An enjoyable cozy mystery where secrets abound, questions go unanswered, and romance is thriving; tucked comfortably within a beautiful setting; the rolling hills of Kentucky, among a tight Amish community, where everyone knows more about the murder of a young man than they are willing to tell.
The perfect set-up for Shelley Shephard Gray's conclusion to "The Secrets of Crittenden County"!
Back Cover: In the midst of a murder investigation in the heart of Amish country, one young policeman finds his heart led astray. The serenity of the quiet Amish community of Marion, Kentucky, is disrupted when the body of Perry Borntrager is discovered in an abandoned well. Now the small town faces the first death by mysterious circumstances in more than twenty years, and Detective Luke Reynolds is brought in to help investigate. But before he can solve the crime, he faces unexpected feelings for Frannie, the Amish owner of the local bed-and-breakfast. Though they butt heads at first, Luke finds himself drawn to Frannie's bedside when she's injured in a kitchen accident. Soon it becomes clear that Frannie knew Perry better than she let on . . . they'd been secretly courting when he disappeared. Has Luke fallen for the very woman responsible for the crime?
Review: I was looking forward to part two. I racked my brain throughout to figure out who it could possibly be. I think I know and am waiting for the reveal in book 3. I am enjoying the series and the suspense but sometimes think it is too long. I do like all the characters and am finding it hard to choose anyone as the murder. I like how the `mixed' relationships are not made to be super simple because for each couple has real challenges to face when people have to adjust their religious practices. Even from Baptist to Presbyterian is a challenge for most couples. I liked the ending for the most part. I am hopeful for Beth. I would really like to see wonderful things happen to her. More than anything else I am looking forward to find a resolution to the death of Perry.
I would like to thank Above the Trees and Avon Books for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
This is such an exciting story. I stayed up half of the night reading. Finished the book last night and can't wait to start book 3. All the Amish novels are great, but a mystery murder is even better. Keeps you on the edge. A must read!
The Search by Shelley Shepard Gray is the second book in The Secrets of Crittenden County series. The discovery of Perry Borntrager's body has stirred up this close-knit Amish community. Detective Luke Reynolds is still trying to sort through the evidence and learn the identity of the killer, but his feelings for Perry's former flame Frannie Eicher has put a crimp in his investigation. When she is injured in a kitchen accident, Luke finds himself spending more time at her hospital bedside than working on the case, and ignoring the possibility that Frannie may be hiding something from him about it. Frannie's accident forces Beth Byler to take over Frannie's bed and Breakfast, which is far out of her comfort zone. She's more comfortable taking care of babies and young children than baking and being a good hostess, but mysterious guest Chris Ellis not only helps out but awakens something inside Beth. Others in the community are struggling with the repercussions of Perry's drug dealing and death as well, especially his sister Deborah who knows far more than she's telling anyone. Gray has a real talent for creating fascinating stories with Amish characters, exposing them as real people with hopes, dreams, and secrets. Frannie is the center of this novel, and she's a terrific heroine: strong, smart, and wanting desperately to be loved. I think that Beth and Chris' relationship was a bit rushed; they both confess to extraordinarily deep feelings that seem unrealistic based on the three encounters in the story. That's the only flaw in this story filled with suspense, major twists and turns, romance, and friendship. Gray makes it very easy to fall in love with the Amish communities she describes, and I'm ready to book my stay at the Yellow Bird Inn in Crittenden County!