In Millers Kill, New York, Episcopal priest and former army helicopter pilot Clare Fergusson has a problem. The roof of St. Alban's Episcopal Church is leaking badly, and the budget can't cover the extensive repairs necessary. Clare is relieved when vestry member Mrs. Marshall offers to liquidate the Ketchem Trust to pay for the repairs, but it turns out that interest earned from the trust must goes to the local free clinic for the working poor. Then the clinic's doctor disappears, and Clare investigates, along with Millers Kill's married police chief Russ Van Alstyne, with whom Clare shares a strong mutual attraction. Early spring in the Adirondacks is vividly described in this third installment in the series, and both the main and secondary characters are well developed. Church practice, police procedures, army tactics, and the vaccination of children frame the central mystery as the plot jumps from past to present. A comfortable mix of police procedural and village cozy. Sue O'Brien
The library did not have the second in the series, so I went with the third. I'm afraid this one didn't work as well for me as the first one did. The attraction of the two main characters (Clare, an Episcopal priest and Russ, a married man) makes me uneasy. Clare is committed to her calling and Russ is committed to his marriage--so unless something drastic happens the star-crossed lovers are just going to be miserable.
The mystery, moving back and forth from past to present, wasn't as involving either. Although I liked the first book, I'm not sure if I will continue this series.
Library copy. Minotaur Books
Mystery. 2007. 336 pages.