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A Fountain Filled with Blood (The Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries #2)

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  4,158 Ratings  ·  376 Reviews
Nestled in the heart of the Adirondacks, Miller's Kill, New York is about as safe as it gets. That's why Episcopal minister Clare Fergusson is shocked when the July Fourth weekend brings a rash of vicious assaults to the scenic town. Even Clare's good friend, police chief Russ Van Alstyne, is shaken by the brutality of the crimes-especially when it appears that the victims
Paperback, 385 pages
Published April 19th 2004 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published April 8th 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Apr 07, 2008 Cill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 30, 2008 Red rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-books, mystery
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
Jul 18, 2008 Trin rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, american-lit
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
MB (What she read)
Apr 24, 2009 MB (What she read) rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
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
Apr 18, 2009 Ann rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 19, 2009 Linda rated it it was amazing
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...
Aug 25, 2009 Abby rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Jan 10, 2010 Marguerite rated it liked it
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.
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
Jun 11, 2015 Carol rated it liked it
Shelves: series
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
Mar 20, 2011 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
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
May 09, 2011 Sadie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed, 2011, mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 19, 2011 Christine rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-mystery
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
May 11, 2016 Tracey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, 5-star
As the title might hint, this installment in the Clare-and-Russ story is rather more dark and violent than the other two I've read so far. It begins with the stomach-knotting threat of hate-filled obscenities shouted at a small group of gay men, and follows immediately with the fulfillment of that promise of violence as a character who made a memorable appearance in In the Bleak Midwinter is stopped and beaten on his way home.

There are messages here, but they're like Clare's faith – there throu
Aug 10, 2011 Lightreads rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, lgbt, mystery
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
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
Diane Corradini
Jul 20, 2013 Diane Corradini rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, contemporary
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.
Sep 28, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it
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
Jan 17, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it
Another enjoyable novel in which Reverend Clare Fergusson and Chief Van Alstyn work together, this time to find gay-bashers. I think I'm going to have to read the whole series!
Mar 03, 2014 Hallie rated it really liked it
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
Carey Combe
Mar 25, 2014 Carey Combe rated it did not like it
This is just too holier than thou / pc for me - a female priest, gay bashing, environmental pollution, baddie developers.... abandoned with pleasure
May 30, 2014 Melanie rated it it was ok
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, "
Melissa McShane
Aug 27, 2015 Melissa McShane rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, mystery
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
Sep 05, 2014 Pat rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Jun 03, 2016 Cindy rated it liked it
I loved the first book in this series. I loved the first part of this book (about 2/3). But it stretched believability to my limit in the last third. I'm not sure I'll read another. I did a lot of skimming there at the end.
Penny Watson
Feb 09, 2016 Penny Watson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fearless-fiction
4.5 stars, rounded up

The mystery is great, but as a romance-lover, my favorite part is the sexual tension between the chief-of-police and the reverend. Yowzah!
Joy H.
May 30, 2015 Joy H. marked it as keep-in-mind
Added 5/30/15.
I read this author's, In the Bleak Midwinter, and thought it was a good mystery, one that I could understand. :) So maybe I'll like this second one in the series. The author, Julia Spencer-Fleming, is going to speak at our public library on June 10, 2015. She is a NY Times best-selling mystery writer.
I really loved the first one but this second one was a doubie for me. Not a fan of the mystery and I felt there was too much discussion of property disputes and development discussion that I got a little bored. The book centered on those things but I felt the author described it just a little too much.
Oct 10, 2016 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this on my drive from Omaha to Denver and other than cringing at the brutality in the beginning, really enjoyed the story. I'm so pleased that our library now has this series on audio books. I'm currently a quarter of the way through the next in the series. This is such an enjoyable series. Thanks, Vanessa, for suggesting it. Also, thanks to my sister, Sharon. She also is a fan of the series.
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The Narthex: Reviews 1 4 Apr 11, 2012 12:10AM  
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More about Julia Spencer-Fleming...

Other Books in the Series

The Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries (9 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)
  • Hid from Our Eyes (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #9)

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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.” 3 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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