure some people will hate that because they love trying to put clues together, but I really liked not being bored with the mystery because it was so easy to tell whodunit.

. . . 

The number one thing Fleming does best is characters. I'm a character driven person. I can forgive a lot of things in a story if I love the characters, and a decent story will be terrible to me if I hate the characters. The love I have for this series is very much tied to my love for Russ Van Alstyne and Clare Fergusson. Both are very strong characters, intelligent, with great senses of humor. They're both stubborn (and that trait definitely gets her into trouble) and can set each other off, but they also listen to each other well (most of the time). I love that they're not perfect. They don't always make the right choices (and the choices they have to make get harder and harder). You would think that would be the case with a priest, but she has to fight her pride, her stubbornness, her emotions, and temptation. She has to question herself and her calling. The two have some similarities but they are also very different. For instance, Russ is clear about being an atheist and Clare is an Episcopalian priest. They certainly have their theological discussions but he doesn't really impugn her beliefs and she never preaches at anyone who doesn't ask her to. That's another thing I love so much about her. Throughout the series I found myself wishing they were real and my friends too many times to count."


This remains pretty consistent throughout the series. Though there is some frustration for me later on, in book seven, and I get the feeling that might continue into book eight, there is only one book I didn't like as much but it was still three stars. 


And I got a friend of mine just as hooked on the series as I am, which was not only fun but seriously gratifying.