JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING BOOKS

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BOOK REVIEW: ALL MORTAL FLESH
BY JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING

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The title sums up the difficulties here for Spencer-Fleming's continuing cast of characters. After Russ VanAlstyne's wife is found knifed to death on the floor of her kitchen, both VanAlstyne and Clare Fergusson react in thoroughly believable human fashion.

The undercurrent of gossip by friends and co-workers which they have ignored for the two years they have known each other ignites its inevitable backlash. Each in turn is suspected of the murder by other characters, and for reasons primarily related to their well known attraction to each other.

An emissary arrives from the Diocesan office of Clare's Episcopal bishop to work beside her in the small parish which is her pastoral assignment. And VanAlstyne is startled and angered when an investigator from the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrives to take over the investigation into his wife's murder.

Readers will not be surprised at the developments as both Russ and Clare follow their own inclinations and suspicions. Each of them moves closer to the truth about the murder, and each of them continues to arouse suspicion and mistrust in the attitudes of their superiors. A harsh winter storm takes center stage as the action nears a climax, and both Clare and Russ face intense and agonizing developments.

REVIEWED BY WOODSTOCK

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, WOODSTOCK

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