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.
About the Author
Vannetta Chapman holds a BA and MA degree in English and has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She published an Amish novel with Abingdon Press called A Simple Amish Christmas.
Read an Excerpt
Falling to PiecesA Shipshewana Amish Mystery
By Vannetta Chapman
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2011 Vannetta Chapman
All right reserved.
Chapter OneShipshewana, 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.
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 TwoCallie 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."
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, a fun combination of murder mystery and Amish fiction. I won't go into the synopsis, since you can find several of those already in the reviews. I'll just tell you that the author did a great job setting up the mystery, and I really liked the way the main Amish character and the main "Englisher" became close friends over the course of the book. You don't have to be a fan of Amish fiction to enjoy the story, but if you are, I definitely think you'll enjoy the interesting twist on the genre found in this book.
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.
I enjoyed reading this book. Can't wait to start the next book in the series.
This first book in the Shipshewana series was a great read. My first time with Ms Chapman. I loved it so much I just bought book 2 and 3.
An excellent mystery. Really keeps you guessing. You won't be sorry you chose this book.
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.
If you are looking for a good mystery, a little romance and no sex, then you have found it. The story stood on its own without the crude behavior that is the backbone of many books. I tend to read more well known authors and this was really enjoyable. I did not guess "who dun it." I also enjoyed learning more about the culture.
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.
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
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
Falling to PiecesVannetta ChapmanA Shipshewana Amish MysteryWhen 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.
Publisher: Zondervan (September 27, 2011)Pages: 366Source: NetgalleyGenre: Amish Mystery/SuspenseFrom 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 received an e-book copy from Netgalley for review. 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.
Callie Harper is still getting over the loss of her husband when her Aunt Daisy dies. Daisy owned a quilt store in Shipshewana, an Amish community. Callie comes to wrap up her aunt's affairs only to find herself running her aunt's quilt store until it can be sold. She meets Deborah Yoder, an Amish woman who wants Callie to help sell her quilts in the store to help out two of Deborah's friends who have fallen on hard times. Callie accepts the challenge of selling the quilts while she waits for the store to sell. Some of Callie's decisions concerning the sale of the quilts leads to controversy in the community which attracts the local newspaper editor, who doesn't exactly get the facts straight. When he is murdered, Callie becomes a prime suspect. The journey to solving the murder is quite suspenseful that will keep you guessing.This is a fun, cozy mystery. Deborah and her friends, Melinda and Esther are the kind of friends a new gal in town like Callie needs. There is even Max, Aunt Daisy's dog who is quite entertaining. Of course there are a few hunky characters who also make the story interesting. I have been to Shipshewana and could easily imagine the quilt shop and the community. I enjoyed this cozy. It is a quick read for a lazy summer day. If you enjoy cozy mysteries or Amish fiction, pick this up. You will enjoy the time you spend with Callie and her friends. This is published by Zondervan but I didn't find it to be preachy at all.I received this ARC E-book courtesy of Zondervan and Netgalley. This in no way influenced my review.
I am really going to enjoy this series. I have had this book for a while, as well as the second one, as I love Vannetta's books I thought I had already read them, but NOPE, I hadn't!!! Well I am sorry I waited so long to get around to them, better yet I thought I'd already posted my review, but NOPE to that too! This was a great example of the Englisch and Amish living together and becoming great friends and able to work together whether it be in normal everyday life or when things pop up to bring a little 'thrill' into life. Thrill as in solving a very serious, as in deadly, mystery. Yep, another winner for Vannetta.
Oh Vannetta, Vannetta, Vannetta. You have yet to disappointment me. And because I can’t dig up even a twitch of disappointment I’ve having a hard time settling into this review. Have you ever noticed that I only have a hard time writing the review if I’ve read the book? I feel like I frequently find myself in this situation, and complaining about it. But only like 99% of my reviews. Well, that’s not true. The truth is I really only struggle when I truly loved a book because how do I put all those feels into actual words. Words are hard people. And words with depth and emotion are harder, especially when you don’t want to give anything spoilerish away. The other time I truly struggle is when I didn’t care for a book but there’s no real obvious ‘aha’ reason. More just a meh moment. This book is obviously reason A from above. That’s right. I have nothing to complain about. Vannetta builds rich characters that exhale off the pages. She builds communities, not just ‘settings’, that are vibrant and somewhere I’d love to visit or even relocate to. Into these amazing people in this amazing characters she weaves in suspense and mystery that is captivating and keeps me on the edge until the bitter end. Not that the end is bitter, it’s usually sweet and encompassing and grounded in the faith that is seamlessly woven throughout the entire story. Set in the real community of Shipshewana, Indiana with a community that probably mirrors so many communities throughout the country Deborah and Callie show what real friendship has the potential to become. They didn’t know each other when they met but they had a connection that drew them deeper. I’ve had those friendships. This is what it’s like when you meet a bestie and know you are tethered for life. Guys, I’m struggling here. I envy this community. The closeness of the residents and the truth of the friendships. I love that I get such an abiding richness of faith without feeling as though I was preached at. . .Vannetta is amazing at this by the way. Words are hard here. Reviews are hard. This book though? That’s easy. It’s amazingly well written with amazing characters and a solid story line. That alone is worth the read. M’kay?
I really loved ready it. It was hard to put down and go to sleep.
REal page turner!. Couldn't put it down.
I was captivated by this book ,i could not put it down.