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In the Bleak Midwinter | [Julia Spencer-Fleming]

In the Bleak Midwinter

Clare Fergusson, St. Alban's new priest, fits like a square peg in the conservative Episcopal parish at Miller's Kill, New York. She is not just a "lady"; she's a tough ex-Army chopper pilot, and nobody's fool. Then a newborn infant left at the church door brings her together with the town's police chief, Russ Van Alstyne, who's also ex-Army and a cynical good shepherd for the stray sheep of his hometown.
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Publisher's Summary

Clare Fergusson, St. Alban's new priest, fits like a square peg in the conservative Episcopal parish at Miller's Kill, New York. She is not just a "lady"; she's a tough ex-Army chopper pilot, and nobody's fool. Then a newborn infant left at the church door brings her together with the town's police chief, Russ Van Alstyne, who's also ex-Army and a cynical good shepherd for the stray sheep of his hometown. Their search for the baby's mother quickly leads them into the secrets that shadow Miller's Kill like the ever-present Adirondacks. What they discover is a world of trouble, an attraction to each other--and murder....

©2002 Julia Spencer-Fleming (P)2010 BBC Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (110 )
5 star
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4.1 (63 )
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4.0 (63 )
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  •  
    Melissa murfreesboro, TN, United States 02-21-10
    Melissa murfreesboro, TN, United States 02-21-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
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    298
    4
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    "An excellent series for adult readers"

    What impresses me about this series is the adult narrative. The protagonists handle problems as adults. Which leads to the story being compelling without childish expectations. Relationships, competing needs, even disagreements are dealt with a mature manner. Perfection does not rest in either protagonist, so compromise forms the backbone of the characters stories. With top notch character development, descriptive passages that will make you wish for a warm blanket, ethical and moral quandries that create just as much tension as the mysteries, this book provides hours of enjoyment. I look forward to purchasing the rest of the published series when Audible adds it to the available selection.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susanne East Rochester, NY, United States 03-07-10
    Susanne East Rochester, NY, United States 03-07-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My favorite series begins here"

    After reading the entire series, I am now listening to them. Suzanne Toren is spot-on with the voices and I am enjoying them even more with her excellent narration. In the Bleak Midwinter introduces Russ and Clare and by the end of the book (which is so complete with strong characters, a solid mystery and heartwarming humor) you can't wait to start the next one. Clare's military background enables her to hold her own when confronted with danger,changing Russ' initial annoyance with her, to admiration. You'll be rooting for them all the way.
    Hopefully, audible.com with offer all of them.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 08-23-10
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 08-23-10 Member Since 2007

    trying to see the world with my ears

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "unique mystery"

    I like British "cozies" and dislike American "edge of seat" violent action mysteries. This was somewhere in between, falling closer to the "cozy." The ex-military, Epicopalian priest character combined with her relationship with a married, eccentric small town police chief makes this a unique listen. I think there is enough action (especailly in the subsequent installments in the series) to satisfy action listeners.

    I listened to all three installments of the series carried by Audible - This was my favoirte (closest to a "cozy," least "edge of seat" action) - but all were most enjoyable. I hope others are added to the Audible catalogue soon.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    09-22-10
    09-22-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Enjoyable"

    All Julia Spencer-Fleming's books follow the same format. The Reverend gets involved in a situation, goes out on her own to answer questions, gets into trouble and is rescued by the sherriff. However, they are all good reads in that she develops her characters well and the inner turmoil of Claire Ferguson is believeable. The novel moves right along. I really enjoy this author.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 12-04-11
    Marie ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 12-04-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I found the narrator annoying"

    I guess the story is okay but the narrator's interpretation of the character was annoying. Claire is an ex Army chopper pilot and now a priest but based on her voice Claire was whiny and way to southern belle. It would be interesting to know how the author hears Claire's voice. Also, the author dropped such blatant clues that the characters missed that I began to question their intelligence. I doubt I will listen to another one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rena E Vandenbos Winlaw, British Columbia Canada 09-09-12
    Rena E Vandenbos Winlaw, British Columbia Canada 09-09-12 Member Since 2011
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    13
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    Story
    "Narrator nails it"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I love the way the narrator portrays the different characters. This book is wonderful - unexpected relationships.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary United States 01-24-12
    Mary United States 01-24-12 Member Since 2011

    Loves audio books, movies, the theater and a great glass of red wine.

    ratings
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    23
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    Story
    "Good story...enjoyable"
    If you could sum up In the Bleak Midwinter in three words, what would they be?

    Good book...I will listen to more from the author. Characters are good and the story holds your interest


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rev Clare Fergueson ... I picture her looking like Angela Lansbery


    Which character – as performed by Suzanne Toren – was your favorite?

    Rev Clare...she made her a very believable character


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No I listen on my drive to work


    Any additional comments?

    No, just an enjoyable story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Bruno New York, NY United States 09-02-11
    Richard Bruno New York, NY United States 09-02-11 Member Since 2000
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    "Annoying story, annoying reading"

    This series had gotten excellent reviews, so i stuck with this book, but it was very heavy slogging, and ultimately, quite disappointing. The plot is ordinary, nothing in the way of surprises. Many characters are so broadly painted as to approach caricatures. What is most annoying, however, is that this is one of those mysteries where a central character repeatedly behaves with unbelievable recklessness and stupidity; this is how the author drives the plot, by getting her priest character into outrageously silly situations, all of which would be resolved by simple phone calls. There is also an apparent massive ignoring of or ignorance of basic police procedure.

    As far as the reading goes, the reader consistently overacts, not understanding that the best book narrators under-do rather than over-do. Every character, every line reading, gets pushed, so that listening becomes exhausting. The reader confuses the most acting with the best acting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Valley View, TX, United States 05-10-11
    Donna Valley View, TX, United States 05-10-11
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    "Enjoyed the book -- horrible narrator"

    I enjoyed the book -- good whodunit. But hated the narrator -- really want to listen to the remaining books in the series, but noticed they all have the same narrator, so will pass and read instead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy 01-29-11
    Wendy 01-29-11 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    107
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    "Love the series!"

    Looking forward to hearing the rest of the series! Really enjoyed listening to the narrator too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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