I Shall Not Want (2008) by Julia Spencer-Fleming is the sixth entry in the popular award winning series featuring Rev. Clare Fergusson and Chief Russ Van Alystyne. I Shall Not Want is a smartly written suspense novel in a series that has been consistently strong and a pleasure to read.
Urban crime has reared it’s ugly head in Millers Kill, which is a small town in Adirondacks, New York. Three dead Latino migrant workers seem to hint at possible gang activity in the area. As an aside, let me say that this author is not shy in tackling serious and recent issues in her books. Moving on. The invisible Millers Kill migrant community are thrust up front and center here, examining many of the social issues we are familiar with in how illegal immigrants are treated in this country today. Even Russ’s family, who recently invested in a dairy farm, are caught up in the maelstrom of current events.
Despite the well written and suspenseful mystery, at the heart of this series is the ever-evolving relationship between Clare and Russ. Fans will not be disappointed in that they are finally together after six books. This is the most romantic entry in this series and it made romance fans like me stand up and cheer. We’ve had to watch Clare and Russ dance around each other and watch them break each other’s hearts but despite the fact that Russ was a married man, the two seemed like they were always the right fit for each other. Or to describe it another way: they are soul mates. Their relationship is one of the many things I love about this series outside of the characters and narrative and engaging voice of the author.
There’s a new addition to the Millers Kill Police Department that added some fresh air. Hadley Knox, a single mother with two kids, gets the prestigious honor of being the first woman on the police force. Along with the new we have the same familiar faces along with the usual church politics, small town gossip and the tight knit community of Millers Kill. Whenever I read JSF’s books and step into this small yet not so sleepy community, the experience leaves me with a feeling of visiting with old friends. There’s also some humor in here to even out the dark and besides Clare and Russ’s romance, there are two other subtle, romantic subplots to enjoy as well.
While the story is well written and a complete joy to read, I did kind of rush through the ending and felt that a combination of events kind of stretched things out – making me an impatient reader. The ending did feel somewhat anti-climatic to me. Anyway, I enjoyed I Shall Not very much and highly recommend this book to new and old readers alike. I strongly recommend that you start at the beginning with, In the Bleak Mid-Winter, but if you are impatient to start this series now, there really isn’t anything wrong with you starting with this book. However, the only downside is that you miss out on the dynamics of Clare and Russ’s relationship and the many memorable moments the author created between the couple in each of the six books in this series. Anyway, fans should not be disappointed in this book and the ending, well, let’s just say it’s going to be a long year, my grade, B+.
I Shall Not Want Reader Giveaway, Enter To Win Your Copy!
I was really in a rush to get this review out so that I can start my contest today. I barely made the deadline. Anyway, if your interested in winning a copy of this book, I SHALL NOT WANT, make sure to leave a comment to this post. The contest will end on Monday, June 30, 2008 at 11:59pm CST. The publisher has graciously donated (4) copies of the completed novel for this giveaway. While you’re commenting, maybe share your favorite mystery authors that have a strong romantic subplot in them as well? I”m always looking for new authors.
Winners will be drawn randomly and please make sure to check back when the contest is over as I will announce the winners on Wednesday and you will have three days to claim your prize. Other contest details: anonymous names will not be counted in the drawing and please make sure you have a valid email address because if I can’t get in touch with you, your winning status is null and void. This contest is open to everyone. Ok, that’s all. Good luck!
Contest is now closed and the winners will be selected and posted tomorrow!