Monday, February 2, 2009
"Russ Van Alstyne had just gotten a tug on his line when he saw the old lady get up from between the headstones she had been trimming, lay down her gardening tools, and walk into the reservoir." Out of the Deep I Cry by Julia Spencer-Fleming. This is a terrific first sentence, but for one irritating glitch -- the old lady was not "trimming" headstones. She may have been trimming weeds from around headstones, but she was not trimming the headstones themselves. That kind of verbal slip is unusual in Spencer Fleming's books. This is the third in her Clare Fergusson series, which is notable as much for the seamless flow of the writing as having a female Episcopalian priest as the hero. She writes really well and in the style I prefer, particularly in mysteries -- no verbal gymnastics, no fancy stuff, just a clean, well-balanced narrative that gets in lots of story without distracting the reader.