There are also certain sentences in the books that just pop out at you as some damn good writing. Spencer-Fleming does an especially good job at times at giving succinct little pictures of the town of Millers Kill and its history, without a lot of wordy exposition. For example:
p. 61 “Elm Street had been laid out for lawyers and doctors, mill owners and land speculators, from a time when those worthies had families of a half dozen children, and servants slept in low-eaved fourth-story bedrooms.”
p. 67 “It was shaped like the typical Cossayuharie farmhouse, an overlarge, under-maintained structure that had started life as an 1850s four-up-four-down and had shotgunned backward through an 1870s parlor, an 1890s kitchen, and a 1920s extra bedroom.”
I’m not going to tell you any more about what happens in these two books, because you should really just go read them. Quickly.