Blood of the Prodigal: An Amish-Country Mystery
P. L. Gaus
It has been ten years since Jon Mills was banished from his Amish Order in Holmes County, Ohio. Now he’s back to face Bishop Miller and reclaim the ten-year-old son he left behind. But something happens: Mills turns up dead and the son goes missing.
In Book 1 of 7 of the Amish Country Mysteries, Gaus introduces part-time detective, college professor and Civil War expert Michael Branden. He’s helped by his sidekick wife Caroline, Sheriff Bruce Robertson and Deputy Ricky Niell. Gaus tells an engaging story about an Ohio Amish order that must rely on outsiders for help.
I was attracted to the book’s terrific cover and liked reading about the Amish, particularly Rumschpringe, the Amish adolescent rite of passage during which teenagers leave their communities before deciding to return to be baptized. Gaus’ descriptions of Holmes County, Ohio are also interesting, and the later scenes near Lakeside Marblehead are the strongest part of the story. The author ties up loose ends nicely, if not predictably and invites the reader to return for the next mystery.
This series that has received many positive reviews, including this one by Marilyn Stasio, of the New York Times:
For more than a decade, P. L. Gaus has been writing quietly spellbinding mysteries about… the conservative Old Order Amish of Holmes County, Ohio.
I recommend Blood of the Prodigal to readers who like light and fast-moving mysteries and enjoy seeing how characters develop in a series.
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