Publication Date: 03/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Laura Bradford (aka. Elizabeth Lynn Casey) on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads
Books in the series:
Hearse and Buggy (2012), Assaulted Pretzel (2013), Shunned and Dangerous (2014)
Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from, Shunned and Dangerous, courtesy of
Living in the small town of Heavenly, Pennsylvania, Claire Weatherly has come to admire the Amish for their wholesome, honest way of life. But she also knows that nothing is as simple as it seems—especially when murder disturbs the peace.
Claire has always been game for a good puzzle, so when she hears that Mose Fisher has made one of his famous corn mazes, she can’t wait to walk the paths and test her skill. But she’ll have a much more serious puzzle to solve when, deep inside the maze, she discovers the body of Amish dairy farmer Harley Zook.
It won’t be easy for Detective Jakob Fisher to investigate a murder on his own father’s farm—not after being shunned by the man for leaving the Amish community and becoming a cop. With Mose himself as a suspect, and old family secrets cropping up, it’s up to Claire to help catch the killer before she finds herself at a dead end.
Laura Bradford once again transports her readers to the heart of Amish country in her latest Amish mystery, Shunned and Dangerous. Readers who enjoy well researched mysteries will love Bradford's attention to detail and her obvious love for the Amish people. Readers will have to use all of their senses to figure out this whodunit, that pits a detective, against his Amish roots, with his father as a possible suspect. Fans of the series will be waiting to see what happens to Claire's shop, who killed Harley Zook, and if Claire and Jakob will ever acknowledge their feelings for each other. A great addition to the series!
What I liked:
I am a fan of Amish related stories in just about every genre. I have great respect for their simplistic life and their devotion to their faith, so when this mystery series featuring the Amish came out, I was really excited. Laura Bradford has certainly done her homework. Not only does she give readers an insiders view in the Amish community their practices and religious beliefs, she also delves into the underbelly of the Amish faith. Sometimes that includes gossip, rage and even murder. What a great theme for a cozy series! Bradford certainly does it justice.
One of the interesting things about this series, is that the heroine herself, is not Amish. Claire is a transplanted Heavenly, Pennsylvania resident. She is trying desperately to make a go of her shop in town and needs to make it able to support her before her meager savings are depleted. Now her assistant Ester is getting married and will have to stop working for her and making the high dollar items she crafts for th shop. I loved the fact that Bradford went outside of the religious order to bring us the heroine of this series, Claire is gaining a lot of understanding of the Amish people, but she still has that outsiders perspective that works so well in this series. I thought Bradford did a great job of balancing the mystery against Claire's personal life in this one and I was just as interested in one as in the other.
Claire finds the body of a local Amish Dairy farmer deep in the corn maze on Mose Fishers' farm. That presents several different problems for Claire. First Mose is the father of her assistant and she is worried that he might be the best suspect. Second he is also the father of the local police detective investigating the case. The big problem is that Claire has feelings for said detective who has some issues with the Amish since he was shunned and left the faith to become a cop. The murder victim, Harley Zook encouraged Jakob and was the only Amish to support his decision, much to the rancor of his father. Quite a mess! Bradford makes it look easy as she moves between all the characters, dropping clues and leaving red herrings for the reader. It wasn't really clear who could have done it other than Mose, or what other motive might existed for much of the book, which I thought was amazing. I definitely couldn't figure out who else it could have been for awhile.
I liked the way that Jakob used Claire's help with this case. He knew the Amish people would not talk to him due to the shunning. He also was far too close to the case considering his father was the main suspect. Mose did not like Harley Zook. He blamed him for taking his son away and now his other son was gone. He had the perfect motive. But Jakob couldn't find the information he needed to clear him on his own. These two characters obviously have a thing for each other, but, don't want to admit it. It should be interesting in future books to see where this goes.
What I didn't like:
Jakob seemed a bit lackadaisical about the investigation. I understood that he couldn't do a lot of investigating but it seemed like he should have been a bit more adamant about what was happening. It was his father after all that was being accused of murder. It certainly didn't take away my enjoyment of the book, just a minor pet peeve.
This is a great addition to the series and readers are sure to find that Bradford took the time to really develop this story. She didn't leave anything to chance and kept me in the dark until close to the end. This one had an interesting plot that kept me guessing.
Shunned and Dangerous will be available to the public on March 4th. Pre-order is available NOW.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Shunned and Dangerous by Laura Bradford.
~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, March 17th.
1. Please leave a comment about a great Amish style dish you like to serve your family or would like to try.
2. Please fill out the FORM.
Amish bread. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com
I guess sausage and sauerkraut
I've thought about the Shoofly Pie but after reading the ingredients I'm not too sure I'd like it, lol.
I love Amish bread and everuthing servied at Amish buffet that I tried in SOuthern Indiana. That included mashed potatoes, stewed tomatoes, fresh corn and everything else heavenly. Oh, also a selection of five different kinds of pies.
I'd like to try Amish Lemon Sponge Pie!
skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net
Many Amish dishes are fairly close to meals my family has cooked for generations...
My family's roots started in Spain (until 1492) then they moved to Germany where a large Sefardi community was established. We picked up many of the heavy meat, potato and dumpling dishes and use them for Sabbath meals.
I would love to try Shoofly Pie.
definitely shoofly pie...........
cyn209 at juno dot com
Amish apple butter is yummy and I know my children would love it.
Amish Sugar Pie
I would like to learn to make various Amish bread and rolls like they sell at our farmer's market.
Another vote for shoofly pie. Just need to be able I tried it. Bobbipad@gmail.com
I've never made an Amish dish but Shoofly pie sounds good.
The only Amish style food I have ever made was slaw and potato salad. But they were pretty good. Thanks for having the giveaway.
Well, everyone loves the Amish Friendship bread when it makes the rounds, but I don't know how authentic it really is! I think my hubby would like me to try to make a sausage style dish.
I think I would like to try Shoofly Pie..It sounds interesting.
Not sure why kind of recipes they have to try
I think I would choose the Whoopie Pies and their Lemon pie. Would love to have some of their Apple Butter. Would love to win this book. Thanks.
Maybe some kind of Amish pie.
Thanks for the chance to win!
Not really sure what I'd like to try. Maybe a chicken dish or casserole. Haven't been to any Amish restaurants. I have been to areas in Ohio where the Amish live and have seen their buggies. This was down in Ashland and Mansfield. We went down there years ago to visit my great-aunt.
I love Amish cheeses and meats. I'd love a big lunch spread set out with a bunch of different varieties.
I don't know anything about Amish food--but I am sure their baked goods are probably delicious.
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