An Amish Mystery, #4
By Laura Bradford
Author’s Website: http://www.laurabradford.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt
The national bestselling author of Shunned and Dangerous returns to the Amish community of Heavenly, Pennsylvania, where shop owner Claire Weatherly has come to appreciate a simpler, more peaceful way of life. But dark secrets are about to complicate things—and lead to murder…
After the Stoltzfus barn catches fire, Claire is awed by the response of the community. Hundreds of Amish men gather together to raise a new barn for the family in a matter of days. But in the midst of the work, a human skeleton is unearthed. Found with the remains is half of a friendship bracelet last seen on Sadie Lehman, an Amish teen long believed to have left her strict upbringing for the allure of English ways.
Now Detective Jakob Fisher—once a member of the Amish community himself—is determined to solve the young woman’s murder. With Claire’s help, he must dig into the past and bring to light long-buried secrets—secrets that someone is willing to kill to protect…
Laura Bradford’s An Amish Mystery series is everything that makes cozy mysteries so much fun to read. The characters are interesting and delightful. The setting in the wonderful town of Heavenly, PA is just that, heavenly. Mixing Amish and “English” town folk is intriguing and so full of depth and emotion, kindness and confusion. All of the books in this series are wonderful and each one is better and better than the last. Suspendered Sentence is the best yet. Ms Bradford’s understanding and telling of the Amish is so insightful and allows the reader to feel, not just read, their ways and lifestyles. Reading one of the books in this series brings the reader into a delightful town, filled with well developed characters and mysteries that keep them involved throughout.
Claire Weatherly is an Englisher (non Amish) who lives on the cusp of both worlds. Most of her friends and the suppliers to her store, Heavenly Treasures, are Amish. She is connected to them. And when mysteries or crimes are committed in the Amish community, she is the go between for them and detective Jakob Fisher. He is a shunned former Amish man that has become close to Claire in more ways than one. In Suspendered Sentence,after a barn is burnt to the ground, the Amish come from near and far to raise a new one for the Stolzfus family. It is during this work that bones are uncovered. Jakob is sure they belong to Sadie Lehman who never returned from Rumspringa. The mystery surrounding the discovery and the death of a new bride years before is so well written and plotted it keeps the reader engaged throughout.
The mystery of the skeleton is not only intriguing, but it also draws out the buried emotions of the town. Finding that a young bride who was also best friends with Sadie had a journal that she wrote in, helps Claire to understand the events that lead up to the young girl’s death. Claire is also able to piece together the time line surrounding the journal writer’s death as well. Elizabeth was not only the young bride whose life was ended so soon, but she played a part in the lives of the two men that mean the most to Claire, Jakob and Ben.
Suspendered Sentence is not just a well written cozy, it touches the readers’ hearts and makes them feel and sense the intense emotions that the characters themselves are dealing with as well. This is an amazing book with wonderful characters full of depth and personality. The writing is thoughtful and so enjoyable. It is so delightful to find a novel that can touch your heart, engage your mind and bring you to a wonderful community such as this one. If I could give it more stars I surely would. I recommend this book to any readers interested in Amish novels, cozy mysteries or who just want to read a fabulous book. I can not wait for the next in this outstanding series.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*