The Fall Crafters Fair has barely begun in Shipshewana when murder strikes the small town once again—this time on the property of Daisy's Quilt Shop. It will take all of the sleuthing skills Deborah Yoder and Callie Harper possess to catch the perpetrator. But the stakes are higher than ever before, since the material witness is their best friend's child.
Masked identities, antique quilts with hidden messages, one brave dog, and a possible hidden treasure . . . Deborah and Callie are in for nonstop action, danger, and a dash of romance.
About the Author
Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She is the author of sixteen novels, including the Pebble Creek Amish series, The Shipshewana Amish Mystery series, and Anna’s Healing, a 2016 Christy Award finalist. Vannetta is a Carol award winner and has also received more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She was a teacher for fifteen years and currently resides in the Texas hill country. Visit Vannetta online: VannettaChapman.com, Twitter: @VannettaChapman, Facebook: VannettaChapmanBooks.
Read an Excerpt
By Vannetta Chapman
ZondervanCopyright © 2012 Vannetta Chapman
All right reserved.
Chapter OneLate September Thursday evening
Deborah unrolled the bolt of fabric: a fall calico print of small pumpkins intermingled with leaves and cornstalks. It wasn't something she would purchase. Amish only quilted with solid colors, but she could certainly see why it was a hot seller tonight.
"Four yards?" she asked.
The woman from Chicago tapped her manicured nail against her lips, both painted a dark rose. "I'm not sure. Nancy, what do you think? Three or four yards?"
Nancy Jarrell wound her way through the crowd gathered in Callie's shop. Though Nancy was also from Chicago and definitely clung to her big-city ways, Deborah felt closer to her since she and Callie had visited the museum last month. God indeed worked in surprising ways. She never would have imagined that quilts sewn by herself, Melinda, and Esther would be exhibited in the textile rooms of the Chicago Museum of Arts.
At first, the bishop had decided it would be prideful to do so. Upon hearing that, Callie had asked to meet with him personally and argued that considering the women's work too good for others to see was more akin to pride. The humble thing to do would be to allow Nancy Jarrell to show the quilts. It was a backwards sort of logic, but it worked. As a result, the quilts had sold at a high price—money that helped Deborah and her freinden. And Deborah had grown closer to the woman standing in front of her. She wouldn't call it friendship exactly—it wasn't that strong—but definitely closer than mere acquaintances.
Nancy smiled and nodded toward Deborah. "Tell her what you're making. She'll know how much you need. Deborah's the one who sewed the quilt you purchased. She and her friends."
The woman's eyes widened and her hand flew to her neck, fingers resting on the diamond necklace around her throat. "You're the one who stitched the diamond-patterned masterpiece that Nancy showcased a month ago? Oh my. I was hoping I would have the chance to meet you, but I had no idea you'd be working in a shop. Your quilt was exquisite. I had a special frame made and hung it on the wall in my family room."
Deborah smiled politely, though the thought of her quilt—their quilt—hanging on a wall made her a tad uncomfortable. Quilts were for warmth. They belonged on beds to give comfort, not on walls to be gawked at. She thanked the woman and turned the conversation back to her purchase, even as her eyes caught sight of Melinda and her oldest boy helping Lydia out at the register. Matt had turned eleven this year, the same age as Deborah's oldest child, Martha.
The Fall Crafters' Fair—or Fall Festival as old-timers called it—had begun a few hours earlier. It was Shipshewana's largest festival of the year. Tonight was a warm-up of sorts and the reason Callie had extended her hours. Normally stores in Shipshe closed their doors and tucked in the welcome mat at six p.m. sharp, but for festivals, hours were extended. If the number of people in the shop was any indication of the crowds they would encounter, they were in for a record-setting weekend.
Who would have thought quilting could be such a profitable business? Yet it had become one for her and her friends. God had answered their prayers and had provided for their needs. He'd brought Callie, with her energy and inventive methods for attracting customers, and he'd blessed Deborah, Melinda, and Esther with the gift of piecing quilts in unique ways.
It brought them money they all needed. Deborah's gaze fell on Aaron, Melinda's middle child, who was waiting near the door in his wheelchair, and she breathed a quick prayer of gratitude. The money earned from the quilts they'd sold in Chicago had helped pay for testing Doctor Bernie insisted Aaron needed.
Aaron had been diagnosed with chicken breast disease when he was very young. It was a muscular disorder among the Amish. Children with chicken breast disease lacked a structural protein, and most eventually became too weak to breathe. The great majority didn't live past the age of two. Doc Bernie called Aaron a miracle child.
The woman Deborah was helping thanked her for the fabric and murmured again about how much she loved the diamond-patterned quilt she'd purchased.
Who was Deborah to criticize how the quilts were used? So what if this woman enjoyed displaying them on a wall rather than huddling under them on a cold winter night? It wasn't for her to judge.
Martha rushed to her side, cheeks pink and slightly breathless. "Mamm? Aaron and Matthew are going to watch the chain-saw carvers who are giving an early demonstration in the central tent. May I go with them?"
Deborah placed the bolt of cloth on the pile of items waiting to be reshelved and turned to help the next customer. "Your dat doesn't need you?"
"No. He took the boys home."
"Why would he take them home before we were ready to leave?"
"They fell in the mud. All three of them. Mary's clean, but she wanted to go with them. She was tired."
Deborah closed her eyes. She tried not to picture what happened all too often, but in a flash an image of her seven-year-old twins and two-and-a-half-year-old son covered in mud came to mind.
"They were watching the musicians practice for tomorrow, and the boys—"
"Don't tell me anymore." Deborah held up a hand. "I'd rather not know the details. He took the large buggy?"
"Ya. I asked to stay and help with Max. Miss Callie said he needs a walk. We thought we'd take him along with us if you agreed we could go to where the booths are."
Deborah glanced toward Callie, who was winding her way through the crowd in the shop, weaving her way toward Deborah. She was wearing the new dress they'd sewn together. Made of harvest-green fabric, a very popular color this season, it accented her dark hair and light complexion. Callie looked beautiful and more than a little harried.
Had the shop ever been this full of people before?
Market days were always busy, and the Labor Day sale had been very successful, but this was over the top, as her friend liked to say.
Losing three children, a wheelchair, and one rather large dog would probably help.
"All right, but be back before dark."
"Yes!" Martha bounced away, but Deborah snagged her arm before she was out of reach. Leaning down, she whispered in her ear, "Take special care with Aaron."
"'Course we will." Martha's brown eyes turned solemn for a moment.
Deborah almost regretted robbing her daughter of that moment of sheer childhood delight. Then she glanced over at Aaron, realizing again how fragile the seven-year-old was. Nearly eight. He was nearly eight, and they would be celebrating that birthday with prayers of thanksgiving. She released Martha, knowing she'd done the right thing.
"Where are they headed?" Callie asked as she began sorting the bolts of fabric Deborah was finished with.
"Out to see the preparations for the festival. It'll be gut for them to play a while and give us more room."
"This crowd is amazing, isn't it?" Callie's eyes sparkled. "Wanna bet old lady Knepp doesn't have nearly this many customers?"
"I strolled by Quilts and Needles this morning. Her display wasn't as cute as the one Lydia fixed up for us."
"Mrs. Knepp sticks with the old ways."
"The old ways must include rudeness. She returned the fall flowers I sent over." Callie had gathered six bolts of fabric into her arms by now, and she seemed as if she were about to tumble backward.
"Is she still angry that Max tore up her flower bed?"
"It's my fault I suppose. I was talking to Trent and let the leash slip out of my hands. Even so, I don't understand why the woman hates me as much as she does. I thought the Amish were all about forgiveness."
"We each forgive in our own way."
"Humph. Admit it. She wishes I'd never moved here from Texas, never taken over my Aunt Daisy's shop." Callie did an about-face, nearly knocking over a display of magazines, then trotted down the aisle to return the cloth to its proper section.
Lydia would have done it, but Deborah knew Callie liked to be out working the floor. She enjoyed being out among the customers, which was why Lydia was on the register. It was one more way she was different from Mrs. Knepp and one more reason her shop did well.
Deborah began helping the next customer, who wanted three yards of a striped print. Sliding her scissors through the fabric, she glanced up and out the front plateglass window and saw the children were just then passing under the store's raspberry-colored canopy, which covered the front walk. Already a throng of people filled the sidewalk, though the fair had begun only a few hours before.
The weather was beautiful—cool but not cold. People were happy to congregate together in their little town of six hundred. This weekend, their population would swell to well over thirty thousand. The local police would have their hands full directing traffic.
Deborah watched the children thread their way through the crowd. Martha guided the wheelchair, leaning down to say something to Aaron, who laughed, then tugged on his jacket. Matthew walked close beside them, holding onto Max's leash. The yellow Labrador trotted beside them, his head held high, nose pushed into the air sniffing the festival smells.
A warning alarm sounded in Deborah's mind, but she pushed it away. In no time at all, the children would be back safe and sound.
* * *
Nearly an hour later, as Martha guided his chair, Aaron stared up at the twinkling lights in the trees that lined the sidewalks of Shipshewana's shopping district. The artificial lights reminded him of the stars, and he wondered why the Englischers had bothered to wrap them around the tree branches.
Perhaps because they lived in town, where Gotte's lights weren't as easy to see.
That's what his daadi would say anyway.
Today had been very nearly perfect.
He'd received an A on his spelling test in school and a B on his math quiz. Maybe he could have earned an A, but Jacob and Joseph had been popping peas at the girls in the next row, and Aaron had started laughing, which led to wheezing. By the time he got his breathing under control, time was up, and he hadn't been able to finish the last two questions.
It had been worth it to see Annie King squirm back and forth, trying to pull the peas out from between her dress and her apron. Aaron liked Annie all right, but she could be a little annoying at times. He'd told his mamm that once, and she'd explained he would like girls more when he was older.
That was hard to imagine.
Except for Martha. She was nice, but then again, she was different. More like his mamm.
"Drat." His bruder stopped suddenly in the middle of the sidewalk, causing Martha to nearly trip and pull back on his wheelchair. It felt like the time he'd ridden his dat's horse, in the saddle, and the horse had suddenly reversed. Aaron had fallen, but his dat had caught him before he'd hit the ground—something they still hadn't told his mamm.
"Forget something?" Martha asked.
"Ya. I think I left my wallet at one of the last places we stopped."
"When we bought the candy apples?" Martha peered around at Aaron's half-eaten apple.
"Maybe. I took it out and set it on the counter of the booth."
"Wasn't your cousin Mary Ellen working there?"
"Ya. I'm sure she would have set it aside for me if I did leave it after I paid."
Martha pointed to the sack in his right hand. "After that we bought your new slingshot."
"True, but I think I paid for that with money out of my pocket, from the change Mary Ellen gave me. Now I can't remember." Matthew took off his wool cap and rubbed his hand over his head, front to back, then back to front—something Aaron knew he did when he was naerfich.
"Matt, you go and see Mary Ellen." Aaron pulled in a deep breath, then continued. "Martha, you go and check the slingshot booth. I'll wait here with Max."
"Are you sure?" Matthew glanced from Martha to Aaron and back again.
"I'm not ...," another deep breath, "going back to the quilting shop without you." He reached for Max and gave the dog a reassuring pat. "Mamm would have both our hides."
"All right. She told us to be back by dark, and there's still a little light left. If we hurry—"
"We can be there and back in ten minutes." Martha moved to the front of his chair, squatted down so she was eye to eye with him. "Sure you'll be fine?"
"Ya. Move me to the side." He glanced over to where a bench had been placed next to a large shrub. "There."
"Okay. We'll be back before you even know we're gone."
"Stop worrying." Aaron looped Max's leash around his wrist. "I'm not a ..."
Matt glanced back over his shoulder, then at Aaron, a smile trying to win over the worry.
"... little kid," Aaron finished.
"'Course you're not," Martha whispered.
He saw the look that passed between Martha and his bruder, but decided he'd rather ignore it than deal with their concern. Today had been very nearly perfect.
"He's gut," Matthew said. "Let's hurry."
They took off through the crowd, which was already beginning to thin. In fact, this end of the street was much less busy than the rest, probably because Daisy's Quilt Shop wasn't at the center of town.
Aaron was always calling it Callie's Quilt Shop in his head. He remembered Daisy, the lady who'd been Callie's aenti. She'd always kept little pieces of candy behind the counter for them. Callie didn't know about the candy, but it didn't matter. He liked her as much as Daisy. She had a funny accent, like something he'd heard in a Western movie he'd watched at his neighbor's house once.
Justin, the boy who lived at the farmhouse next door, was a year older than Aaron. He went to the Englisch school and loved old Westerns. Justin was from New Mexico, and he said John Wayne was the best cowboy who had ever ridden a horse. Sometimes Aaron's mamm paid Justin's mamm to drive Aaron to the hospital or Doc Bernie's office. Justin's mamm didn't want to take the money—he'd heard them discuss it time and again—so sometimes Aaron's mamm paid in fresh vegetables from their garden. Once she'd tried to give them a quilt, but Justin's mamm had insisted on paying for that.
Aaron didn't understand grown-up girls any more than he understood the ones in his classroom. He also didn't understand why sometimes Doc Bernie came to their house, but other times they had to go to the big city, to Doc's office in Fort Wayne. Actually he didn't mind the city. It was interesting.
So Aaron and Justin hung out together on doctor days, what with all that riding back and forth in the family van—which wasn't as cool as a buggy, but had its advantages on the large, crowded Englisch roads. The drives were long and when they returned back to Justin's house, his mamm and Justin's mamm would sit in the kitchen and drink tea and talk. Occasionally Aaron was allowed to go into Justin's room to play. Not always, but sometimes.
A few times they'd managed to sneak into the back bedroom and boot up Justin's laptop computer. Aaron's mamm didn't know he'd watched the old black-and-white movies, and he wasn't going to be the one to tell her. She tended to fuss about those sorts of things, like she fussed when he had trouble pulling in a deep breath.
Doc Bernie said that was normal behavior for mamms.
She definitely didn't know about the Western movies, but it wasn't like they played video games or watched television. Justin's mamm was pretty strict for an Englischer. Justin's Internet didn't work unless he plugged it into the wall in the living room, and he didn't have a television in his room like he said some kids did.
But the old Western movies were something his onkel had given him. They'd merely had to slip them into the computer to watch them when they were bored, when Aaron's mamm had left him there and Justin's mamm had gone off to run errands.
Excerpted from Material Witness by Vannetta Chapman Copyright © 2012 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 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.
Absolutely an excellent story, the conclusion of the series-Shipshewana Amish Mystery! I loved all the characters, but my favorite was Max! The friendship in this book reminded me of the song "That's What Friends Are For", because the characters who were the Amish and the Englischers, did exactly that..looked out for each other and were there for each other. All in all, I loved this story, and had a difficult time putting down this book!
I just love it when really talented authors take some of my favorite genre's and mix them together to create such a seamless blend for a great story you truly fall in love all over again with being an avid book reader. In the case of Material Witness by Vannetta Chapman, we are taken back to the small Amish town of Shipshewana, Indiana that is comprised of about 600 residents, not all of them Amish. Here in this small town there's been a bit of competition between two owners of Amish quilt stores. Mrs. Knepp is the eighty-year-old owner of Quilts and Needles and feels that Callie Harper and her friends that run Daisy's Quilt Shop have deviated from the traditional Amish ways by offering quilting, knitting and other craft classes that draw much of the business to their shop. Even the English tourists have been frequenting Daisy's Quilt Shop over Mrs. Knepps. Yet in the middle of the Fall Festival, things are about to get interesting. Now the population of the small town is well over thirty thousand and business is booming. The streets are crowded and no one seems to notice an Amish women standing in the shrubs just outside the parking lot of Daisy's Quilt Shop. No one that is except for Aaron, a small boy who is confined to a wheelchair and a Labrador named Max. Without any sound, the woman falls sprawled out on the ground. There is no sound, no blood. In the darkness only the evil eyes of a man who stands over the women and then stares at Aaron is the only lasting memory of what has just happened. When Callie Harper learns what has happened and to whom, she is immediately ridden with guilt for all the months that her and Mrs. Knepp argued over their businesses. What's worse is this is the third murder to happen in the small town of Shipshewana in the last fifteen months and in every single one of those cases, Callie Harper has been involved. Not it seems that this murder case is about to get personal on many levels. Callie Harper is the target and not only does someone want what she has or they'll risk murder, but Aaron is the only eye witness. Will Callie be able to help solve this crime or will she finally run out of options? I received Material Witness by Vannetta Chapman compliments of Zondervan Publishing and Net Galley for my honest review. I absolutely LOVED this book and it immediately captivated my interest from the first page and I could not put it down until I knew who did it! This is the third book in the Shipshewana Mystery series and once again brings back the characters we have fallen in love with including the romantic tension between investigator Shane Black and Callie Harper. Will they finally realize their interest lies more than just in solving cases and goes much, much deeper? You'll have to pick this one up to find out. I personally give this one a 5 out of 5 stars!!!
Just finished another great visit with Callie, and her Amish girlfriends. Deborah, Esther, and Melinda who have made Callie an honorary sister. When the owner of the other fabric shop is found dead in Callie's parking lot, and the murder witnessed by young Aaron, Melinda's young handicapped son. You have to think...not again?? Mrs Knepp, the deceased has never liked Callie, but why was she murdered? The only thing they can think of is the quilts that an elderly Amish woman left the four of them. Mrs Hochstetler, gave these quilts to them to be restored, and the money split. Do the quilts that appear to tell a story hold a clue to this murder? Shane Black the Police Detective, has feelings for Callie, he had arrested her in the first Shipshewana mystery. Will things move forward with them, and will they even survive who ever seems bent on killing. He has even attacked Max, Callie's Aunt's dog that she inherited. I read this book in less than a day, and couldn't put it down. I want to spend my days visiting with this great friends. I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Zondervan, and was not required to give a positive review.
Before I even talk about this book and get into the sadness of leaving behind Callie and the girls I just need to mention something. Have you ever noticed how creative Vannetta's titles are? First, I'm not a cover person so a pretty picture isn't going to be something that makes me want to read a book. I can appreciate a pretty or thought provoking cover but it's not a draw. A title though? A title is your introduction to the book. It's the bit you see on the shelf that makes you stop and look deeper. Vannetta has such chatchy, sometimes punny, titles that really do draw the attention to the goodness that is inside the covers. 'Material Witness' is no except to this rule but it's also a little piece of my heart breaking again. There are vast benefits to reading a series together like continuity and NOT having to wait months to a year between installments - just to name a couple. However, there are drawbacks too. I feel like as I am getting settled into my new friends lives they are leaving me. It's starting to feel like betrayal, ya know. Here, love me, adventure with me, oh wait sorry 'bout your luck but my time here is done. Tears people, sometimes there are tears. OK, let's actually talk about this witness of material. I gotta tell ya, the girls took me on a ride that I wasn't sure I understood. There were a few rabbit trails and shiny squirrels that I wasn't sure were legit. A few moments of this adventure were a little too over the top, a little too 'out there'. I'm gonna throw a tiny spoiler here (and possibly more later, we'll see where the words take me), but I mean killing the wrong person on accident because you meant to hurt the other person and it's all about dress color. I mean, forget the fifty, or so, year age difference. Really? The thing is. . .I bought it. The entire crew hiding out together, really? But I bought it. I think in any other novel with any other writer I would be telling a completely different story. But the farfetched was woven so intricately believable that I couldn't help but roll with it. I couldn't help but sink into my questions and doubts and let the adventure own me. Even the obvious (really, like the bad guy is going to do what is expected?!?). I just adored this book. I'm heart broken that I won't get to come back to Shipshe and visit Daisy's Quilt Shoppe. I won't get to watch Callie invite love back into her life after the heartbreak of losing her husband. Though I got a glimmer of it. I won't get to watch the kids grow up. I'll miss out on the future of . . . you get the idea. I'm firmly of mind that Rueben needs his story told. There's something there. A history of lost love, a secret of isolation from romance. And I think a future waiting to be discovered. Just sayin' Vannetta, perhaps it's time to revisit for a minute. You just can't leave unfinished lives on the table, it's not fair to Ruben and it's definitely not fair to me. And we all know which is really the most important :D Shipshewana Mysteries were a engaging stop along my path through the novels of Vannetta. I have zero regrets with this series, except Ruben of course. Callie and the girls will forever have a place in my heart. . .and my bookshelf. I think they will assuredly find a place in yours as well.
Great story Google ending
This is definitely the best of the three books in this series… and that’s difficult to say because every one of them is a winner! I was completely caught off guard a few times – and I really love it when that happens! Callie, Deborah, Esther and Melinda are together again – but this time the kids are the ones involved in a murder. Wow! Murder… intrigue… what’s next? Buried treasure? I encourage you to take the time to read this book… all three books… the writing is excellent, with secrets and intrigue… and romance.
I am hooked on Vannetta's Shipshewana Amish Mystery series. I just read Material Witness and truly enjoyed it. Callie is back with all the friends I have enjoyed in previous books and reminds me of those youthful days at the library, making sure I read the entire series. I'm doing it again. In this book, a young Amish boy, Aaron witness a murder. From this point on the lives of the people of Shipschewana are about to change as the murderer's agenda is to find some money he is certain the Callie has in her possession. This book has danger, romance, love of friends and family and people from different walks of life working together for the good of the community. It's a fun and good book and I recommend it to all. I received this book from the publisher for my honest review which I have given.
Third, in the Shipshewana Amish Mystery series. I think this one is the best, of the three! Melinda's son witnesses a murder. It is soon learned the killer was after Callie. The mystery is why? Callie, Deborah and Melinda work on solving the mystery and keeping everyone safe, during the Fall Crafters' Fair, when so many strangers are in town. There is so much happening, in this story...quilts, with hidden messages, the children getting involved, Callie's dog, Max, blossoming romance between Callie and detective Shane Black and more. In Material Witness, it takes a village to save a child!
Vannetta Chapman set the bar pretty high in her previous two Amish mysteries (Falling to Pieces and A Perfect Square), but Material Witness has no trouble measuring up. In fact, my only complaint about this book is that it's the last in this series. Once again, quilt shop owner Callie Harper and her Amish friends work together to unravel a mysterious death in quiet Shipshwana. But this time, it seems Callie herself is the target! Some good police work and a trio of brave and intelligent Amish children bring the perpetrator to justice while the women decipher clues from a set of vintage story-book quilts. I found my heart racing as I read through Chapman's signature twists and the dangers her characters - my friends! - faced. You won't be disappointed with the way this series ends, only that it does. As a beginning quilter, I LOVED the way Chapman used quilts to tie each book in the series together: every personality, every clue coming together to make a perfect whole.
Material Witness ( A Shipshewana Amish Mystery ) By: Vannetta Chapman I have read all three of these books in Shipshewana Amish Mystery Series and I think that Vannetta Chapman really did an awesome job. This story starts out with action and it don't let up till the end. The name "Material Witness" really fits this book good. This one is my favorite of the three. At the opening of the Fall Crafter's Fair a woman is killed right outside of Daisy's Quilt Shop. This really upsets Callie Harper, the owner. She can't believe this is happening again. Someone has been killed and she is right in the middle of it. This time there is an eye witness to the killing.There is Shane Black the office who is heading the killing and he does not want Callie hurt. He has feeling for Callie. We have the non Amish Callie, and the Amish ladies Deborah, Melinda, and Esther. These ladies are so close that they feel like sisters. Yes they will have to help and find who the killer is before the killer goes after one of them. We also have another mystery about some quilts that these ladies just has to find out the mystery about them. I don't want to leave out the children and Max in this story. They play a big part in this story. I laughed one minute and on the edge of my seat the next minute. If you love a good clean mystery and light romance, you will love "Material Witness." Just be prepared when you start reading , you will not want to put it down. This last book has really turned out good. I would hope there would be another one . I was given a copy of this book by the author for my honest review and I have given it.
"Material Witness" is the third novel of the Shipshewana Amish Mystery series. It carries on with the characters we have all grown to love; Callie, Deborah, Esther, Melinda, Shane and Gavin, and continues to wind their lives together in a beautiful story of life and love. For me, this novel is about puzzles. Big ones, like why do children fall ill with serious illnesses, why does evil exist in the world. Middle-sized puzzles, like how can Englischers and Plain people become real friends, the kind that are almost family....how does a new marriage become so quickly "normal" that it settles long-lived-with fears with just a glance or a touch at the right time. And the small puzzle in this book that's also the biggest puzzle of all begins with a last will and testament and a set of unusual quilts. I will never hesitate to recomment a book by Vanetta Chapman, whether I have read it or not. I have found her stories to be compelling, riveting, and personal. These characters have been brought to life with her words, and I grow to care for each of them as if they have become a part of my family too. How does she do that? There we go again, another puzzle!
Vannetta Chapman has done it again!!!! Super Good Book to Read! Having never visited Shipshewana, IN, I have fallen in love with the wonderful group of people portrayed in Vannetta Chapmans, "Material Witness" book. When reading this book, one is taken to the place and really becomes one of the townspeople who could very well live there. The circle of friends found, in Callie, Deborah, Esther, and their families along with Gavin, Shane Black, and the officials of the town, makes one realize the importance of friends, family, & a loving community. Add to this cirlce of ladies an heirloom quilt given to each that adds a bit of a puzzle to the mystery in town, makes one take to the action really quick. The faith and trust from the youngest (and a Swap) to the oldest is seen when reading this style of Amish Fiction Full of Grace writing by Vannetta. The reader is drawn into all the action from the beginning to the end when the romance becomes fully known in this mystery story. I have now read all of Vannetta Chapman's books with the exception of her newest, A Home for Lydia, which will be started as soon as this review is finished. These books are well-written with all the inspiration of the Amish with a bit of the unknown mystery thrown in that makes it feel really true to life. After learning about the Amish, you do learn that they do have problems just as their Englisch friends do, but it is the forgiving nature and love of the Amish that inspires one to wish that all people could be as forgiving. I loved this book, and can't wait to start the newest read! I loved reading the Amish Proverbs throughout the book. Love, love, loved it! And, all of this from a person who doesn't (used to never) read mysteries. These books I love!
An Exciting Mystery - A Real Page Turner! I felt like I was in Shipshewana right there with Callie and her friends Deborah, Melinda, and Esther. Another crime has been committed and of course Callie is right in the middle of it all. Was this latest crime targeted for her instead of the victim? The scary part was Melinda’s son Aaron witnessed it all. Would he be the next target? The author Vannetta Chapman had me on the edge of my seat for this read. I turned those pages just as fast as my eyes would allow me to read. I was totally engrossed in helping Detective Shane Black solve this latest crime. Who did it I wondered. I didn’t even figure it out until the name was revealed! Good job Vannetta. If you want a good mystery to read I am here to tell you that you don’t want to miss this one. I just want to let you know there might be a little romance thrown in!
Amish novels are not usually my first choice. I like them, but they tend to languish in my to be read pile. I received the first book in this series as a gift and it languished for a couple months. Then I read it and quickly raced to buy book two. I'm so glad book three is out now! I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery series set in Shipshewana, IN. Callie, Deborah and their friends are characters I love spending time with. The mix of Englisch and Amish continues in this story with the added bonus that the kids play a larger role. Because the action centers around Daisy's quilt shop, quilts play a large role. From subplots to descriptions to literally saving the day. There's even a stronger dose of romance than appeared in the earlier novels. Even if you haven't read the earlier two books (buy them, too!) , you will enjoy Material Witness. It's perfect for those who love highly relational casts with a fun setting, great supporting characters, and a strong mystery to solve.