Monday, March 30, 2015

Review and Giveaway: Suspendered Sentence

Suspendered Sentence (Amish Mystery - Book 4) by Laura Bradford

Publication Date: 03/03/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Laura Bradford on the WEB: websitefacebook, goodreads

Books in the series:

Amish Mystery

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. 

Bottom Line:

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.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Suspendered Sentence by Laura Bradford.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, April 13th.

1. Please leave a comment. Ever been to a barn raising or something similar?

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Unknown said...

i have heard of shrimp cupcakes...yuck :)

Linda Kish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traveler said...

A pesto cupcake. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

I have never been to a barn raising or anything like it but I grew up in bigger cities.

Mama Cat said...

I have never been to a barn raising or anything similar - never lived in a rural area or near an Amish settlement. PS Just signed up for your email updates
jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot) com

holdenj said...

Nope, I've never been to a barn-raising! I love this series, glad to see the new title has five apples! Thanks!

cyn209 said...

I've never been to a barn-raising, tho I would love to witness one!!!!

Anonymous said...

Iam a city girl by heart.Like this author's books.

Angela - Bookaunt said...

I have not been to a barn raising but I think it would be neat to go to one.

Carol N Wong said...

I never have but my mother lived on a farm and she often talked about barn raising and everyone including neighbors getting together as a team and doing the harvesting for one farm then the next until they were all done. She told me of the enormous meals that they cooked uo for the men to eat. She used to go to quilting bees too.


Karen B said...

I've never been but have read about them and seen them in the movies and on TV.

Rita Wray said...

I have never been to a barn raising. I have read about them in books. Sounds like fun.

Grandma Cootie said...

I have never been to a barn raising, but it is such a community event, sounds like fun too.

lag123 said...

I have never been to a barn raising. We did have a roofing party once where family and friends came over to help put the roof on our new house.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Nancy said...

No, haven't been to one but I've heard of them.

Linda said...

Never been to barn raising but did help tear down an old barn for tongue in groove (?) wood to use for addition to garage.

bn100 said...

No, I haven't

Wendy Newcomb said...

No I haven't but they do sound like they would be a lot of fun.

wfnren at aol dot com

Karin said...

no-have never been to one. Just have seen them on TV.

Theresa N. said...

No but I like the idea behind it.
Theresa N

Meg C. said...

I've never been to a barn raising or anything similar. Truthfully I haven't really heard much about them. Thanks for the chance to win.