Julia Spencer-Fleming always finds a new, clever way to pull Clare Fergusson into a murder mystery, which she must, since Episcopal priests in small Adirondacks towns don't usually come across dead bodies in the course of their day.
In One Was a Soldier, the latest in Spencer-Fleming's series featuring Fergusson and her love-interest, Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne, the mystery unfolds slowly, with the first dead body not showing up until quite late in the game. As always, Spencer-Fleming takes her time building a multi-layered story that is as much about the characters as it is the mystery they solve.
The story opens with Fergusson, a former Army helicopter pilot, returning from her tour of duty in Iraq, having signed up for the National Guard in the last book, I Shall Not Want. While she tries to hide it, Fergusson is wrestling with war demons and self-medicating. She eventually gets involved with a veterans support group, but when one of their own ends up dead, Fergusson rallies the group to try to prove it was murder, not suicide.
This is one of the best mystery series going, with a large cast of recurring characters, intricate storylines, believable and interesting relationships, and plenty of action.
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I got my copy of One Was a Soldier from the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program. It took me a while to get to it, which is too bad because it was really good.