I like Amish Fiction. I also like cozy mysteries and when you can combine the two genres then in my book you have a real winner. This Book is the third in the Appleseed Creek series and it keeps you guessing from the very beginning to the very end. It has what I enjoy about both of the genres. The Simple life that the Amish live but they still must deal with the problems of life and the mystery of cozies. Even though this is the third in the series you can read it without reading the others but if you are like me you will going back to catch up on what happened in the other books.
It was quite intriguing as well as ingenious the way this author wrote a masterful mystery! Once again, Chloe is in the throes of a murder investigation when she and Timothy make a gruesome discovery. The victim was an Amish girl from a local well known family. As layers are peeled away to locate the responsible party, more twists are added to the story. The plot thickens as other secrets are revealed while investigating the scene where the body was found. The land belongs to an Amish family who has long since moved; however, inside the dilapidated barn are items that identify the number one person of interest.
The romance continues to grow between Chloe and Timothy even when other family members are being directed to remain at a distance from their friends. Curt, who has been hassling Chloe for months, suddenly appears at a church service. Why is that? Not only does he always seem to be where Chloe is and watching her, his friend Brock is not his side kick anymore.
Grandfather Zook, who is a talented carpenter working with intricate patterns, seems to be making less money than before since he is selling his work through his friend Levi's store. How can that be?
I hope Amanda Flowers continues to write mysteries with the characters she has started in A Plain Death and continued in A Plain Scandal. Her books reveal not just the differences in the Amish life and beliefs, but also in people in general. Whether a friendship or a family, it is interesting to see just how each character reacts or responds to the hard times that come in all relationships. I love how the Amish family holds hands, bows their heads and says a simple prayer.
Chloe's and Timothy's characters show us how past hurts can heal, but at the hardest of times remind us of how we may or may not have failed others in choices we made. While it is true that the pain of death eases with time, it is equally true the fear some have that they will forget how their loved ones once looked. Recently, the son of a girlfriend, who died 10 years ago, got engaged and in my heart I felt happiness for them, but also a sting that my friend wasn't here to share in the event. Yet, life does go on. In our hearts, we always can carry the memory of those we loved with us till we see the face of Jesus!
Read all three novels in order, enjoy and see what inspires you!
In the Plain world of Appleseed Creek it is Christmas time and murder has marked the season when Chloe Humphrey and Timothy Troyer discover the body of a teenage Amish girl buried in the snow near an abandoned barn. Talk about a memorable first date.
But when it is determined that Katie Lambright was murdered Chloe is tasked with the task of figuring out whether or not any of her new Amish acquaintances had anything to do with the murder. But the Amish don't totally trust Chloe and her Englischer ways nor her knack for helping the police - unofficially of course.
In A Plain Disappearance Chloe is spending her first Christmas with Becky and Timothy and Becky is excited to spend her first non-Amish Christmas embracing a true Englischer Christmas with all the trimmings. And there is a special surprise for Chloe that will make her Christmas complete.
With a full cast of possible suspects Chloe has her work cut out for her. But can she sort through the suspects or will she be the next victim? A Plain Disappearance is full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing as to who the guilty party is and believe me there are several who look pretty likely.
A Plain Disappearance is the third book in this series but it can stand alone if you haven't read the first two but don't deny yourself the enjoyment of the entire series as Chloe solves mysteries and makes a place for herself in Appleseed Creek.
I was provided a copy of this book through Handlebar Marketing in exchange for my fair and honest review.
I have to admit up front that this is the first book in this series that I have read. But, while I know some of how things will turn out, I still want to read the two previous books. This book only made me want to read them all the more.
Some of the storyline was familiar with the heroine being an Englischer making friends with the Amish and being courted by a guy that left the Amish several years ago during his rumspringa. The young couple find a body and they must track down the killer. The struggle with other characters either having left the Amish or thinking about it was also expected. But what I didn't quite expect was the portrayal of the Amish themselves. Often in Amish fiction they are overly romanticized as if they have attained moral perfection. Not in this book, some of them are very accepting and some are absolutely not, some are very loving with their families and some are harsh, they have similar fears and concerns that most parents and families do. The characters are as varied as people are in reality.
The issues in this story are much darker than the typical Amish story but the ultimate theme is forgiveness. From forgiving one's self, to past hurts, to forgiving people in the present. Each character struggles with this in his or her own way.
The mystery element in this story is excellent! Amanda Flower has done a great job, neither overdoing nor underplaying, and the pacing is very good. The storyline was believable and not forced, you could easily see why the characters acted and reacted as they did because they were what any normal person would say, do, or think. I honestly had no clue 'whodunit' until the murderer was revealed, I had guesses on who I thought DIDN'T do it but no idea who could have done it.
A Plain Disappearance is told in the first-person from the perspective of Chloe. Very enjoyable and the author did an excellent job of getting inside of Chloe's head and heart.
I did, of course, have favorite characters; Chloe with her desire to help and for family. Grossdaddi (Grandfather) Zook with his kind understanding and penchant for learning new Englischer words. And Greta Rose the sharp-tongued but fair, in Grossdaddi Zook's words "lady copper." And, of course, I can't forget the other two most memorable characters, Mabel and Sparky, gotta love both of them!
Not everything is completely resolved, there is no sweet ending all packaged up with a pretty bow. The reader is left wondering and more importantly hoping that more stories with these characters will be soon forthcoming.
An enjoyable and wonderful addition to the Amish genre, don't miss A Plain Disappearance or the entire series!
(I received this book from B&H Publishing through Handlebar in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.)
Faith and Family Reviews received the following product from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for writing a review. While we consider it a privilege to receive products to review, our reviews are our honest opinion and thoughts of the product.
A Plain Disappearance by Amanda Flower is the third book in the Appleseed Creek Mystery series. It is a stand alone book. I am rather glad I came in on the third book because the main couple was already together making A Plain Disappearance seem more like a mystery than a fictional romance. Though it did make me want to go back and read the first two installments.
In this book, I saw a glimpse of the struggles Amish families must go through when their children decide to leave their Amish communities for what is considered "English". This story showed some of the not so good aspects of being Amish or being an "Englisher" dating an almost shunned Amish man. It also revealed a dishonest side to the Amish. Something that usually isn't seen in the Amish books I have read in the past.
The best thing I liked is the fact that I was kept guessing right through to the end. Gotta love that suspense! I was actually surprised how the mystery concluded.