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Through the Evil Days (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #8)
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Through the Evil Days (The Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries #8)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  2,695 ratings  ·  457 reviews
The eighth book in the Rev. Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Mystery series.

On a frigid January night, Chief of Police Russ Van Alstyne and Reverend Clare Fergusson are called to the scene of a raging fire, that quickly becomes a double homicide and kidnapping. Which is the very last thing Russ needs...Currently he's struggling with the prospect of impending fatherhood
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Minotaur Books
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Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way first. I loved this book! I give it a 5 out of 5 on the Goodreads rating scale. Other reviewers have discussed:
• The need to read the series in order. Yes! It is a series of 8 glorious books. Read them all and in order.
• The various plot lines. They are fairly intricate but also relatively easy to follow.

What I want to get across here is why you will want to read these books and what you will get from them.
1. The books are very well written. You will not f
On the one hand, I read this book quickly, with much affection for its characters. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe Julia Spencer-Fleming has become one of those writers who is so successful her editor stops editing her books. I love Clare Fergusson, she is the best, closest-to-real life fictional portrayal of a working priest I've encountered. So I suppose that's why I was disappointed to see Clare, pregnant and in the types of danger that no priest in upstate New York would ever be. ...more
Back in March 2011, I finished One was a Soldier - the book preceding this one in the series about Clare Ferguson and Russ Van Alstyne. After reading the closing line, I threw the previous book across the room yelling - " can't leave us hanging like this!"

30 plus months later, we are finally able to pick up the story. All of us who are fans of this wonderful cast of characters have been holding our collective breath to see what's going to happen. I really hate to give too much away so t
I LOVED this book. And I hated the ending. I felt the final character had more character than was exhibited at the end. But that shortcoming in no way lessened my love for the book. I can hardly wait for the NEXT Clare and Russ installment!

I had some physical challanges over the summer and reading was one of the things I could do. I received an Advance Readers' Edition of the book which really hit the spot and saved my sanity! Through the Evil Days was thoroughly satisfying. Of course I am sold
Mary Frances
Wow, it was hard to rate this book. I love this series, love the characters, love the way the author makes the characters real. Clare, an Episcopal priest and war veteran, is so interesting and complex. Russ seems very much like men I have known, in love with a strong woman, unthreatened by her strength but struggling a lot with the energy and change she brings to his life. The others characters too have distinct and complicated personalities and lives. All good. However, I had to give this book ...more
Lynn Reynolds
Not my favorite in the generally excellent Clare Fergusson mysteries, but still an enjoyable read. The mystery in this entry focuses on a missing girl and a meth lab operation. You'd think that would lead to a roller coaster plot full of suspense. Eventually, it does take off and the action builds to a satisfying conclusion, but it takes Ms. Spencer-Fleming longer than usual to get there. The reason: a much greater focus on the personal lives of Clare & Russ and two supporting characters, Ha ...more
Adventurous, funny, and oh, so human. Russ and Clare, this one's for you:

If thou but suffer God to guide thee,
And hope in Him through all thy ways,
Though storms roll in, though folks deride thee,
He'll bear thee through the evil days.
God lent thee wits; thy spouse's love;
Thy combat skills; instincts thereof.

Only be still and wait His leisure
With loaded gun and heart content
To take whate'er the Father's pleasure
And all-discerning love hath sent:
Censure; defunding; meth lords; Feds;
A kidnapped girl
I'm going to do what I've done with several of these books in the past, and start off with a few paragraphs that are safe for anyone, then switch to safe if you've read through book 7 in the series but not this (with maybe the odd spoiler line or two) and then launch into discussion with my 4 friends who've read this one already behind spoiler cut.

Most of what I have to say about the series overall has been said in bits and pieces, by me and/or by my fellow addicts, but this might be a good plac
This was fine, but there was too much going on and I'm not really a fan of the books that take place in a super-short timeframe.

(view spoiler)
Melissa McShane
This latest installment in the series reads a lot more like a thriller than a mystery, with Clare and Russ trapped in a not-so-wondrous winter wonderland and the rest of the MKPD fighting the worst storm in years as well as trying to find the kidnappers of a little girl. The two plots eventually connect, fortunately, keeping the story from feeling like two books in one, and the solution to the mystery has enough twists to make it interesting. I thought the main kidnapper was a little too evil to ...more
Now I'm all caught up on the series, and I want to know what happens NEXT. Though this wasn't my favorite--too much of Clare and Russ's honeymoon from Hell felt a bit too conveniently messed up, on top of some threats of life-changing proportions in their lives (and I'm not just talking about impending parenthood, though the book does deal with that as well). It does say something for the propulsive nature of the narrative that I managed to overcome my loathing for kidnapped-child stories. Thoug ...more
Lynn Spencer
4.5 stars I honestly don’t remember who was the first to recommend Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Clare Fergusson/Russ van Alstyne series to me. I know Rachel Potter and Jean Wan here at AAR have raved about these books, as have posters on our message boards and various other bloggers I read. And I have to say that I agree with them. These books are fabulous. Spencer-Fleming gives readers good mysteries, but more importantly, her characters are intelligently written and over the course of the 8(so fa ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Bryant
My spouse and I both just read this and agree -- It was like candy, or a box of cracker jacks -- enjoyable to consume, but then you are done.
We have both read all of the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne books, so we knew what we were getting into.
On the plus side: the book is engaging, a real page-turner if you are into this sort of suspense novel. Lots of action, lots of interesting characters, lots of nasty upstate New York weather to worry about on your heroes' behalf.
The plot is, of cours
In the 8th book in the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series finds Clare and Russ married, trying to get a grip on Clare’s pregnancy (which Russ didn’t want) and hoping to get to their long-delayed honeymoon. But first they must deal with their own personal problems. While Reverend Clare has been married two and a half months she is five and a half months pregnant. So the Bishop gives Clare one week to decide whether she will resign or be brought up on charges of sexual misconduct and conduct ...more
#8 in the Clare Fergusson / Russ Van Alstyne series. The book starts with posing 3 problems with a one week deadline. Clare has been charged with un-priestly behavior for her pre-marital pregnancy and the Bishop has given her a week to quietly resign from St. Alban's or face a trial by the church. Russ has found that in a week the town council will decide whether to place the question of eliminating the Miller's Kill Police Department and turn its functions over to the State Police. Kevin Flynn ...more
Although I only discovered Julia Spencer-Fleming's amazing Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series this past summer, I immediately became a steadfast fan. The bonus I received for playing catch-up is that I only had to wait four months between my reading of One Was a Soldier, #7 in the series, and Through the Evil Days, #8. Also, I had the fan-dream-come-true opportunity to meet Julia at Bouchercon in September and take a drive through a bit of the Adirondacks, eating lunch at a rustic inn on La ...more
What an awesome addition to this series!!! I didn't want it to be over, as Clare and Russ start their short honeymoon. But when you're 5 months preggers and a female Episcopalian priest who just married the local Sheriff, things tend to get sticky. Now Clare has a week to decide to resign quietly or face charges from her bishop of conduct unbecoming to a priest. Russ for his part has his own problems as the city council has decided that Miller's Kill may not need their own police force. Never mi ...more
I've been a fan of this series ever since I discovered the first book, and eagerly await each new book as it is released. I was delighted to receive a free review copy of this book. "Through the Evil Days" (since main character Clare is an Episcopal priest, all the titles are drawn from Anglican hymns) picks up shortly after the last book left off, with Clare newly sober and newly pregnant, and her husband Russ reeling and a bit resentful about the unexpected pregnancy. Clare and Russ are planni ...more
One of the strengths of Julia Spencer-Fleming's series is that she never writes the same book twice. That also means that some of the enjoyable scenes of previous books, like the banter with Harlene in the police department and with Clare and her church secretary are minimal, because the action is set away from the town of Millers Kill and is moved into the Adirondack wilds.
Vestry meetings bookend this story, since the Reverend Clare Fergusson is under a bishop's review for "conduct unbecomin
Just before Rev. Clare and Sheriff Van Alstyne can leave on their belated honeymoon there is a mysterious fire that reveals the death of two people and the kidnapping of a young girl who faces death without her medication. Leaving his deputies to investigate the deaths and kidnapping Clare and Russ head up into the hills to stay in a cabin they are thinking of buying. As the worst ice storm in years rears its ugly head the sheriff's department is overwhelmed with problems and still trying to fin ...more
Diane Waldo
I highly recommend this latest installment in the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series. Picking up where "One Was a Soldier" ended, Clare and Russ are still trying to come to grips with her pregnancy. Her job is threatened because of it; their marriage is threatened because of Russ's feelings about it; and the pregnancy itself is threatened because of events which take place on their honeymoon.

Julia Spencer-Fleming manages to weave together the pregnancy story line with a compelling saga inv
Julia Spencer-Fleming has crafted another solid mystery with the eighth installment of her series. Through the Evil Days features Clare, an Episcopal priest, and Russ Van Alstyne, a police chief, in fictitious Miller's Kill, New York. Over the course of one week, readers witness the havoc that a fire, a kidnapping, an ice storm, and a murder wreak on the newlyweds, Clare and Russ.

During their delayed honeymoon trip, ice fishing in the Adirondacks, (Russ' idea), the fate of Clare's job at St. Al
I received an Advanced Readers Copy, so I could review it. I can't tell you how excited & happy this makes me!

Evil Days is a great ride. I stayed up too late reading, I ignored the new puppy, I called in favors so I could keep turning the pages. This is just plain, old-fashioned good writing that pulls you in and doesn’t let go. The tension builds and builds, and when you finally reach the end there is one more surprise. I closed the book with grunt of surprise, and I’m still thinking about
The story of “Through the Evil Days” spins out over one week in the lives of our favorite Millers Kill residents, all of whom face daunting challenges and inner apprehension as they are thrown into situations fraught with emotional upheaval. While Russ and Clare struggle to come to grips with her unexpected pregnancy, Clare once again finds herself at odds with the bishop and Russ is caught up in an unexpected issue with the aldermen. The department’s investigation of an early-morning house fire ...more
C.P. Stringham
What's the worst thing about this book? That I have to wait for JSF to release the next. I picked up my copy on 11/13/13 with every intention of drawing reading time out as long as possible to make it last. Seriously. Good intentions, lack of discipline. Fifty pages here, fifty pages there, and one-hundred pages before bed. Before I knew it, I was on her acknowledgements page at the back of the book. In five days, it was done.

I have come to think of Russ and Clare as cherished old friends I hav
This is one of my favorite book series. Clare and Russ are such good, honorable people that it is a pleasure to read about them and root for them, both as individuals and as a couple. I really like them. And I like the setting of the books - upstate New York. Miller's Kill is almost like a character in itself because so much of the action is dependent on the specifics of weather, geography, people and culture of that place. As the series has progressed, Spencer-Fleming has introduced secondary c ...more
Stephanie Moglia
I loved this book! It might be because I waited so long for this book to come out, but I don't care. I loved seeing all the characters again. The Russ/Clare storyline was frustrating, but was perfectly fitting for the characters. I really liked the pressure being put on Hadley and Flynn as principal investigators and even Lyle stepping up as chief deputy. I was surprised how quickly the action/suspense started; I felt like I had hit the climax of the book less than half-way through. Once I reali ...more
Surprise, surprise. A pleasant surprise at that. Julia Spencer-Fleming has breathed new life into this, the eighth title in her Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series. Left last outing feeling ho hum about continuing, I'm glad I did. Lots of action, a decent mystery and new moral and religious dilemmas for the cast and crew. A cliff hanger and lots of loose threads leaves me in wait of number nine.

(view spoiler)
Finally getting around to a review for this one! It's an edge-of-your-seat read from beginning to end! Ms. Spencer-Fleming left us with a cliffhanger in the previous book and has done so once again.....and I sure hope she doesn't leave us waiting 2-1/2 years for the next one. Russ & Clare are finally off on a honeymoon (ice fishing in the middle of nowhere in the Adirondacks?? How UN-romantic!), but nothing can go smoothly for these 2...EVER. A missing child who's had a liver transplant and ...more
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The Narthex: Anticipation Post 28 26 Mar 16, 2013 06:22AM  
The Narthex: Work-In-Progress Wednesdays 53 24 Sep 14, 2012 03:09AM  
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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

The Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries (8 books)
  • In the Bleak Midwinter (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #1)
  • A Fountain Filled With Blood (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #2)
  • 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)

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