Title: A Fountain Filled With Blood & Out of the Deep I Cry
Author: Julia Spencer-Fleming
ISBN: 9780312995430 & 9780312988883
Pages: 400 & 432
Release Date: April 1, 2003 & April 26, 2004
Publisher: St. Martin’s
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Rev. Clare Fergusson and Chief of Police Russ van Alstyne are back in the second and third installments of Julia Spencer-Fleming’s series, following In the Bleak Midwinter. In A Fountain Filled With Blood, harassment of gay citizens is followed by a high profile murder. In Out of the Deep I Cry, the roof of Clare’s church is leaking, and an offer to fix it comes with a moral dilemma that results in a disappearance.
I was surprised and thrilled at how good In the Bleak Midwinter was, so I was very excited to pick up A Fountain Filled With Blood and Out of the Deep I Cry. I was really impressed with the complexity of both of these books, as well as Clare’s character’s development.
Each of the books in the Clare Fergusson series (so far) has been unique, which I really appreciate. They aren’t carbon copies of one another, and there is no formula or easy way to predict what will happen. Each of these books are nuanced and layered. In A Fountain Filled With Blood, Spencer-Fleming tackles the very timely issue of gay bashing. Citizens are being harassed solely because they are gay. When a body turns up, Clare and Russ disagree on how to handle it. On the other hand, in Out of the Deep I Cry, the plot seems much less grave - the church’s roof is leaking. But the novel unfolds in such a way that makes it just as compelling, even though it’s leading to a completely different place. I love how unique each of these books are, yet they are all well done.
Clare’s character development in these two books is wonderful. She’s forced to ask herself serious questions as the mutual attraction between Clare and Russ grows. Additionally, in Out of the Deep I Cry, she has to make a difficult decision about fixing the church’s roof. The money will have to come from the community - will she raise money for it, or will she reduce a service to the less fortunate in order to pay for it? These are difficult, yet realistic questions, and Spencer-Fleming does a wonderful job with Clare.
The Claire Fergusson series has become one of my favorites, and I’m eager to continue with it in the next book. It is worth reading these books in order, just because there is great character development and every one of these novels is good!