Saturday, August 20, 2011

Review: One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming

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.


If you would like your review of this book, or any other book in this series, listed here, please leave a comment with a link and I will add it.


I got my copy of One Was a Soldier from the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.


  1. I haven't tried this series yet but I'm anxious to do so. So little time and all that . . .

    BTW, I won a book from LT last Oct. that hasn't come yet! Some publishers are really slow about it.

  2. Barbara: It is one of my very favorites mystery series. The audiobooks are particularly good, if you like to read with your ears.

    I agree about the LT ER books. I have one that never came and several that took a long time. But I guess I can't complain about the timeliness of a free book. :)

  3. this sounds like so much fun! I love the sound of it and think i might try it on audio since it's available that way.


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