Friday, December 28, 2018

Ten top clerical sleuths

Reverend Jane Willan is a parish minister and author in Paxton, Massachusetts. She serves the First Congregational Church of Paxton and lives in the church parsonage with her husband Don and their two rescue dogs, Magi and Moses. She is the author of the Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn Mysteries.

At CrimeReads, Willan tagged ten great clerical sleuths, including:
Julia Spencer-Fleming, In the Bleak Midwinter

This riveting story by Julia Spencer-Fleming gives the reader the good feeling of a cozy complete with an Episcopal priest, a small town, and a somewhat handsome police chief to spark a bit of romance. But then, Fleming pulls the cozy rug out from under the reader when the priest/sleuth stumbles across a brutally murdered woman. This same woman had just dumped (albeit, gently) her newborn baby outside St. Alban’s—the church of the newly ordained Clare Fergusson, Spencer-Fleming’s amateur sleuth. Clare, an ordained priest, is certainly not Father Brown, but rather, an army pilot-gone-to-seminary. Many women who go into the parish as ordained clergy are second-career—always taking the skills learned in that career into the work of the church. Spencer-Fleming, in her character Clare Fergusson, demonstrates this reality and exemplifies the richness a second-career priest can bring to the parish– even if the first career had been a fighter pilot.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue