Julia Spencer-Fleming's I Shall Not Want demonstrates that her series featuring Episcopal priest Clare Fergusson and police chief Russ Van Alstyne remains a stand-out in the mystery world. It's not because the plots are so good -- they're fine, although nothing outstanding -- but because spending time with the characters is so pleasing.
Clare and Russ have been through some tough times lately, but they seem to have turned a corner in their relationship. Their problems might be a little more melodramatic than those faced by us normal folks -- interfering bishops, nosy congregations, dead wives -- but the trick is that Spencer-Fleming makes us care.
She has invested her creations with so much life, and made them so likable and real, that we can't help but be drawn into their world. The ups and downs and ins and outs of their relationship keep readers coming back each year for more.
From the Chicago Sun-Times, June 29, 2008