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  • Hardcover
  • 322 pages
  • All Mortal Flesh
  • Julia Spencer-Fleming
  • English
  • 17 June 2019
  • 9780312312640

10 thoughts on “All Mortal Flesh

  1. says:

    Arrrrgh This book really frustrated me I ve been on a roll with this series this week, reading 4 of the books in the series Fun things to do while home, sick I was so angry last night when I finished reading this one, I wasn t going to read the latest book For the first time, the entire story line was dark The only scene that showed Clare Russ in their familiar relationship was told in flashback during one of the bleakest parts of the story.I didn t like how this one ended REALLY didn t like it Didn t like the choice that was foisted off on Clare Didn t like Russ s reaction 15 minutes later down the road Didn t like any of the events depicted in the epilogue.I m not that much of a mystery fan I like this series because of the wonderful relationship between Reverend Clare and police chief Russ That s what keeps me coming back for , and that s what was sadly lacking except the flashback in this installment I really, really didn t like the way that Clare Russ were Off On Off etc It seemed that when events occured so they could interact , they cut each other off, and when events changed and they should have stayed away from each other they didn t Then another event and they should have been together and now they Russ decides they can t even speak to each other I felt extremely manipulated and FRUSTRATED and angry And really upset.Decided I was NOT going to buy the last book, even in Kindle form Pouting Today broke down and went to the library and checked out the last book If the relationship doesn t get better in that book, I m done.


  2. says:

    I think it s clear at this point in the series that the mystery is always going to come second to the always nearly doomed relationship between Clare and Russ Russ and the Miller s Kill PD miss a lot of things that should have been obvious view spoiler Come ON, people, the woman is completely unrecognizable, you really ought to take the simple step of verifying that it s Linda hide spoiler


  3. says:

    This is going to be one of the odder reviews, of a lifetime of frequent odd reactions to books It ll be safe to read until I start using ALL the spoilers.The reason it s odd is that I m only giving it a 4 star rating as a consequence of having also read the next book in the series if I d rated it after finishing, or anytime during the not great night s sleep that followed, I would have rated a lot lower I was angry Not just irritated that the story had taken a twist I didn t like, or annoyed at the tragedy of it all being dragged out proper angry Angry with Russ, with Linda, with well, with the author, obviously, but with the characters If I d read this book when it was just published and there d been a year or so to wait for the next, it might well have been the end of it for me and the series Happily I already had book 6 pause for me to call down blessings upon the virtual head of Better World Books, and their charitable literacy programmes and their saving of discarded library books and their free international shipping One factor that pushed me towards starting it was that I d noticed something I d written about that had felt off to me in book 4 was brought up again in book 5 and seen to have been intentionally indicating a character s lack of clear thinking So I wasn t as surprised as I d otherwise have been to find it was only page 23 of book 6 that brought everything I d been feeling about one of my furious IT S NOT FAIRs in book 5 and beautifully laid it out This is of course a complete and utter spoiler, but I m going to put in the end of the quote, which isn t spoilery, and would have caused me to run to update with Willard Aberforth is my new favourite , had I been willing to put the book down for long enough Safe quote Oh, my dear Ms Fergusson She turned around at that You are a very good priest in many ways And someday, if your self awareness approaches half your awareness of others, you might be an extraordinary priest He folded his hands I do not think that day will be today, however Not only is Willard Aberforth a favourite for saying what I d been so wanting to say, he s a lovely example of how good this author is at taking characters from unpromising starts to show how true compassion can co exist with apparent close mindedness He s almost an Anglican one man Spanish Inquisition on his arrival, and he s a valued spiritual advisor and friend with whom Clare shares almost no opinions not that long after Very well done All Mortal Flesh also still contained some of the little snarky bits that I found so delightful in earlier books, though they were scattered a little sparsely, for obvious reasons I especially liked the bits about Elizabeth de Groot Clare asks Aberforth what she s like, and he says, An elegant lady Dignified She has a lovely sense of tradition Clare translated that to mean so high church she makes the archbishop of Canterbury look like a guitar strumming folksinger. When Elizabeth arrives in St Alban s, petite, with a perfect ash blond mane and wearing a little black suit with her collar that looked like Chanel, if Chanel made clerical garb , causing Clare to feel messy, uncouth, and gawky, we get this lovely line I m Elizabeth de Groot The woman smiled pleasantly No wonder It was undoubtedly a wonderful thing to be Elizabeth de Groot Right then, a few snarls behind a cut, and there ll be a review of book 6 soon Soonish, maybe I have been reading only books with huge emotional impact lately, apparently, and have still to write up my reread of Crown Court Duel and my final of Zack Emerson s Echo Company books, Stand Down view spoiler I HATED that Russ reacted the way he did Even cutting him a massive amount of slack for what he was going through, he just, no Everything Aberforth said about what Russ had done, in trying to get Clare to admit that she was angry, all spot on And Linda I hadn t liked the little we d got of her before, though it was filtered through, of course, but she was gradually revealed as a pretty horrible person a Her utter, unshakeable self righteousness about Russ s betrayal which it was , in the face of her having had an affair with Lyle LYLE made me sick b when she reappeared I d been pretty certain that what had looked as if it might just be Russ in denial was going to be true and she would be alive the reason she hadn t told her sister about disappearing off the grid at a time she knew her sister was worrying about her was that she didn t want to have to bring her sister along on her little jaunt Nice Unselfish and considerate Russ has told her that a woman who looked like her was found dead in their house, causing everyone to believe that she was dead and her response was If this helps us realise what we mean to each other, then it will have all been worth it, huh As Russ thinks, Not to Audrey Keane And back to the I always put our marriage first, I always put myself and my needs second now it s time for you to do the same line, with him supposed to be wrong for cracking and asking her if that s what she d been doing when she slept with Lyle Of course having Linda really die right after was a right authorial punch in the head to Russ, but given the apparent impossibility of his ever recovering any degree of emotional stability, it was as much of a punch to the reader.Nothing like being quite so susceptible to manipulation by author, eh I was powerless, and that ending And she was lost again nearly did me in Clare is very human, and very apt to make mistakes, but that was just too sad hide spoiler


  4. says:

    The opening pages of All Mortal Flesh, the fifth in the Clare Fergusson Russ Van Alstyne mysteries, finds Rev Clare on retreat If I were her adviser this is exactly what I would have suggested after reading the prior book in the series If you ve been following my reviews you ll recall that though there s a part of me that craves the tension between the characters there s another part of me that just wants to say grow up There s definitely a lot of vacillating this outing about this very issue To Darkness And To Death ended with Russ stating that he was going to tell his wife of many years that he was in love with Clare It should surprise no one, especially Russ that she has booted him out of their home Though they are seeing a marriage counselor it is still up in the air where their marriage is headed Now take a look at the priest She knows its wrong but she is having difficulty giving Russ up She s feeling guilty on many levels She really has nothing against Linda but Many in her congregation know what s going on and the circle beyond this, community members, and certainly almost everyone in the police department are speculating about the affair, consummated or not And yet some secrets do remain It is a cliche that there are no secrets in a small town It is also false This short opening quickly turns into a mess To tell you would require lots of spoilers I d prefer you read for yourself Let s just say the proverbial sh t hits the fan in so many ways that you wonder if anything can end well Some of the plot line was easy to guess, other parts surprised me Though I did find some things a bit over the top or improbable, these elements did not ruin the story Spencer Fleming explains Russ s take on the seriousness of events this way There are moments in life that are between the blow and the pain, between the phone ringing and the answer, between the misstep and the fall One that comes to everyone is a moment, or three, or five, between sleeping and waking, when the past has not yet been re created out of memory and the present has made no impression It is a moment of great mercy disorienting, like all brushes with grace, but a gift nonetheless I love how the title opens the book Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence Liturgy of St James, para by Gerard Moultrie The Hymnal, 1982, The Church Publishing CompanyYou can read it all here dedication to booksellers everywhere was an especially nice gesture Considering all I ve said and how much I believe in my own marriage vows, you ll probably be a bit surprised that yes, I did really like this entry to the series I honestly can t wait to see what happens next.


  5. says:

    2.5 of 5 stars Hope you like whiplash, because you ll be feeling a lot of it in this one I don t even know where to start with describing this one, other than that it s pretty clear that we have now officially slid from okaaaay semi plausible, I guess I ll roll with it to total soap opera territory view spoiler First, let s just take a moment to soak in the sheer wackiness of the main plot line Hi, Russ, your wife is dead No, wait, it was a case of mistaken identity and she s actually alive No, wait, she s alive but probably going to divorce your horrible ass anyway, no happy reunion for you Oh yes, and she cheated on you Repeatedly, for years, with your second in command Is still cheating on you, probably Oops, now she s dead again, for real this time And it might be your fault At this point I have given up any hope of rooting for anybody in this series I am reading solely out of morbid curiosity What I would have liked to see is exactly the opposite story One where Clare realizes that neither Russ or Hugh are good matches, mans up and moves out of town, and creates a new life for herself elsewhere where Russ realizes this will never work either and puts in the hard work to rebuild his marriage and remember why he fell in love with his wife the first time where Linda is an actual character on screen, with wants and desires all her own that don t include cheating on her husband just so the plot can have a convenient scapegoat and justification for Russ s own horrid behavior I want a story where all parties can be mature adults and have difficult discussions instead of trading longing glances, and recognize when Necessity Exists and take the right steps, even if they re not fun or easy Unfortunately, this is not that book This series will never be that series, not even close It s just a soap opera, and always will be hide spoiler


  6. says:

    ALL MORTAL FLESH by Julia Spencer FlemingThere was a lot to like about this book, but I found than few things unrealistic and just another part of the template publishers demand, pandering to readers who don t care much about authenticity in police procedurals I like both Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne, the joint protagonists in the series Clare is less flawed and likable, but Russ is a competent cop and both do their thing in an area I know well.In the last episode, Russ declares his love for Clare And like a putz, he tells his wife, but does not intend to divorce her, leave her, or do anything but potentially ruin her life with his confession He didn t do much for Clare s mental wellbeing either In this segment, Russ s wife is found murdered And guess who s looked at as a suspect Well, the looks shift from Russ, to Clare, back to Russ, and then back to you get the idea The town elders figure they better make it look like they want an aboveboard investigation, so they relieve Police Chief Russ of command and bring in an obnoxious, politically motivated, investigator from NYSP BCI with a law degree, who wants to use her conviction of a small town chief to make her bones and secure a stepping stone to run for a downstate DA s job The investigator has the fatal flaw of any poor detective tunnel vision And her refusal to see the most elemental principals of criminal investigation and focus on nothing than making the evidence meet her desired end goes beyond an element of tension and conflict and into grossly annoying The unfolding plot was well constructed and quite surprising with several nicely thought up twists, but the ending went a little over the top.


  7. says:

    I got a kick out of this crime novel Clare is an ex helicopter military pilot now an Episcopal priest when she falls in love with Sheriff Russ It s cold winter with lots of snow falling and on the ground There s a murder Russ s wife who previously booted him out of the house when she discovered his romance with Clare Russ and Clare are likeable protagonists I liked the pace and explosive climax.


  8. says:

    Holy hell What a trainwreck, soap opera, tragedy, melodrama The fact is, once you get attached to characters in serial fiction, an author has to be brutal to them to allow them to grow and change and to keep the story going Julia Spencer Fleming delivers.


  9. says:

    All Mortal Flesh by Julia Spencer Fleming is the 5th book of the Reverend Clare Fergusson Russ Van Alstyne mystery series set in contemporary upstate New York Reverend Clare Fergusson is still in love with Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne, although she has tried to end their relationship, for the sake of their commitments hers to the church, his to his wife Linda Russ has told his wife Linda that he cared for Clare, but that he honored and wanted to repair their marriage Linda insisted on separation Russ is temporarily rooming with his mother Out of favor with church higher ups, Clare goes on a retreat in a remote cabin to reorient her priorities When she returns to work, she is saddled with a new deacon, Elizabeth de Groot, placed by the bishop Clare considers her a baby sitter an irritant plus Elizabeth is inconveniently nosy about all Clare s actions.When a neighbor finds a dead body at the Alstyne house, a woman brutally beaten, Russ is arrested for murdering his wife Clare does not believe Russ murdered his wife She struggles against public opinion in her quest for facts Against orders, stripped of rank, Russ stubbornly investigates the murder A rookie detective s wife, nagged by his wife to advance his career, reports to state police that Millers Kill PD is not investigating a likely suspect Clare The staties send an officer to take charge She is an obnoxious, politically motivated control freak She wants absolute obedience to her commands, no questions She wants evidence found to indict Russ and close the case Notice she doesn t want evidence found to find the real killer.As in all the other mysteries in the series, Clare s ability to relate on a personal level with many people, as well as her intuition into character and likely behavior, lead her to the killer She goes beyond her church responsibilities, unofficially investigating clues that the police consider insignificant Eventually she finds herself in mortal danger, and must rely on her military training to save herself.Fierce winter weather is absolutely essential to the plot Key events could not happen without deep snow, continued snowstorms, emergency personnel stretched to cope, snowplowing required The doomed romance between Clare and Russ, a novelty at the beginning of the series, has become tedious this installment melodramatic than most Alas, the tension is doomed to continue.


  10. says:

    Julia Spencer Fleming s ALL MORTAL FLESH is the fifth book in her Fergusson Van Alstyne series My personal opinion is that you need to read books 1 4 before starting this story Russ and his wife have separated they have had few things in common for years and it has caused their marriage to suffer Ms Fleming permits the reader little reaction to this incident because Mrs Van Alstyne is seldom mentioned or seen in any of the stories Much of what happens with their relationship is Russ dwelling on the past and his guilt for what he feels now his unbidden feelings toward Clare.And Clare is very much part of the story She is also trying desperately to keep their relationship platonic but she is human, too For both of them, it is a continual war with their beliefs, how it will affect their life and what it could do to their careers.Darker and grittier, I still felt myself drawn to this long suffering couple There is another murder, another twisted plot and issues with whom you can trust The invitation to Millers Kill inserted into my reading time again.


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All Mortal Fleshcharacters All Mortal Flesh, audiobook All Mortal Flesh, files book All Mortal Flesh, today All Mortal Flesh, All Mortal Flesh 87f1b One Horrible Murder Two People Destined For Love Or Tragedy Emotions Explode In The Novel Julia Spencer Fleming S Readers Have Been Clamoring ForPolice Chief Russ Van Alstyne S First Encounter With Clare Fergusson Was In The Hospital Emergency Room On A Freezing December Night A Newborn Infant Had Been Abandoned On The Town S Episcopal Church Steps If Russ Had Known That The Church Had A New Priest, He Certainly Would Never Have Guessed That It Would Be A Woman Not A Woman Like Clare That Night In The Hospital Was The Beginning Of An Attraction So Fierce, So Forbidden, That The Only Thing That Could Keep Them Safe From Compromising Their Every Belief Was Distance But In A Small Town Like Millers Kill, Distance Is Hard To FindRuss Van Alstyne Figures His Wife Kicking Him Out Of Their House Is Nobody S Business But His Own Until A Neighbor Pays A Friendly Visit To Linda Van Alstyne And Finds The Woman S Body, Gruesomely Butchered, On The Kitchen Floor To The State Police, It S An Open And Shut Case Of A Disaffected Husband, Silencing First His Wife, Then The Murder Investigation He Controls To The Townspeople, It S Proof That The Whispered Gossip About The Police Chief And The Priest Was True To The Powers That Be In The Church Hierarchy, It S A Chance To Control Their Wayward Cleric Once And For All Obsession Lies Nothing Is As It Seems In Millers Kill, Where Betrayal Twists Old Friendships And Evil Waits Inside Quaint White Clapboard Farmhouses


About the Author: Julia Spencer-Fleming

Wednesday, September 7Work In Progress Wednesday at my Reader Space We re up to the fifth part of the second chapter of my eighth book, which has some numerological meaning, I m sure.