Thursday, September 26, 2019

Book Review: All Mortal Flesh by Julia Spencer-Fleming

All Mortal Flesh
Author: Julia Spencer-Fleming
Series: Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries (Book 5)
Publication: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (March 4, 2008)

Description: Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne's first encounter with Clare Fergusson was in an emergency room on a freezing December night. A newborn had been left on the steps of the town's Episcopal church, where Clare just happened to be the new priest. That night in the hospital was the beginning of an attraction so fierce, so forbidden, that both Russ and Clare risked compromising all of their ethics and beliefs…

In the small community of Millers Kill, gossip spreads like wildfire. So when Russ's wife kicks him out of the house, he figures it's nobody's business but his own―until a neighbor stops by and finds Mrs. Van Alstyne's butchered corpse on the kitchen floor. To the townspeople and church folk, the murder is proof that the whispered rumors about the police chief and the priest were true. But nothing is as it seems in Millers Kill, where betrayal twists old friendships―and evil waits inside quaint white clapboard farmhouses…

My Thoughts: This story begins with Clare on retreat at a mountain cabin in January trying to come to terms with her relationship with Russ Van Alstyne. Russ confessed to his wife that he had fallen in love with Clare in November. December found them in counseling and January found him kicked out of his home.

Meanwhile back in Millers Kill, a police call to Russ's house find the murdered and mutilated body of his wife in their kitchen. The deputy chief wants to keep the investigation in house but another deputy decides it is necessary to tip off the State police. He had no idea that the investigator would come in with an agenda to prove that Russ was the murderer. Russ has been staying at his mother's house but he doesn't have an alibi for the time of his wife's murder.

Russ is heartbroken and trying to investigate his wife's death. Meanwhile, Clare is dealing with a new deacon assigned by the Bishop who goal is to keep her on the straight and narrow. Things get even more tense and more confused when it is determined that the woman dead in Russ's kitchen is not his wife. Now the investigator has switched her focus to Clare as the murderer. And Russ is trying to clear her and locate his missing wife.

This story was exciting and filled with tension. The writing was strong. I felt so bad for Clare and Russ who were in the middle of a real no-win situation. They were victims of their own morals and ethics.

Favorite Quote:
"So Linda was working onsite, even though it's not technically open?"

"From what she told me, she was primarily working from home. But yes, she also worked at the resort occasionally. With all those muscular, sweaty carpenters around, who wouldn't?

Clare couldn't help herself, with a straight line like that. "I'm only interested in one carpenter, myself."

Grogan smiled, delighted. "And why not? When you find someone divine, stick with him, I say."
I bought this one March 27, 2009. You can buy your copy here.

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