A Fountain Filled with Blood

A Fountain Filled with Blood

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...

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Title:A Fountain Filled with Blood
Author:Julia Spencer-Fleming
Rating:
Edition Language:English

A Fountain Filled with Blood Reviews

  • Tracey

    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

    is stopped and beaten on his way home.

    There are messages here, but they're like Clare's faith – there

    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

    is stopped and beaten on his way home.

    There are messages here, but they're like Clare's faith – there throughout without beating anyone over the head. This was a solid installment in the series. This is a series I keep forgetting about, and I need to make sure I remember it better. It's a keeper.

  • Kathy

    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

    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 murder than he is on educating the masses. Of course, Clare is quite capable of doing two impossible tasks at once. This book also continues the struggle that Clare and Russ have in resisting their attraction to one another, testing Clare's convictions and Russ's marriage vows. Clare meets Mrs. Van Alstyne in this story, but it is the mother of Russ, not his wife, and the two women hit it off, as might be expected.

    Julia Spencer-Fleming has quickly become one of my favorite mystery/crime authors. Her mastery at writing action scenes, and there are several, is electrifying. I found myself reading these scenes as fast as I could to keep up with the excitement of the moment contained within them. Just outstanding! Again, Spencer-Fleming's powers of description are hypnotic. You are in that setting; you are in that character. No time to linger on this review, as #3 in the series is waiting for me.

  • Red

    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

    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 further along in the series, that probably happens.

    The mysteries are interesting, and she throws out enough red herrings that guessing 'who done it' will keep you guessing. Although, I'm worried about the trap that TV shows fall into, the biggest named guest star is usually the killer. In this series, unless she has mysteries other than murder, one has to wonder, how many murderers can live in one small town. So that leaves you to suspect the out-of-towners in the stories, a much smaller pool to draw from.

  • MB (What she read)

    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

    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 strong and as vivid as in this series. I see by JS-F's Goodreads profile that she counts Lois McMaster-Bujold and Margaret Maron as favorites/influences--two of my favorite authors and both known for exceptional characterization themselves. That explains a lot as to why these are such good books, I think. I always like to see what authors count as influences and what they read themselves. Being able to recognize and be influenced by the best leads to producing more of the best, I think.

    Some of my best recommendations have come from seeing why my favorite authors recommend or have read themselves.

  • Hallie

    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

    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 hyperbole!

    The mystery in this book wasn't that strong, so all the weight fell on the characters and setting, but for the most part, the mystery is a bit frosting anyway. I continue to love Clare and Russ, and am surprised at how much I'm loving a Forbidden Love story. So not my cup of tea normally, but their mutual care and their very different and also utterly the same senses of honour just makes it perfect. What made me almost weepy in this book was what happens when Clare does something she really shouldn't, and does it on a full tank of self-righteousness, which leads her to hurt Russ after making him angry. She's very unfair and acknowledges it freely, but Russ is able to move beyond the hurt and make an admission of his own, one he knows she won't like but that he can trust her to help him with, instead of rejecting him.

    That ending, too - no wonder I could barely resist grabbing the next book immediately. Also:

    What more needs to be said?

  • Melissa McShane

    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

    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 are what are keeping me connected to the series. In this case, I figured out the true villain before Russ and Clare did, though not the surprise extra villain at the end, but that didn't bother me much because of the way the story ends up being more thriller than mystery. Spencer-Fleming has such a good handle on description and characterization that I find myself forgiving her any weaknesses in plot. I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens with Clare and her new boyfriend; she thinks it will help her get over these feelings for Russ, but I, as omniscient reader, know that she is kidding herself.

  • Wanda

    I’m finding myself really riveted by this murder mystery series. I read the first one back in January (

    ) and then saved this one for July 4th (as it starts on that holiday). It was a great way to spend the day. Make no mistake, I may have started it in a leisurely fashion, but by halfway through I was determined to finish by day’s end. I needed to know whodunit.

    I find myself really drawn into the whole relationship between the Rev. Clair and police chief Russ. They both

    I’m finding myself really riveted by this murder mystery series. I read the first one back in January (

    ) and then saved this one for July 4th (as it starts on that holiday). It was a great way to spend the day. Make no mistake, I may have started it in a leisurely fashion, but by halfway through I was determined to finish by day’s end. I needed to know whodunit.

    I find myself really drawn into the whole relationship between the Rev. Clair and police chief Russ. They both know that it’s the wrong thing to do. Russ is married, supposedly happily, but the further I go in the series, the more I question this. Clair, as an Episcopalian priest, knows that she must live up to the standards of her church, but realizes that it’s not always an easy thing to do. This second book reveals that there’s a fair age discrepancy between them as well (15 years) that would stand in the way of some people.

    It’s an uncomfortable situation to find themselves in, but they are both honourable people and they try to do the honourable thing. They are struggling to continue to be “friends” and yet can’t help sometimes saying things that inflame their situation. So there’s the whole “forbidden love” thing happening and that is a draw for me.

    I’ve also recently been listening to a podcast about the gay community in Toronto in the 1970s and 80s, as well as the recently nabbed serial killer there, so murders and beatings of gay men have been on my mind. The prejudice of society and police forces against the LGBTQ+ segment of society makes the solving of these crimes much more difficult than it ought to be, and I would hope that we could learn from past mistakes. So the crimes against gay men in this book were a timely read for me.

    I’m very disappointed to find out that my library doesn’t have the next two books in the series, so I have requested the third on interlibrary loan. Unfortunately, these take ages to arrive, so I will not get another Claire-and-Russ hit for quite some time.

  • Trin

    Sequel to

    . 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

    Sequel to

    . 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, in a sophomore effort, to feel like you’re really getting comfortable with the characters, and this book also has a mystery that honestly did keep me anxiously on the edge of my seat.

    However, I felt everything that led up to getting Clare in the pilot’s seat of that helicopter seemed rather contrived. I understand why Spencer-Fleming wanted to go there, but I don’t think she quite made it work. And following on the helicopter sequence’s heels, the unraveling of the conspiracy at the end felt unsuspenseful and almost airless.

    In general, I just don’t think my enjoyment of this book could match my delight at the discovery of the first, but I’m still looking forward to the next one and seeing Russ and Clare’s relationship progress.

  • Sadie

    *Sigh* I really wanted to like it but there's just so much about the book that's so unrealistic that it's hard to read. The entire incident with the helicopter was just insanity. The rector jumping out of a window and being concerned about her shoes (Which she can't afford to replace on a ministers salary) yet she can somehow manage to by a new sports car... plus this on going non-relationship with the police chief.

    Plus I'm super annoyed that we never actually get any interaction with the

    *Sigh* I really wanted to like it but there's just so much about the book that's so unrealistic that it's hard to read. The entire incident with the helicopter was just insanity. The rector jumping out of a window and being concerned about her shoes (Which she can't afford to replace on a ministers salary) yet she can somehow manage to by a new sports car... plus this on going non-relationship with the police chief.

    Plus I'm super annoyed that we never actually get any interaction with the chief's wife Linda. She's some random invisible person who conveniently is always gone buying curtains or something. Her husband is in a helicopter crash and she doesn't come and check on him or something?

  • LJ

    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

    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 their mutual attraction, although Russ is married. When a third man is killed, Clare launches her own investigation. Serious issues such as gay bashing and contamination of the town's water supply with PCBs add depth to the story.

    Please remember, this is my opinion only. I finally figured out what so bothered me about this series—it’s the character Clare. This is a woman who was an Army pilot, with all the rules, chain-of-command, “need to know, ” and discipline associated therewith, and is now an Episcopal priest, with all its associated confidentiality, discipline and rules. And yet, she blathers information she was expressly asked not to, she is attracted to a married man when part of her job is providing counseling for couples, and interferes in a police investigation. Not to mention she now drive a Shelby Cobra which, if not a replica, is approximately a $50,000 vehicle.

    Interestingly, had the author made the protagonist a lawyer, which was her profession, I don’t think any of these things would have bothered me. I guess it shows the different ethic I hold for ministers and lawyers. I think the police chief is very well done and realistic, and were he the sole focus of the series, I would like it. However, Clare just does not ring true to me. So, I fear, this is not a series with which I personally shall continue.

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