Sunday, March 23, 2014

Murder and Romance in the Amish Village

The Amish Village is a tourist destination in Middlebury, Indiana where people come to sample the delicious and creative Amish products and enjoy the quiet of the Inn. Quiet that is until one morning, Hannah, an Amish girl who works at the Quilting Bee, finds Ethan, the owner of A Simple Blend dead of an apparent heart attack.

The police are convinced it's a heart attack although there are BB holes in the front window. Amber, manager of the Amish Village, isn't so sure. She and Hannah think it looks more like murder and should be investigated. The police politely decline, so Amber and Hannah start their own investigation.

The setting for this book is delightful. The small shops and interesting shop owners provide a background that makes you feel at home. Both the Amish and English characters are well drawn and likeable. Hannah and her family are very typically Amish and provide a contrast to Amber, the career woman. Romance is provided by Amber's next door neighbor, Tate, and Hannah's good friend, Jesse. Both are gentle romances, not complex but heart warming.

I enjoyed the book. The mystery
wasn't particularly engrossing until the ending which seemed rather extreme. However, the characters make the story, so the resolution of the mystery is believable. Although I usually don't comment on editorial matters. This book had some mistakes that editing could have fixed. In one place, the author starts calling Hannah, Amber. In some of the dialog it's difficult to follow who is speaking. However, if you enjoy the characters and setting these problems don't detract too much.

I reviewed the novel for the Thomas Nelson Booklook Program.