Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hearse and Buggy

Book Description: Claire Weatherly has fled a high-stress lifestyle for a slower pace—in Amish country: Heavenly, Pennsylvania. She only planned a short visit but instead found herself opening an Amish specialty shop, Heavenly Treasures, and settling in. Claire loves her new home, and she’s slowly making friends among the locals, including Esther, a young Amish woman who works in the shop. So when the store’s former owner,the unlikable Walter Snow, is murdered, and the man Esther is sweet on becomes a suspect, Claire can’t help but get involved.

Newly returned Detective Jakob Fisher, who left Heavenly—and his Amish upbringing—as a teenager, is on the case. But his investigation is stalled by the fact that none of his former community will speak with him. Claire’s connections make her the perfect go-between.

As Claire investigates, she uncovers more than she wanted to know about her neighbors. And suddenly, everything she had hoped to find in this peaceful refuge is at risk . . . 

My Review: Laura Bradford creates characters with such depth it feels as if you've known them for years. This book contains not only a compelling mystery, but also a fascinating look at Amish culture. The town of Heavenly is a character all it’s own, depicted so vividly you’ll want to have tea with Claire and Diane in their parlor, browse the Amish wares in Heavenly Treasures, and enjoy coffee and a slice of pie at the Shoo Fly Bake Shoppe. Doesn’t the beautiful cover art make you want to step inside the pages and stay awhile?

I can’t wait for the next book in the series (Assaulted Pretzel, March 2013), to watch Ester and Eli’s relationship grow; to see how Claire handles her complicated feelings for both Jakob and Benjamin; and to hopefully see Jakob and his family heal. This is truly one of the best debut series of the year.

Tara’s Thoughts: No cats??? Did Mommy say there are no cats in this book? I’m shocked, I’m horrified, I’m appalled, I’m…going back to my nap now.


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