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A Fountain Filled with...
Julia Spencer-Fleming
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A Fountain Filled with Blood (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries #2)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  3,317 ratings  ·  313 reviews
It's summer in the Adirondack town of Millers Kill, and temperatures are running high. Local activists are up in arms over a resort being built at the site of an old toxic waste dump. A series of violent homophobic assaults have left several men hospitalized. And Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne and Episcopal priest Clare Fergusson are discovering that it's impossible to igno ...more
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Published September 1st 2004 by Sound Library (first published April 8th 2003)
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I really like these books. They have a nice strong female character. It's interesting and novel that Clare is an Episcopalian priest, who used to be an Army helicopter pilot. I like the setting, a small town in upstate New York. Her best friend and forbidden romantic interest, is the already married police chief. This presents a quandary for me, because even though you'd like characters to get together, I'm not the least bit keen about the breaking up of his marriage. I assume that somewhere fur ...more
Two gay men are brutally attacked in Spencer-Fleming's second Reverend Clare Fergusson mystery. Clare, a former army helicopter pilot, now a priest at St. Alban's Episcopal Church in the small Adirondack town of Millers Kill, New York, feels the attacks are related, and the police should notify the community so people can protect themselves. Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne disagrees, wanting to avoid copycat crimes, and his refusal to act creates tension between the two, further complicated by the ...more
Melissa Proffitt
I'm still very engaged with the whole relationship between Russ and Clare and how they deal with their mutual attraction. I'm also still amused/fascinated by Russ's wife Linda's non-appearance; it's impressive that she can exert such a control on the story simply by existing. Russ's mother amused me tremendously, mostly because of how different she is from her son, but also because she's as committed to her beliefs as Clare is. I'm definitely finding that the characters rather than the mysteries ...more
As I pretty much finished this, slept, did the things I *had* to do (on a Saturday, with a bad headache and the ability to let myself off the hook for a lot of things I probably *should* have done) and launched straight into book 3, I'm both a bit fuzzy about what happened where and pretty clearly addicted to this series. But whether this is a healthy addiction that will do no harm at all, ever, to anyone, or whether it'll break my heart, ruin my family, bring shame and ... All right, enough hyp ...more
MB (What she read)
From one temperature extreme to the other! Wow, this book was good and kept up the same high standard for the sophomore book in the series. What I especially enjoy about Julia Spencer-Fleming is her characterization. Clare and Russ (and all the other bit part players) are 3-dimensional and real. I like and respect them, I care when they are in danger, I worry about their choices...I'm invested!

As a constant reader always searching for new books, what really 'draws me in' is characterization as s
In the second novel of the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series, the priest and the police chief must confront crimes of hate in their small idyllic Adirondack town. Homophobia has reared its ugly head, and Clare once again has her heart and head in involved in both discovering its source and bringing it to the attention of her Episcopalian church and the community. Russ, while equally appalled by these crimes, is more focused on catching the perpetrators of first two assaults and then a murd ...more
The Big Bopper lyrics for Chantilly Lace keep going through my head when I think about my feelings for Fountain Filled with Blood. "You Know What I Like".

There's something comforting about reading a series and spending time with characters that you get to know and love. And love I do Episcopalian Priest Clare Ferguson, Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne and the other inhabitants of Millers Kill, a fictitious town somewhere in the Adirondacks, NY.

The mysteries are light, the killing doesn't gross me
I stayed up waaaaay too late reading this one, even though I pretty much had the mystery all figured out. What kept me up so late at night was the continuing dynamic between Reverend Clare Fergusson and the married Chief of Police, Russ Van Alstyne. After spending the remaining winter and spring studiously avoiding each other, they are together again, determined to keep attraction at bay, and figure out who's behind a series of vicious hate crimes in small town Miller's Kill, NY.

The mystery wasn
Sequel to In the Bleak Midwinter. I loved the first three-fourths of this, though I think it kind of fell apart at the end. Among the good: meeting Russ’ wonderfully eccentric mom, Clare helping Russ confront his internalized homophobia (and his willingness to do so, which shows, despite his discomfort, what a good man he is), Clare interrupting her investigations to get drunk and flirty with a cute Brit—a sequence that, since it’s her, ends with her jumping out a second story window. It’s nice ...more
Interesting take on a cozy-- a female Episcopal priest with a crush on a married police detective pair up together to find out who is killing gay men during a hot summer in a small Adirondack town (upstate NY). This is the second in the series; I recommend reading them in order--I am currently reading the third one-- but it is not necessary to do so. This would not be considered a traditional cozy series due to a more serious, mature content, but has neither an intense nor violent storyline. Eas ...more
I find these books JUST good enough to keep reading - nice, easy-to-read mysteries that draw me in enough to want to know who done it. The first one in the series was better, less predictable. I may read the third after I read a number of other books on my list. (not sure)

My biggest problem with the book: the characters. First, I don't get the attraction between Russ and Clare. I don't feel it. I don't buy it. I'm TOLD it is there. Reminds me of high school English class when the teacher said, "
Hey, I liked this one too!

And the thing I liked, most particularly (still not the mystery) is how this relationship is between two really different people. The most obvious way is in their politics – she’s a bleeding heart liberal, he’s a head-in-the-sand social conservative in the way some people are by virtue of pretending that a lot of problems aren’t problems. And they argue about this stuff! Like grownups! In ways that make neither of them look stupid in the long term! That is so refreshing
I feel like I'm not going to know what I think about this series until I read more! (Well, I'm enjoying it.) (This isn't too much of a spoiler.) (view spoiler) ...more
Joyce Lagow
2nd in the Reverend Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series.[return][return]A well-respected medical examiner, who is gay, is beaten to within an inch of his life. Shocked by the appearance of such a hate crime, Clare urges Rush to warn other gays in Miller s Kill about the incident. Russ refuses, afraid that that will merely incite copycat crimes. Within a short time, yet another gay man is severely beaten in his video rental store, ratcheting the tension between Clare and Russ higher.[return][ ...more
Another mystery I liked better than I thought I would. The crime solver in this series is a former Army pilot, turned Episcopal priest in upstate New York. Obviously the way she gets involved in solving the crime is a bit contrived, but otherwise the genre just doesn't work! I am enjoying the building tension between her and the police chief, although I struggle with whether he is a schlumpy, small town cop with a unsympathetic wife, 16 years her senior, or if he's a almost fit, handsome, former ...more
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This sequel fleshed out much more of the back-story of the protagonists, anchoring their personalities within their own histories.

The inevitability of Clare's love of helicopters and Russ's phobia of flying in them was established early in the first novel. The eventual collision of these feelings is logically anticipated.

Those revelations would have been better served and more powerful within a simpler and more logical context later in the series. Unfortunately I found that scene overly compli
There certainly was plenty of blood in this book! But the heroine of it totally turned me off. She is an Episcopal preist who seemed to me to violate every tenet of her profession, getting into all sorts of scrapes necessitating her rescue by the chief of police who is trying to solve a number of brutal murders which she thinks are tied to gay-bashing in the community, and which she feels something should be done about, although the police chief thinks otherwise. In addition, she was a helicopte ...more
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I am really enjoying this series. The one annoyance is that the chief of police's wife exists only as a plot device. The reader never meets her, never gets inside her head, never hears her utter a single line of dialogue. She apparently only exists off the page as a pretext for keeping our heroes separated romantically. I am curious how far into the series the author went before a) we meet her, b) the marriage falls apart, and c) Clare and Russ get together. However, I love Clare as an Episcopal ...more
Carey Combe
This is just too holier than thou / pc for me - a female priest, gay bashing, environmental pollution, baddie developers.... abandoned with pleasure
(3 of 5 stars)

There are some books that will always feel like small time capsules of an era gone by. I'm used to seeing it on the classic science fiction side, where slang and rocket technology and presence or absence of women and/or life on Mars and/or the USSR is almost always enough to guess a book's publication date within a year or two - but after doing a double-take on seeing that this book was only published in 2003, I've been thinking about change, about public opinion and the speed of m
Sara Cat
So hard to rank these. 3.5 stars. They just leave you wanting a little more of everything - character depth, a look at the life of a priest, backstory, villany, etc. Everything runs a little flat.

The premise is so good, and she writes a great action climax that in this and the last book made a lot of the other stuff worth the slog. This book was better than the last and looking at reviews, it seems like they keep getting better. Yet, for some reason, the essence of the mysteries seem to me to be
The second mystery in the series about Reverend Clare Fergusson, a former Army helicopter pilot, now an Episcopal priest in upstate New York. I like the snippets of Episcopal services and prayers that appear in the story, so familiar from growing up. Clare’s friendship with Sheriff Russ deepens in this one throughout, but especially during the desperate helicopter rescue flight, crash, and hike out toward the end, when Russ’ worst experiences in Vietnam and their lasting effects are revealed. Cl ...more
It's been six months since Clare Ferguson, former army helicopter pilot and current Episcopal priest, and Russ Van Alstyne, police chief of Miller's Kill worked together on their first crime. They've been studiously avoiding one another ever since in an effort to keep their mutual attraction from gaining ground. During the Fourth of July holiday, two gay men are attacked and badly beaten in a manner that appears to be a hate crime. Clare is convinced Russ should warn the gay members of the town ...more
Not bad, but the helicopter shenanigans strained credulity. I also saw the unmasking of a villain coming 60 or more pages later, so the story was a tad anticlimactic. I'll read more in the series, but see no point in reviewing each one. Two per series is my self-imposed limit, unless there's a shark jump or a reclusive author comes out of retirement.
Diane Corradini
Great series - an Episcopalian priest and a copy team up to solve mysteries. I started with the last in the series, One Was a Soldier, which was excellent. Now am going back and reading the beginning of the series. This one is not as good as her later ones, but it was still very good. Lots of contemporary issues covered in the series.
Another good entry in this series, although for me not quite as good as the first.
Gay men are being viciously attacked in this story and the Chief, with good reason, doesn't want to believe the attacks are hate crimes. Additionally, a group of townspeople are protesting a new construction project that may be forcing PCBs into the water supply.
I felt like there were too many disparate story lines here, though I will admit that they were all finally tied together. Also, Clare's involvement in the
WOW, I really love the way this gal writes! Another great story! I already pulled the next one off the shelf to read right away (sorry, Janet, maybe I can finish it before you are ready for it!)

Back to my books...
Book two in series. I very much enjoy the interplay of the characters here. They're both a little improbable, but I think that is part of the charm. She is an Episcopalian priest, former military helicopter pilot. He is married local chief of police, a good fifteen years her senior. There are moments when you just have to be willing to roll with the plot--she tends to take ridiculous actions that almost always yield very useful results, for instance. And I'm not sure in the end the mystery holds ...more
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The Narthex: Reviews 1 3 Apr 11, 2012 12:10AM  
The Narthex: Discussion 1 3 Apr 11, 2012 12:08AM  
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Wednesday, September 7

Work-In-Progress Wednesday at my Reader Space. We're up to the fifth part of the second chapter of my eighth book, which has some numerological meaning, I'm sure.
More about Julia Spencer-Fleming...

Other Books in the Series

Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries (8 books)
  • In the Bleak Midwinter (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #1)
  • Out of the Deep I Cry (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #3)
  • To Darkness and to Death (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #4)
  • All Mortal Flesh (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #5)
  • I Shall Not Want (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #6)
  • One Was a Soldier (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #7)
  • Through the Evil Days (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #8)
In the Bleak Midwinter (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #1) I Shall Not Want (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #6) One Was a Soldier (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #7) Out of the Deep I Cry (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #3) All Mortal Flesh (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #5)

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“Give them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy.” 2 likes
“And as for people shunning us because of our known association with homosexuals”—here she wiggled her eyebrows, because she sounded ridiculously like Joseph McCarthy—“I say we don’t want new members who would think like that. We want people who will admire us for taking a stand and who will say, ‘Yes, that’s Christianity; that’s how I want to live it and that’s the church I want to belong to.” 2 likes
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