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Blood of the Prodigal (Amish-Country Mystery Series #1)

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    Great Amish Mystery

    In "Blood of the Prodigal", P.L. Gaus spends a lot of time in the details. What stands out first is his eye for the setting. He makes the countryside of Holmes county and the plain people who inhabit it genuine, authentic for the reader.

    For me, the perspective of the book was unique from any I have read before. Written from various points of view from outsiders looking in at the Amish, as the reader I quickly learned these voices were not the main characters.or, at least, I didn't think so. It was through the eyes or voice of a preacher and a professor, outsiders, that the Amish Bishop, his son and grandson came to life. Myself, I have never known much about the culture of the Amish, but interweaved into the mystery were amazing insights into them. The book was obviously well researched and reading about the author, a lot of his knowledge came from living in the area himself. The writing advice to write what you know seems to have paid off in spades for P.L. Gaus. Again, it is the details that shows through, gives the story its real, honest depth.

    Yet, aside from the elaborate settings and insights into Amish ways this story if definitely a mystery which trickles the details, keeping you turning the pages to know more. I struggled between reading faster to know more and not wanting to miss any of the descriptive writing. The plot was intricate, but not so much that you had trouble keeping up. Gaus did well, created a nice balance between giving me enough new information and withholding enough of the mystery to keep me interested. Great hints were dropped slowly, the pace perfect with the idea created of the fires and frustrations which can be ignited by a simple, but strong faith.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2011

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    I Also Recommend:


    Set in Holmes County, Ohio, we are introduced to a group of "Old Order Amish" or "plain people" who only trust a precious few "English people".

    When one of the Amish boys disappears the Amish Bishop meets with Professor Michael Branden and Pastor Caleb Troyer, two "English" men he feels he can help locate the boy. The Bishop believes that the boy was taken by his father, the Bishop's son, who had been exiled from the Amish community 10 years ago. The Bishop begs the men to not involve any police as he hopes to get the boy back and settle the matter quickly and quietly.

    When the man suspected of taking the boy is found dead right down the road from the Bishop's home, the local sheriff starts to investigate the death but is not made aware of the missing boy until 3 days later at the bequest of the Bishop. When the sheriff is given all the information many secrets that the Bishop hoped would remain in the past are revealed. Time then becomes a matter of urgency to try to find the boy before it is too late.

    I LIKED IT!!!!
    This story is written by a man with over 30 years of research into the Amish lifestyle and in fact lives just a few miles away from one of the world's largest and most varied settlements of Amish and Mennonite communities and it shows throughout his writing.

    Just reading this first book in this series I understand so much more about a culture I have found fascinating for years. We have small communities of Amish in Wisconsin but aside from seeing them out shopping from time to time, hearing some stories, reading romance type books featuring "plain people" and seeing the buggies along the highway I really know very little about their lifestyle.

    This book not only educates us about the Amish culture, it also contains not only one but two mysteries. One who killed the Bishop's son and two who actually has the Bishop's grandson. The author blends the dangers of America today with the Amish way of life totally respecting their values and attitudes. It is truly different from any other book I have read that tries to mesh these two worlds together. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series "Broken English" and if it draws me in like this edition the reading will be a true pleasure.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Plume Books, A Division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Intelligent Mystery Set in the Amish Countryside

    njoyed this quite a bit. Although a quick read, it's an exceptionally smart mystery, and it certainly does an effective job in telling a sound story full of absorbing insights into the Amish way of life. There are intelligent layers within this story, of both the personal lives of the Professor and his wife, but also of the Amish community and the politics of the English living side by side with the Plain People. The characters were exceedingly interesting with each scene (my personal favorites: the Professor, his wife, and Sheriff Robertson), and I was caught up in the mystery of it all. I had no idea who did the kidnapping, who committed murder, until the scenes unfolded before me. P.L. Gaus has combined the surrounding Amish countryside and charming characters into a developed and well-researched journey of a mystery. This is book one in the Amish-Country Mystery series, so there's no doubt that I'm interested to pick up the next one. I also must admit that there were times, especially towards the end, when my throat closed up as I read, and I'm pretty sure if someone asked me a question at that exact moment, or tried to talk with me, I'd have to blink back some tears and collect myself before trying to speak.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2013

    Good Read

    This is a well written book that develops the story quite well. It is a mystery that keeps one guessing right up to the end.
    P L Gaus has written more books with some of these main characters and they are most interesting.

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