Tuesday, March 3, 2015

REVIEW: Suspendered Sentence

Amish Mystery 4:
Suspendered Sentence

Author: Laura Bradford
Genre: Mystery, Women Sleuths, Christian Fiction
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: 3.3.2015
Pages: 304

Recommended by: Great Escapes Book Tours, Read 2 Review
Date read: 3.2.2015

This book was definitely different than other mysteries I've read - simple and full of a lot more emotion than I'm used to.  The characters immediately pulled me in and it was impossible for me to put down.  I literally walked around the house reading the book while trying to take care of other things, then sat up all night finishing it - I wanted to know more about the characters, the Amish community, and what happened in the past.

I love the way the author writes, the knowledge that she had about the Amish, the descriptions she includes about the setting (Heavenly, Pennsylvania sounds like my kind of place), and the fact that the romance she added into the story not only enhanced it, but was clean (they were both sweet and respectful of each other).  

Each character added something more to the story and were so different from each other, and I liked seeing how the Amish interacted with "the English."  This is my first novel by the author, but I plan to go back and read the previous stories, and all future ones as well.

I felt so bad for Zebediah and Waneta Lehman.  I can't even comprehend the grief they must have felt, not just with believing their daughter left during her Rumspringa, but then finding out many years later that she actually died and was secretly buried on the property they used to own.  And to see how many lives in Heavenly were touched by Sadie's death was pretty powerful.

I liked all the characters, but the one I think I enjoyed reading about the most was Annie, not just in the store with Claire, but with her sister's children as well.  

Favorite quote:
"Sometimes, when she drove along these roads, she couldn't help but feel as if the pages of her calendar had drifted backwards a hundred years to a simpler life when life was governed by people rather than technology.  It was as if the world was passing the Amish by in so many ways, yet they didn't care.
            For them, an open-top wagon or a gray-topped buggy was all the transportation they desired.
            For them, an inexpensive bolt of durable fabric and a sewing machine were all they needed to clothe their families.
            For them, communication with friends and family came not through social media and cell phones but, rather, with face-to-face visits.
            For them, mates weren't found with the help of Internet dating sites.  No, they were found across the room at church, or during a Sunday afternoon hymn sing or volleyball game.
            For them, helping a neighbor through tragedy meant rolling up one's sleeves and doing whatever it took to get someone back on their feet."

About the book:
The national bestselling author of Shunned & 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 Stolzfus 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...

About the author:
While spending a rainy afternoon at a friend's house more than thirty years ago, Laura Bradford fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil.  From that moment forward, she never wanted to do or be anything else.  Today, Laura is a national bestselling mystery and award-winning romance author.  Her national bestselling Amish Mystery series includes Hearse & Buggy, Assaulted Pretzel, and Shunned & Dangerous.  She lives in Yorktown Heights, New York, with her husband and their blended brood.


Laura Bradford said...

What a lovely review! Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed SUSPENDERED SENTENCE.

Meghan H said...

You're welcome!! I can't wait to read more about Heavenly :)