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Falling to Pieces (Shipshewana Amish Series #1)
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Falling to Pieces (Shipshewana Amish Series #1)

4.9 27
by Vannetta Chapman
 

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In this first book of a three-book series, author Vannetta Chapman brings a fresh twist to the popular Amish fiction genre. She blends the familiar components consumers love in Amish books—faith, community, simplicity, family—with an innovative who-done-it plot that keeps readers guessing right up to the last stitch in the quilt.

When two women—one

Overview

In this first book of a three-book series, author Vannetta Chapman brings a fresh twist to the popular Amish fiction genre. She blends the familiar components consumers love in Amish books—faith, community, simplicity, family—with an innovative who-done-it plot that keeps readers guessing right up to the last stitch in the quilt.

When two women—one Amish, one English—each with different motives, join forces to organize a successful on-line quilt auction, neither expects nor wants a friendship. As different as night and day, Deborah and Callie are uneasy partners who simply want to make the best of a temporary situation. But a murder, a surprising prime suspect, a stubborn detective, and the town's reaction throw the two women together, and they form an unlikely alliance to solve a mystery and catch a killer.

Set in the well-known Amish community of Shipshewana, Falling to Pieces will attract both devoted fans of the rapidly-growing Amish fiction genre, as well as those who are captivated by the Amish way of life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A quilting shop is the setting for this mystery with an Amish woman as amateur detective. Deborah Yoder solves a series of crimes that have embroiled her non-Amish friend, Callie. Unfortunately, Chapman (A Simple Amish Christmas) strains credulity with plot and characters: the villains lack subtlety; a county coroner has usurped the duties of police and district attorney; journalists blithely engage in behavior that would get real ones fired, sued, or boycotted. Although this novel is published by an evangelical Christian publisher, law-abiding characters cheerfully engage in unethical practices, such as a cop seeking to date a murder suspect. Yoder is generally well drawn, but there’s a moral disconnect when she devises a plan to have a newspaper print lies in order to catch the bad guy. Lying is a far more serious offense for the Amish than the novel’s chosen problem of doing business over the Internet. The Amish also don’t use weapons to attack others, even if the weapons are quilting implements. This is the first book of a planned trilogy that could be vastly improved with better research. (Oct.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780310330431
Publisher:
Zondervan
Publication date:
09/07/2011
Series:
Shipshewana Amish Series , #1
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
204,324
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Falling to Pieces

A Shipshewana Amish Mystery
By Vannetta Chapman

ZONDERVAN

Copyright © 2011 Vannetta Chapman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-33043-1


Chapter One

Shipshewana, Indiana June 1

Dead bodies had never bothered Deborah Yoder.

Discovering old Mrs. Daisy Powell facedown in her garden had been a surprise. Her friend had died there between the butterfly weed and white indigo, had died with the dog she loved so keeping her company. Deborah had found her when she stopped by to deliver a casserole, rushed to her side and knelt there, not even thinking to go for the police, but she hadn't been upset.

Amish considered death a natural part of the cycle of life, and Daisy Powell had lived life to its fullest.

Deborah focused on the neat row of stitches in front of her, on the slight tug of the needle as she worked it through the layers of the quilt, on the satisfaction of watching the blue, gray, white, and black pieces fit perfectly together.

She focused on the quilt, but her mind went back to the evening she discovered Daisy's body in the midst of her flower garden.

Three weeks had passed, Daisy's body had been properly placed in the ground according to English customs, but still Deborah and her freinden had no answers to their problem.

Of course she noticed when the voices around her grew silent.

She snipped the thread, pocketed her small scissors, worked the needle through her apron for safekeeping, and looked across the quilt frame at her two best friends.

Melinda and Esther waited expectantly.

They didn't state the obvious.

They didn't spoil the moment—this moment she loved when the three of them completed something they'd worked on for weeks.

They didn't even voice the questions crowding her sitting room and stifling the summer morning.

Suddenly Joshua's cries pierced the morning, quickly followed by baby Hannah's wails, and Leah's holler of "Mamm."

"Perfect timing," Deborah declared brightly, standing and surveying their work.

Melinda and Esther didn't actually argue with her; instead they shook their heads and spoke as if she were deaf, or worse invisible.

"Perfect timing, indeed," Melinda muttered, standing and pushing up her glasses with one hand; with the other she touched the strings of the kapp covering her honey-brown hair.

Esther stood as well—posture straight, shoulders back, never attempting to minimize her five-foot-ten height. Her hair was darker, though you'd never guess it looking at her—she kept it perfectly covered by her kapp. Smoothing her dark apron, she looked pointedly from the finished quilt in front of them to the stack in the corner of the room. "Good thing she has four other kinner in addition to the crying boppli in the other room, or our pile of finished quilts would reach the ceiling."

Deborah merely smiled and strolled into the nearest bedroom where their three youngest children had taken up quite the chorus.

Melinda scooped up baby Hannah, planted a kiss on the six-month-old's neck, and inhaled deeply. "I adore the way she smells."

Esther crinkled her nose. "If I'm not mistaken, that odor is a wet diaper." As she sat on the bed, her two-year-old daughter crawled into her lap, then promptly snuggled into a ball and closed her eyes.

"We're lucky they're young and still take such a good morning nap—gives us more time to sew," Deborah reasoned as she changed Joshua's diaper. The fourteen-month-old giggled and reached for the strings of her prayer kapp.

"Definitely what we need—more time to sew." The teasing had left Melinda's voice, and what crept into its place sounded like a note of despair.

Deborah lifted Joshua out of the crib, and turned to Melinda and Esther. "Why don't we have some tea and talk about this? Surely we can find a solution."

Esther smiled as she led Leah to the bathroom across the hall. "You're good with solutions, Deborah. But even you can't sell quilts in a shop that's closed."

"I had so hoped this would solve our problems." Melinda stared out the window. She didn't speak again for a few moments. When she did, her voice took on a wistfulness like the sound of the June breeze in the trees coming through the open windows. "It seemed like such a good idea when we began, but now everything that can go wrong has gone wrong. And we haven't earned a dime."

Deborah's gaze locked with Esther's as she walked back into the room.

When they'd first started their venture, she'd assumed it would be Esther who would need the income the most. After all, it was Esther who had lost Seth in the accident. Esther who was trying to raise her boppli alone.

Oh, she had the church to help her, and her family pitched in as well. Even as they sewed, Esther's bruders were at her place tending to the fields. Still Deborah had assumed Esther would need the added income more than any of them.

Yes, when she'd first had the idea to sell their quilts in the store on Main Street, it was with Esther's needs as her primary concern. By the time they'd approached Daisy though, Melinda had finally confided with her about her middle kind's condition.

Aaron's situation was more serious than Deborah had imagined.

She should have known, but then she'd never seen the disease before.

Deborah had known the boy was sick, known how important it was for them all to pray for him, and even known about Doctor Richard's visits. The boy had seemed so improved though.

In reality, the situation was precarious health wise. Financially it was quite dire.

Of course they helped one another whenever anyone had health costs, since it went against their teachings to participate in health insurance programs. Instead they pooled their resources and helped pay for one another's expenses. But the toll on Melinda's family would go far beyond merely what the medical costs totaled, and the extent of what Melinda had shared had been shocking.

Although Deborah believed things would work out for the best, although her faith remained strong, it took only one look at her friend's face today to see that she remained worried.

She'd been right to go to Bishop Elam about offering the quilts in the English store.

"We'll find a way to sell the quilts," Deborah assured her.

"It's been nearly a month since Ms. Powell passed, Deborah." Esther sat on the side of the bed, allowed Leah to crawl back into her lap. "Daisy's Quilt Shop has been closed all this time, and it doesn't look as if it's going to reopen."

"We can't very well sell our quilts in a store that is closed." Melinda attempted a smile and pushed up on her glasses.

Even from across the room, Deborah could see the tears shining in her eyes. Though she turned away and pretended to focus on changing Hannah's diaper, Deborah could feel the depth of her anguish.

Which is why she told them what she knew.

"I didn't want to mention what Jonas said to me last night, until I had been to town." She laughed uneasily as Joshua reached for her nose, then satisfied himself with chewing on the toy she snatched out of the cubby near his crib and handed to him.

"Tell us what?" Esther asked.

"What did Jonas say?" Melinda turned toward her as she bundled up the wet cloth diaper and placed it in her diaper bag.

Both women faced her now, holding their kinner, and Deborah was struck with the thought that families and friendships were like quilts—each person intricately connected to the other.

"Jonas said someone has moved into the apartment above Daisy's Quilt Shop—a woman, and I'm going to see her this afternoon."

"And you didn't tell us this earlier?" Esther's voice rose in irritation.

"Maybe she didn't want to get our hopes up."

"But we're in this equally."

"Esther's right. I should have mentioned it when you first arrived."

"Is this woman opening the store up again?" Melinda asked.

Esther scooted closer on the bed. "Is she here to stay?"

"He didn't have any other information. We need to find out though. We deserve to know."

Esther nodded. Pulling in her bottom lip she glanced down quickly, suddenly completely engrossed in running her fingers over the hem of Leah's dress.

Deborah realized with a jolt that while her own life had moved forward since Seth's passing, perhaps Esther's hadn't. She had lost a good friend, but Esther had lost the man she loved.

Esther always seemed like the strong one, seemed to take everything in stride; but then at moments like this one, melancholy practically poured from her.

The accident causing his death had happened just over one year ago, and it wasn't the Amish way to linger over such things. Still Deborah knew her freind was struggling, could see the sadness written on her face, hear it in her voice.

Together she and Melinda moved toward Esther, each sitting beside her on the small bed.

Deborah gazed out the window and could just make out Jonas in the far field, working with the plow and the large horses. He was such a good man, a good husband to her and a kind daed to their children. The three of them stayed that way—Deborah, Esther, and Melinda, each holding their boppli.

For a few minutes, they remained there, in the morning sunshine, the breeze occasionally stirring through the window. It was enough that they were together and there for each other. They'd find a way to sell the quilts.

* * *

Callie Harper pulled the quilt over her head and focused with all her mental powers.

Surely she could go back to sleep. How hard was it? She wanted to go back to sleep. She needed to go back to sleep. She had no reason not to go back to sleep.

The whining lump taking up the entire bottom half of the bed inched forward.

Callie ignored it, focusing instead on sheep in a pasture, jumping lazily over a fence.

The lump whimpered.

Callie peeked out from under the pillow she was using to block the bright sun.

"No, Max."

She must not have put enough energy into the scolding.

At the sound of his name, the yellow Labrador launched himself at her, licking what portions of her face he could find.

"Bad dog. Stop! Bad, bad dog."

Callie burrowed deeper under the covers, and Max retreated to the end of the bed, tail thumping hard and a whine sounding in his throat. Unable to ignore her guilt or forget that the glimpse at her bedside clock had revealed it was well past noon, Callie threw back her covers and stared at the sixty-pound, golden dog.

"I'm not a good pet owner," she explained.

Instead of answering, Max crept closer—though much more slowly and infinitely more carefully this time. He didn't stop until he was mere inches away, giant brown eyes staring into hers.

"What am I going to do, boy?"

A single bark was his only answer.

"Right. Well, I suppose that makes sense."

Rolling out of bed, Callie grabbed her robe, made a quick stop by the bathroom, then clipped the nearly new leash she'd found in the hall closet to Max's collar. Though she wasn't sure if there were leash laws in Shipshewana, she'd been trained well in the better suburbs of Houston.

Max practically pulled her down the stairs, out into the bright sunlight, and across the small parking area that served her aunt's quilting store. Callie walked past the empty spaces—distressingly vacant, reminding her again that she had no car. She continued through the gate and into the side yard that resembled an overgrown forest.

She supposed she'd have to find a way to mow it.

Who was she kidding? A mower wouldn't cut through this grass. She'd have to find a machete.

After she'd securely fastened the gate behind her, she unclipped Max, then trudged through the tall grass to what must have once been a sitting area. Sighing in relief, she sank into the Adirondack chair under the tall shade tree.

Maybe if she sat there long enough she'd think of some answers. It had been nearly a week, and still she had no idea what she needed to do next. Truth was, she couldn't make a real guess as to what day it was without booting up her computer or turning on her phone.

Which was when she remembered she'd lost her phone. Maybe she should have ordered a new one when she'd realized it was missing, but it had seemed so pointless. No one would be calling her anyway. What friends she'd had in Houston had slowly distanced themselves since Rick's death three years ago. That wasn't really fair. Perhaps she'd been the one to choose distance. Immersing herself in her work had been easier than pretending to be comfortable among her friends, people she suddenly found she had nothing in common with. Now she didn't even have her work. The final argument with her boss had been her last one. No, she wouldn't be needing a phone anytime soon—which was good, because her aunt's ser vice had apparently been disconnected some time ago. She was lucky the electricity had been automatically paid each month from her checking account.

From the looks of things, Max was nearly done with his business though.

They could go back upstairs.

Take a nap.

No doubt life would make more sense to her later in the afternoon, after a few more hours sleep.

The Labrador made a final lap around the yard, then skidded to a stop at her feet, head tipped to the side, ears alert, eyes expecting answers—or at least breakfast.

"Let's find you some food." Callie leaned forward, clipped the leash back on his collar, and was headed out of the gate when she remembered that she had no dog food. She'd used the last of it the evening before.

A sinking feeling came over her as she realized the full measure of her predicament.

She couldn't actually let Max starve. She'd have to shower, dress, and then venture out on foot to the grocery store. She had seen a grocery store when the cab had dropped her off last week. Hadn't she? Was it close enough to walk to?

Then Callie remembered seeing a chicken dinner in the freezer. Dogs could eat chicken. Maybe she'd warm up the dinner and go to the store later.

Relieved to have found a way out of going out into public, she started toward the opened door, then paused to push the pile of newspapers out of the way.

She heard the clip-clop of horse hooves and the unmistakable clatter of buggy wheels, which was not an unusual sound in a town that was largely Amish.

What was unusual though was that the buggy was turning into her parking area, and the woman driving—unless she was greatly mistaken—was waving as if they knew one another.

Callie was sure of so little these days, but she was absolutely sure she did not know anyone in this town.

Chapter Two

Callie watched as a young Amish woman stepped out of the buggy. She tethered her horse to one of the antique hitching posts installed in front of each parking space, then turned back toward her buggy and stuck her head inside, pulling out a stack of quilts—piled nearly to her chin.

"Gudemariye," the young woman called, closing the space between them.

Callie's heart sank.

Despite the quilts, despite the fact that she was staying above her aunt's store which was in fact named Daisy's Quilt Shop, she'd held on to an irrational hope that the woman might be visiting the furniture shop next door.

No such luck.

Cinching the belt of her robe more tightly, Callie moved closer to the Labrador. "Stay, boy."

"Oh, you don't need to worry about Max. He and I are old friends."

Max thumped his tail, but didn't move. He did gaze up at Callie as if he were waiting for something.

"He wants your permission. Max never greeted a customer unless he had Daisy's consent."

Callie had been looking down at the dog, but at the sound of her aunt's name, her head snapped up and blood rushed to her cheeks.

Who was this person? She knew Max. She knew Aunt Daisy, and she was apparently well acquainted with the store.

Callie shaded her eyes against the sun and stared at the woman in front of her.

Slightly older than she first thought—mid- to late-twenties. Amish, of course, given the long, gray dress, white apron, and matching hat with strings. What did they call it? Callie searched her memory for the word ... a cap, no a prayer kapp. Blondish-brown hair was pulled neatly back into a bun, though a few strands had escaped.

Amber-colored eyes studied Callie calmly. The young woman wore no makeup, but she didn't need any either—her complexion was beautiful. The general impression looking at her was one of health and quiet energy.

Callie couldn't stop her hand from patting down her own hair. She'd not bothered to run a comb through it, which was a tad embarrassing. Now she found herself wishing she'd at least brushed her teeth and splashed some water on her face.

"I've caught you at a bad time," the woman said. "I'm sorry. I heard you were here, living upstairs, and I thought I'd bring these by."

"They look heavy; let me help you." Callie took the top half of the stack, smelled the clean cotton cloth, and wanted to lie down on top of them right there in the parking lot. "They're beautiful."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Falling to Pieces by Vannetta Chapman Copyright © 2011 by Vannetta Chapman . Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Vannetta Chapman is author of the best-selling novel A Simple Amish Christmas. She has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. In 2012 she was awarded a Carol Award for Falling to Pieces. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Visit Vannetta's website: www.vannettachapman.com Twitter: @VannettaChapman Facebook: VannettaChapmanBooks

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Falling to Pieces 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
DSaff More than 1 year ago
Deborah and Callie are from two different worlds. One is an "Englisher" from Texas, the other an Amish woman. Together they work to bring a quilt shop back to life, something that will touch each woman involved differently. Next, add to the business arrangement adding eBay and see what the Bishop says. Each woman will teach something to the other, each will enrich the other's life without knowing it. Callie is quick tempered and restless, while Deborah is calmer and settled. When the editor of the town paper writes a story he hasn't checked out, sparks fly. But, when he turns up dead and Callie is there, will she see the value of having a cool head? Is she guilty or will they discover the real culprit? How will the others in town, both Amish and English, react to the death? The story that unfolds between the pages of this book is truly remarkable and will keep readers thinking for a long time. This was a truly enjoyable book. I love reading books about the Amish way of life, and this combined my world with theirs. The characters were real to me and the story well-written. I look forward to reading more by this author. This book will make a great gift for your reader friends, and book clubs will enjoy discussing the women and their differences, as well as the murder mystery. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series of books, Material Witness, Falling to Pieces and Perfect Square. They are a combination of murder mystery and quilt related. I have read all of Vannetta's books and all staying in my permanent library.
CClemmons More than 1 year ago
Vannetta Chapman perfectly blends the Amish and Englisch worlds in FALLING TO PIECES. This is one of my favorite Amish books ever! I loved the shared point of view between Callie and Deborah, each of whom is an admirable woman. Each of the characters is credible and well characterized. Framkly, I can hardly wait until the next books in the series are released. Vannnetta is a new author to me, and this is the first of her books I've read. I will be reading her other books while I await the release of her next in this series. I believe she must be a very nice person to create such admirable work.
Amish1949 More than 1 year ago
Geez...Editorial Reviews,Publishers Weekly. This book is fiction,after all,the characters don't have to be perfect people-the behaviors of the Amish lady, the cop, the journalist- because people are not perfect. I think this a wonderful book that brings across the message of how true friendship can have a healing effect, whether the friends are Amish or non-Amish. And how a person like Callie who has no family left, and has withdrawn into herself,slowly begins to blossom like a flower,due to the caring of Amish friends who don't give up on her. Callie learns to reach out to people, even to Max, her dog. At the time, that this transformation is taking place, a mystery begins to unfold where many become involved..yes,even Max. I would read other books by this author based on my experience with this one. And I would recommend this book for book club discussions- there are questions on the back of the book that are great for discussion. Amish1949
skstiles612 More than 1 year ago
Publisher: Zondervan (September 27, 2011) Pages: 366 Source: Netgalley Genre: Amish Mystery/Suspense From Goodreads: In this first book of a three-book series, author Vannetta Chapman brings a fresh twist to the popular Amish fiction genre. She blends the familiar components consumers love in Amish books---faith, community, simplicity, family---with an innovative who-done-it plot that keeps readers guessing right up to the last stitch in the quilt. When two women---one Amish, one English---each with different motives, join forces to organize a successful on-line quilt auction, neither expects nor wants a friendship. As different as night and day, Deborah and Callie are uneasy partners who simply want to make the best of a temporary situation. But a murder, a surprising prime suspect, a stubborn detective, and the town's reaction throw the two women together, and they form an unlikely alliance to solve a mystery and catch a killer. Set in the well-known Amish community of Shipshewana, Falling to Pieces will attract both devoted fans of the rapidly-growing Amish fiction genre, as well as those who are captivated by the Amish way of life. My Thoughts: Combine my love of all things Amish, quilting and fabric, add in a great mystery, and that is what you have in this book. Vannetta Chapman has written a story that makes the reader feel like they are in Shipshewana, Indiana. She has crafted very believable characters and placed them in an unlikely scenario. Deborah Yoder is a local Amish woman who sold her quilts through the local quilt shop. When Daisy, the quilt shop owner dies her niece, Callie Harper inherits the quilt shop and Daisy's Labrador, Max. She comes to Shipshewana with the intention of selling the shop and moving on. It is as if she is always trying to run away from her pain. The year before, she lost her husband to cancer, and now an aunt she had not seen in several years is dead. When Deborah brings some quilts into the shop in the hope that Callie will re-open she is disappointed to hear Callie say she plans to be there only long enough to sell the place. Deborah leaves the quilts with Callie while she shops hoping Callie will begin to view their beauty and change her mind. It works. This is an unlikely partnership between an Amish woman and an English woman. After a heated argument with the local newspaper editor over an unfavorable review of her shop, the editor is found murdered. Of course Callie becomes the prime suspect. Then there are several break-in around the area. Callie and Deborah decide they can figure out who is behind the crimes. This almost costs them their lives as they walk in on someone in the quilt shop. They are saved by Max. This makes them all the more determined to solve this crime. This is not your typical Amish romance. I think I liked that better. I love mysteries. The story lines demonstrate the importance of friendship and how true friendship can have a healing effect. I am definitely looking forward to reading the next book in this series. Since this was read as an e-book I must buy the physical copy when it comes out. My mother won't read e-books because she likes to pass them around to those in her Sunday School class and she can't wait to get her hands on this one. I know anyone who loves quilting, the Amish or just a good mystery will love this book. This is an author we need to watch out for. Disclosure of Material Connection: I rec
DJMynatt More than 1 year ago
When I began reading this story, I had no idea I would enjoy it as much as I did… and although I’ve been reading mysteries most of my life, I was caught off guard more than once and I went through the entire book not knowing who the murderer was (what a relief; that’s actually a good thing). I loved getting to know Callie, Deborah, Esther and Melinda, as well as the others in the story. The interaction between Callie (an Englischer) and her Amish friends is highly entertaining. There’s enough controversy to keep the story hopping! Callie soon gets herself arrested – or almost! If I were Callie, I would never have the nerve to do some of the things she does… yet it is all very believable. Getting involved in the lives of her friends is just what she needs. Most series are written so that you can pick up any of the books and catch up easily with what’s happened before. You can probably do this with the Shipshewana Amish Mystery series, but you will miss so much if you do. Get all three books in the series and begin at book one – Falling to Pieces. You’ll be so glad you did.
SunnieReviews More than 1 year ago
This is a fun whodunit mystery taking place in the Amish town of Shipshewana. After Callie's aunt passes, she arrives from Texas with the intent of selling her aunt's quilt shop. After a little coaxing the Amish ladies that provided quilts for the shop, convince her to re-open the now forlorn looking shop. Deborah's family comes to help Callie restore the shop and clean the grounds. Deborah, one of the Amish women quilters and Callie work together to sell some of the quilts on EBay. The editor of the local newspaper finds this as a good story to sell a few more of his papers and embellishes the story with incorrect information which gives Callie a bad start in her new business. Callie becomes friends with the Amish women and gains their trust. The editor is found dead in his office and Callie finds him and somehow becomes entangled legally with this apparent crime. More incidents happen in town and the police are looking to capture the person responsible. Callie and Deborah play detectives, plotting together to figure out how to find the person responsible for the crimes and find themselves in a scary situation. The story is one of trust and friendship among women of different backgrounds and how they can bond together and work together even though they have many differences. I enjoyed the story very much and it was a fun read.
MrsTina42MR More than 1 year ago
Falling To Pieces by Vannetta Chapman, A Shipshewana Amish Mystery Series, book 1***** by Vannetta Chapman Callie Harper is in Shipshewana staying in her Aunt Daisy's apartment above the Daisy's Quilt Shop her aunt owned and loved. Callie had not seen her aunt in years but when she unexpectedly dies Callie finds she has inherited the shop. Since she doesn't know anything about running a quilt shop, she plans to sell it as quickly as possible and return to Texas. She also inherited Max, Aunt Daisy's Labrador. When Callie takes Max out to do his “morning business”, she sees an Amish women getting out of a buggy parked by the shop. The woman approaches Callie with her arms full of beautiful quilts and introduces herself. She learns that Deborah Yoder was not only a friend of her aunt's but brought Amish quilts for her to sell. Callie informs Deborah that she plans to sell the shop. Callie soon learns she may sell the quilt shop quicker if she would re-open it. With Deborah and her family's help, along with Melinda and Esther, two Amish women who sew with Deborah, the shop is soon clean, orderly and ready to open again. One day Deborah comes into the shop and shows Callie an article in the Shipshewana Gazette about Daisy's Quilt Shop's new owner, Callie Harper. The article was written by the editor, Mr. Steakhorn and was anything but truthful—“New Shop Owner Robs Amish”. Barely containing her anger she storms out to see the editor. But Mr. Steakhorn has left for the day so Callie must wait til the next day to confront him and demand a retraction to the article. She doesn't know that it is Mr. Steakhorn's policy to never retract an article. Her first meeting with him does not go well. Later while waiting for her usual to-go order at the deli she hears Mr. Steakhorn's name called for his order. They end up arguing and Callie says he will regret making her an enemy. That same night Mr. Steakhorn is found dead in his office by—Callie. When it is determined that it was not a heart attack but murder, Callie is top on the list of suspects. After the murder of Mr. Steakhorn someone looks through his office apparently looking for something. Other shops are broken into and searched, even injuring the deli's owner. Callie's shop is broken into and Max is shot. Callie and her new Amish friends decide to find who is responsible for the murder and break-ins. They enlist the help of the new Gazette owner, Mr. Trent McCallister and some of the police officers offer to assist too. They come up with a plan to trap the burglaries/murderer. I love the way Vannetta weaves a story stitching the threads of the characters lives together to make a lovely quilt of friendship along with: hope, forgiveness, family, love and faith. Added to this is a mystery that keeps you guessing to the end. I am looking forward to reading book 2 in the series: Perfect Square. ~I received a copy of the book from the author for my review~
LizD1 More than 1 year ago
Falling To Pieces ( Shipshewana Amish Mystery #1 ) By: Vannetta Chapman I really enjoyed Falling to Pieces and before I started reading it , I was thinking Amish, English, and cozy mystery all together!! Well let me tell you this is not your regular Amish book. I think Ms Chapman has did an excellent job of weaving her characters into a story about Amish and English working together. We have Callie Harper who inherited her aunt's Quilt store, Daisy's Quilt Shop, and then Deborah who is Amish and needs to sell her quilts. These two becomes good friends .This cozy mystery , Amish, and an English has it's twists and turns including a dead body. You might say a dead body in Shipshewana, IN. ? This story will make you laugh and keep you guessing till the end. Now I just have to read Book #2 .
brianna22 More than 1 year ago
If you're looking for a read good book to read, this is the book to purchase. Excellent story and well written. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
PTucker More than 1 year ago
The first in the Shipshewana Amish Mystery series. The main characters are Deborah (Amish) and Callie (an Englisher), brought together by the quilt shop Callie has inherited, from her aunt. New to town, suffering from recent losses, Callie doesn't know how to move on with her life. Deborah befriends her and introduces her to others, in the town. Callie soon becomes a murder suspect and they must solve the mystery and prove her innocence. Great characters, strong Amish faith and a mystery, not solved until the very end.
jacksonmomLV More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I read by Vannetta Chapman, and I have to warn you, it's a gateway drug that may lead you to hand over a good chunk of your free time and book budget! One of the things I really liked about this book is that not everyone is Amish, or trying to be. The growing relationships between characters, both Amish and "Englisch, " feel authentic, and made me look forward to the future books in this series (which I have since devoured). And best of all, the ending was unpredictable. Plenty of reviews will give you an outline of this book's plot; the purpose of my review is to convince you to open this book, and let yourself get to know the down-to-earth folks in Shipshe as they come together to solve a murder in their small town. You just may find yourself thinking of "Amish fiction" in a whole new way.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
What a very enjoyable, cozy mystery! This book is full of interesting characters, misunderstandings, light hints at possible future romance and a mystery that doesn’t fully play out until the very end. Falling to Pieces kept me interested right through to the end and I am very happy to say that I have the next two books in the series sitting on my bookshelf. I have grown fond of the many characters in this book and look forward to seeing how things progress with them in the next two books in the series. Fans of cozy mysteries will enjoy this foray into a small Amish town. The author has done a great job of explaining Amish wordings and customs in this book as well. I am hoping that there will be some romance developing between a couple of the characters, as Vannetta Chapman writes romantic attraction splendidly. Looking forward to reading the next in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Callie Harper has come to the town of Shipshewana to clean up the details following her aunt's death. Callie has "details" in her own life that need cleaning up, as well. Who would think that a small town, some Amish women and a murder would work together to heal Callie's heart? Vanetta Chapman skillfully weaves all of these details together in a story that resonates to the heart of the issue of healing hurts that life deals out. Her Amish novels portray the Amish as more than the stereotypes we are all used to. I love how she always mixes details of modern living into the stories, and portrays all of her characters dealing with problems as they come, and elements of Amish beliefs, traditions and daily life become part of everyone's story.
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
What delightful mystery! I wasn't sure exactly how you could mix a murder mystery and Amish fiction but Vannetta Chapman pulled it off! From the first page to the last I was hooked. This book really is the quintessential Amish book with the sweet family and faith influence that we have come to expect from the genre but it also serves up a nice dash of mystery. I found myself really liking Callie and Deborah. At first they aren't quite sure what to make of each other but that soon turns into a wonderful friendship. When Callie is taken in for questioning in relation to a a death she discovered, Deborah is the one to find a lawyer to help her friend. The two women along with some unlikely help, in the form of a newspaperman and the cop that roughly questioned Callie after she discovered the body, work together to find out just who is breaking into the quilt shop and other businesses, what the connection between Callie and the break ins is, and just who really did kill Roger Stakehorn. This book really has it all, a mystery, the Amish, quilting, a light touch of romance, and even a great dog! I, myself, am going to be looking for the next book in this series, I gotta find out what happens to Callie and Deborah next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A little slow on getting into the mystery. But loved the Amish story line & that it included quilting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GranT More than 1 year ago
Chapman does a great job with the mystery-keeps the reader engaged and wanting to read more to find out who-done-it! Looking forward to her next book in March.
cwgeorge More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I live near Shipshewanna, In and visit there often so this meant a lot to me. It is such a good read and a great story. I got to meet Vannetta when she was in town and got her autograph. Such a sweet lady!
Lois51 More than 1 year ago
Falling to Pieces will have you hooked on the very first page, It is absolutely a must read I am so happy that Vannetta shares her wonderful talent with all of use readers. There is a love story in the making in the next book and I am unsure who I really want Callie to be interested in, I can hardly wait for The Perfect Square to come out. I would recommend Falling to Pieces to everyone who loves a good mystery and a story of friendship between two complete different back grounds
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
Mix in a friendly Amish community, four close knit quilters, a sad /lonely newcomer woman 'Englisher' whose just inherited the town's quilt shop, and mix in a little Agatha Christie, a bit more of God's Word, some heroes and bad guys, and you have this first store mystery called "Falling to Pieces" by Vannetta Chapman. I am SO glad it's the first in a three book series because I really want more of this great community!! Though God's word explained a great deal in this story, I believe that His "All things work for good for them that love the Lord" was not mentioned , though I believe it summed up this story perfectly! Looking forward to reading more of the development between these interesting folks and how quilts, friendships, and God Will go to make up Vannetta's next mystery. A surprisingly terrific read---recommend it highly!! 1 like flag
sunshineJB More than 1 year ago
Callie Harper makes a trip to Shipshewana , Indiana to get her deceased aunt’s affairs in order. Her aunt has passed away and she has inherited her aunt’s quilting store. Callie has every intention of cleaning up Daisy’s Quilt Shop to sell and once sold getting out of Shipshewana as soon as possible. The first person Callie meets in Shipshewana is an Amish woman named Deborah Yoder. Deborah talks Callie into selling her quilts on the internet. Callie finally agrees and forms a partnership to auction Deborah’s quilts online. Callie has a run in with the town newspaper editor, Mr. Stakehorn, over something he had printed in the newspaper regarding her. He accused her of hustling the Amish’s wares (Quilt’s) on the internet highway. Callie even goes so far as to threaten Mr. Stakehorn that if he didn’t print a retraction he would regret making an enemy of her. This is where all the excitement and mayhem begins! Is it a coincident that things begin to happen since Callie came to Shipshewana? Is she the cause of all the chaos that is going on? Is someone out to frame Callie? If so, what would someone have against a newcomer? I love a good mystery! There are a couple of reasons why I loved this book. I really enjoyed the author’s very first novel “A Simple Amish Christmas”. After reading "A Simple Amish Christmas" I was hooked. I couldn't wait to see what her next book would be. Another reason I loved this book is, Falling to Pieces” was written about a small town called Shipshewana and that small town is just a hop, skip and jump from where I live. I know exactly where LaGrange County , Indiana is. Fort Wayne, Indiana was also mentioned in the book and that is where I go to do some major shopping. I’ve also eaten at The Blue Gate Restaurant many times! So it was exciting to read about places where I’ve actually been. Thank you Vannetta Chapman for such a good read. I am so looking forward to reading “a Perfect Square”.
destinationamish More than 1 year ago
There is a mystery brewing in the small, quaint town of Shipshewana, Indiana. When Callie Harper arrives in Shipshewana after inheriting her aunts quilt shop, she feels alone and depressed. Upon arriving she is approached by Amish woman Deborah Yoder, who wants her to honor the agreement that Deborah had with Callie's aunt Daisy. The agreement was to sell her and her friends quilts. She also throws in that she wants to sell the quilts online. Callie had no intention of keeping the shop open and after some convincing she reluctantly decides to run the shop. Little does she know her world is about to turn upside down. There is a murder that happens and the prime suspect is Miss Callie Harper herself! If you enjoy a good mystery then this book is for you. It is a classic who-done-it that leaves you guessing right up to the end. This is the first book in a series. The author plans on two more Shipshewana Amish mysteries. Great book!
Melanie-Ski More than 1 year ago
Falling to Pieces Vannetta Chapman A Shipshewana Amish Mystery When I first saw the cover of this book, and read its description I just had to contact the author for a copy to review! Amish mystery in Shipshewana sounded like such a great story, and a new Amish Fiction writer to spotlight. Vannetta's first novel A Simple Amish Christmas was a bestseller and this series is well on its way to joining it! Daisy's Quilt Shop is a hub for not only the tourists in Shipshewana during market days, but for the Amish ladies who gather to quilt and fellowship with one another. When Daisy is found deceased out in the garden she loved, Niece Callie inherits the shop. Having no desire or knowhow to run a shop, Callie hopes for a quick sale and to get back to her so called life in TX. She soon realizes that nothing is beckoning her back to TX and to sell her aunts shop may be easier if the shop reopens. Along with new found Amish friend Deborah, Callie reopens the store and makes some changes and upgrades by putting some of the Amish quilts on ebay for a higher selling price, much to the chagrin of the Amish Bishop. Local newspaper editor Mr. Stakehorn slanders Callie and her attempts to help sell the Amish quilts making for an uprising in the small community. Callie doesn't take it standing down, insults Mr. Stakehorn and threatens to get back at him. Later that night Mr. Stakehorn is found dead.. Of course Callie is a prime suspect!! Along with her Amish friends, new newspaper editor Trent, and the officers of the local police force, Callie seeks to find out the mystery behind Mr. Stakehorn's death and the recent burglaries. I loved the combination of the quilt shop, Amish and a good mystery. I have been to Shipshewana during market days when the town swells to 30,000 people and it was so fun to be brought back there to the small town setting and the friendships that developed between the English and Amish. Despite difference in living style, clothing, religion, Callie and her Amish friends came together with a mission in mind, and that helped to grow their relationship with each other, and within themselves. Deborah's influence on Callie was a blessing to her working through some past issues that needed resolved. So excited that this was just the first in a 3 part series! Excited to join Callie back in Shipshewana for the next book A Perfect Square.
lauraofharvestlanecottage More than 1 year ago
This is the first Amish mystery book that I've read. To my surprise, I truly giggled aloud several times while reading this book. Amusing phrases were sprinkled throughout the book providing a little levity at sporadic intervals. I just wanted to say, "Listen to this!" over and over. This was not met with much enthusiasm by my children who were already reading their own books. Characters: Aunt Daisy, owner of Daisy's Quilt Shop, loved by Amish and Englishers alike. Callie, Daisy's niece who inherits the Quilt shop. She's haunted by her past. She wants to sell the store and return to Houston. Deborah, Amish lady who brings quilts to Callie to sell on ebay. She becomes Callie's good friend. Shane, a hard-nosed detective investigating a murder and a cast of memorable characters In a nutshell, Callie comes to Shipshewana to settle her Aunt Daisy's estate. A realtor convinces to open the quilt shop to make it more attractive to potential buyers. Deborah shows up with three quilts she wants Callie to sell on ebay in order to make a higher profit. A snoopy rude man shows up in the shop. The snoopy rude man... oops! Almost spoiled it. This book has unexpected twists and turns just like any good mystery should. The odd thing is, you know who done it from the beginning. And yet, you don't. He's ruthless and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Can he be stopped before another victim is found?