Edith here, still hunkering down.
The title of this blog could be rephrased as, We Love Julia Spencer-Fleming. She has a new (ninth) book out in her most wonderful Clare Fergusson / Russ Van Alstyne mystery series. Hid from Our Eyes releases next Tuesday! It’s been a little while since the last one, and I wanted to have her here as our guest. She’s a Mainer, our friend, and has had huge success with the prior books in the series. (Hint – read down for a giveaway!)
After two earlier murders in Miller’s Kill with similar murder scenes – twenty years apart – Police Chief Russ van Alstyne gets a 911 call that a young woman has been found dead in a party dress, the same MO as the crime he was accused of in the 70s. The pressure is on for Russ to solve the murder before he’s removed from the case. Russ enlists the help of his police squad and Reverend Clare Fergusson, who is already juggling the tasks of being a new mother to her and Russ’s baby and running St. Alban’s Church, to finally solve these crimes.
You know you want to read this book.
All Julia’s in-person launch events were cancelled, alas. She has hosted many of us on her own group blog, the wonderful Jungle Red Writers. She wasn’t able to send us a guest post, so we wrote it for her.
Wickeds: What’s your favorite Clare-and-Russ mystery and why? Who is your favorite character in the series? If you have a personal anecdote about Julia, please share.
Barb: So happy to give a signal boast to Julia Spencer-Fleming who is an absolutely lovely person and a writer who constantly inspires me. I’m not home in Portland while I’m writing this, so I went to peruse the descriptions of all the series books online. What a wonderful stroll down Memory Lane and a reminder of the series arc to date as I get ready to read the new one. My favorite is All Mortal Flesh and I can’t even say why without a spoiler for those who haven’t read the series. I had planned to read Hid From Our Eyes on a cruise this spring, but now I guess I’ll have to read it right away.
Jessie: I completely agree with all your sentiments, Barb! I couldn’t be happier to help celebrate her newest release! Not only is Julia an author I admire, she is a person I admire. I love her books and her energy and encouraging nature. I know that we have all been eagerly awaiting this book and am just delighted that we are able to welcome it here today!
Edith: Can I say all of her books? One thing I admire about Julia (in addition to what a lovely, generous, and funny person she is) is that she keeps shaking up how she tells the story. I’m afraid I’ve lost track of which, but one highly suspenseful book took place over only twenty four hours. Another one goes back in time and returns to the present, then goes further back, and repeat until the reader really understands how the past is linked to the present. I love that I can learn about storytelling from her.
Julie: Julia is one of my aspiration writers. I hope I can tell a story as beautifully as she does one day. I don’t have a favorite in the series, but if I had to chose one I’d pick In the Bleak Midwinter, the first in the series. It started it all. Happy book birthday, Julia!
Edith: She’s one of my aspiration writers, too, Julie. I have long said that if I could write like Julia does, I’d die happy.
Liz: I am beyond excited about this book! I love this series so much. Her characters are so compelling and keep me hooked. I love all the books too – it would be impossible to pick just one! Congrats Julia!Sherry: I can’t pick one book either. The first line of In the Bleak Midwinter is often picked as a favorite first line from a book and it is amazing. I love how Julia set up the conflict between Russ and Clare. I love that Clare was an Army helicopter pilot and now an Episcopalian priest which creates more conflict. At Bouchercon in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2018 the Wickeds who were there went to dinner with fabulous author Lucy Burdette and Julia. Lucy was in the middle of introducing me and I made a complete fool of myself fan girling Julia. (I’ve offered to pay for her therapy.) She’s an amazing writer and woman.
Julia, so many congratulations!
Readers: Do you have a favorite J S-F book? An anecdote? Questions about Julia? Please chime in. Julia very generously told me she will send two of you a signed and personalized copy of the new book. (As she says, “I have a daughter who can go to the post office for me.”)