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American/Cozy Mysteries

In the Bleak Midwinter, Julia Spencer-Fleming, St. Martin's, $6.99.

In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming

This is one great first novel, and a well deserved winner of St. Martin's annual Malice Domestic contest - the prize is publication of the author's manuscript. Featuring Episcopal Priest Claire Ferguson and Chief of Police Russ Van Alstyne, they come at a case of an abandoned newborn from two different points of view, but it draws them together, exposing both their differences and their similarities. Spencer-Fleming writes like a dream, and this novel should whet your appetite for the spring release of her next novel, A Fountain Filled With Blood. This is my pick for best novel of the year.

If you enjoy Julia Spencer-Fleming, you may also enjoy Charlaine Harris (Lily Bard series), Lee Harris, and Michelle Blake.

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