Julia Spencer-Fleming

Books: Mystery

Rev. Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne: A Fountain Filled with Blood (2003)

A Fountain Filled with Blood (2003)

Fountain Filled with BloodI don’t know what it was, but this story annoyed the living crap out of me. Not bad enough that I didn’t finish it, but I can’t say I read for detail, and probably glossed over whole pages for the second half of the book.

Clare is an Episcopal priest in the small town of Millers Kill. Russ is the local police chief. THEY FIGHT CRIME!


No, I’m not.

Peggy is trying to build a spa on her land, but there are claims that traces of PCB, despite an earlier EPA clean-up, have been found and are threatening the project.

Someone is targeting homosexuals in Millers Kill, deciding that they need to be taught a lesson.

Clare ends up in the middle of everything. Of course. She also does stupid things like sneaking around like a private detective and snooping into people’s private business.

Don’t get me wrong, I generally like mysteries where religious figures solve murder mysteries, using their knowledge of human nature and love of humanity to help people. Clare, however, was just plain nosy, in ways that I found incredibly unbecoming. The idea of a priest (or nun or rabbi) searching through someone’s bedroom drawers totally squicks me out. It’s just… wrong.

And then there’s Clare’s feelings towards Russ. Who is married. Again, I don’t expect clergy (even celibate ones) to lack all feelings of love and romance. I can even understand developing feelings towards a married individual. But the way Clare kept dwelling on it felt… tawdry.

Maybe that’s not a fair word. After all, she didn’t do anything. But she also seemed incapable of dealing with her feelings like an adult–she seemed incapable of being honest with herself about her feelings, and that annoyed the crap out of me. It’s one thing to have feelings that you know are inappropriate. It’s something else entirely to lie to yourself about those feelings and what they mean.

Plus, on several occasions, Clare almost seemed TSTL. I mean, she’s ex-military. Shouldn’t she have more control and SENSE? (Oh, I’m going to force my way onto private property, and then I’m going to check out this private helicopter, even getting inside it and poking at the controls! Why would anyone have a problem with that, after all, I flew helicopters in the Army! Uh, because it’s private property, and they don’t know you from Adam.)

Published by St. Martin’s Press

Rating: 4/10