Publication Date: 03/03/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes
Laura Bradford on the WEB: website, facebook, goodreads
Books in the series:
1. Hearse and Buggy
2. Assaulted Pretzel
3. Shunned and Dangerous
4. Suspendered Sentence
Excerpt from Suspendered Sentence, courtesy of the author's website
The national bestselling author of Shunned and 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 Stoltzfus 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…
Laura Bradford returns to Heavenly, Pennsylvania in her latest Amish mystery, Suspendered Sentence. Readers who love Amish fiction won't be able to put this one down, as the skeleton of a young Amish bride is found after a fire. This story has a lot of heart and the emotions of the characters are strong and can be felt by anyone who reads it. Bradford does an excellent job with both characterization and the mystery elements of the story, but where she really shines, is in the treatment of the Amish culture and lifestyle. A great addition to the series!
There are so many things that I like about this series. As always I feel like Bradford has an empathy with for Amish people. She somehow has an understanding of who they are why they do the things they do. Mysteries are founded on motivations and the whys and wherefores of a crime and I think it essential with an Amish tale that the author can kind of get into the mind of those involved. Bradford is able to do this easily and the emotions and actions of her characters seem realistic an authentic.
One of the things I love about the Amish community is just that, their sense of community. They protect each other, help each other and share in the joys and sorrows of all their members from young to the old. The barn raising depicted in Suspendered Sentence is something I remember from childhood and it is crucial to the story, since that is where the remains of the young Amish woman are found. That is one of those events that draws in the community, Amish or otherwise. It is a show of solidarity and unity and I think that is huge in this culture.
The mystery was poignant and very engaging. The Amish bride who died was thought to have just run away and that made it all the more mysterious. I thought Bradford did a great job of tying in the girl's diary and tying her to several of the people in heroine, Claire's life. It gave Claire the motivation to investigate. Jakob's involvement, as always, was amazing. I really like him as a character and Bradford shows even more depth to his character in each book. The clues were not easy to follow and involved more than one death, but eventually the reader will thoroughly surprised by the outcome. Claire's life is never a breeze, but she still finds time for her family and friends and is a wonderful cozy heroine.
Laura Bradford has a knack for writing about the Amish lifestyle and culture. She is able to get to the heart of the Amish community and bring out some of the qualities and features readers may not know about them. I loved the barn raising theme and the addition of the girl's diary was a great way to get inside the head of the victim. This was my favorite of the series so far and I think readers will get a lot more out of this than just a mystery.
Suspendered Sentence is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
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 and Buggy, Assaulted Pretzel, and Shunned and Dangerous. She lives in Yorktown Heights, New York, with her husband and their blended brood.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Suspendered Sentence by Laura Bradford.
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