Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Book Review - A Plain Scandal

A Plain Scandal: An Appleseed Creek Mystery

By: Amanda Flower
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
Publishing Date: February 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4336-7698-7
Reviewed by: Mary Lignor
Review Date: February 7, 2013

This mystery is the second by this author taking place in Appleseed Creek, Ohio. The story features Chloe Humphrey, who works as a computer consultant at a local college. In this quiet, mostly Amish, village things start to happen that are most unusual. There seems to be an overabundance of crimes against the Amish involving cutting the hair of the girls and the beards of the men.

Chloe is renting a house in the village and her roommate is Becky Troyer, who was born to an Amish family but has left the fold along with her brother, Timothy. Timothy, who has also joined the English community is attracted romantically to Chloe. Chloe discovers a dead body, one of the Amish, and as she is familiar with both cultures and also has helped the police on a previous case, is used sometimes as a go-between helping each community understand the ways of the others.

During the acts against the Amish women, no one was hurt but as for the men one was stabbed in the back and the Troyer’s grandfather was attacked and his beard cut off. Being a friend of the Troyer children, Chloe sets out to help the police solve these crimes which is very difficult as the Amish don’t talk to Englishers about their problems. The Bishop and Dean, who are the head of the Amish people, are against Chloe having anything to do with the Troyers and try to destroy her relationships with the Amish family. Along with all this, Chloe's house has been sold to a colleague from the college and she and Becky have to move out. This puts a little crimp in all the detecting.

This is an excellent, well written story. The main plot of hate crimes against the Amish and the murder of one of them along with plotlines of the politics at the college and the romance between members of the Amish and the Englishers make this a very readable book. Having visited Amish country in Pennsylvania, I can see just what some of the folks are up against on both sides of the coin. Also, I have read Amanda Flower’s other books and did not put them down until I finished them.

Quill Says: After many years working as a librarian in a small town, I was happy to read these books by another librarian. Keep up the good work, Ms. Flower! This reader is eagerly looking for the next installment of the Apple Creek Mystery series.

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