Friday, March 4, 2011

A Review of "I Shall Not Want" [15]

I Shall Not Want: A Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery
by Julia Spenser-Fleming

Minotaur Books, ISBN 978-0312334871
June 10, 2008, 336 pages

Things are never quiet in Miller's Kill, NY, usually with the Reverend Clare Fergusson in the center of the action. In this, the sixth book in the series, there is no break from the pattern...and that is a good thing for we fans.

At an interfaith luncheon, Clare meets an elderly Catholic nun who has been sent by her order to the area to start an outreach program among the many Hispanic migrant workers, many illegal, who have sought out work in the area's dairy farms. Dairy farms that include the one owned by chief of police Russ Fergusson's own sister and brother in law. Of course, this is just the sort of program that Clare sees as important for her parish to get involved in, and when Sister Lucia, transporting a number of the men in her van, gets shot at and wrecks her vehicle, Clare is fast on the scene, as so often happen in this series, to help out.

As police arrive, they see a number of the men running from the van, fleeing into the woods to evade capture because of their illegal status. But the north woods of the Adirondacks are no place for possibly injured men to be hiding, so a search party is formed. They don't find the men, but they do find a dead body...and it will just be the first of several that they find in the coming weeks. Miller's Kill may be a rural spot, off the beaten track, but it seems even they can't escape the gangs and druglords and the huge sums of money at stake in the type of crime that plagues the nearby big cities. Chief Fergusson and his force will certainly have their work cut out for them, and it is deadly dangerous work as we see in a flash forward scene at the beginning of the book where we find Russ shot and on the edge of death.

But in addition to shootings and car chases and all manner of crime, as in all the books in the series we have the push and pull storyline of the Clare/Russ relationship. Now, if you read my review of one of the earlier books, Out Of The Deep I Cry, you know that I was getting a little tired of the two of them playing with fire. Well, in this book, they are out of frying pan and jumping into the fire with both feet. I will not give more spoilers, since you REALLY MUST read the previous book, To Darkness and To Death before you start this one, but let's just say their circumstances have drastically changed as this book begins. Not that it seems to make anything easier for the pair. What do they say..the course of true love never did run smooth. Perhaps not smooth but very engaging for readers.

And I must say that while I found the entire book very interesting and attention holding, probably my favorite of the series so far, it really worked itself up to a wonderful, climactic ending, a true cliff hanger.

The good news is that I am finally up to date with this series. The even better news it that Spenser-Flemings's next, One Was a Soldier, will be published shortly, on April 12th.

From my personal library.


  1. Ah, a new good series to start! I'm almost caught up with Laura Lippman, so I'm about ready!

  2. I must say that I just won the next one in the series from Library Thing Early Reviewers and I am very excited for it to arrive. Like I want it right now.

    But then if you look at my review from yesterday, of Sing You Home, maybe I should control myself. ;-)

  3. There are too many good series out there! How am I going to read them all? This sounds like one worth trying.

  4. yes, it is hard. but I have seen several other bloggers whose opinion I trust recommend this one...which is why I read it.
    And, as much as they drive me nuts sometimes, I do find the characters and the stories very appealing.

  5. And I like it too!! And I just bought "Sing you Home". I'm afraid to read you review. lol
    Seriously tho...I do love Julia Spencer-Fleming.

  6. You might want to hold off on reading that
    Hint..I was not thrilled.

  7. Sounds like it just gets better and better.


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