Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Plain Scandal

A Plain Scandal:
An Appleseed Creek Mystery

Amanda Flower
(B&H Books)
ISBN: 978-1433676987
February 2013/336 pages/$14.99

The people of Appleseed Creek in the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country are under attack. Soon after the dust has settled on a buggy accident that turned out to be murder, an unknown assailant begins cutting off the long hair of Amish women and the beards of Amish men.

New to the area, computer specialist Chloe Humphrey may not share their customs, but she is certainly alarmed over these crimes against the Amish and worries how such events will impact her growing number of friends who are more connected to that way of life.

In this small community, when Chloe discovers the body of an Amish businessman who was stabbed in the back and whose beard was cut off, she knows that finding the murderer and restoring peace to Appleseed Creek is as much her responsibility as anyone else’s.


Amanda Flower is an academic librarian for a small college in Ohio and grew up visiting the state’s Amish Country with her family. Her 2010 debut, Maid of Murder, received an Agatha Award nomination for Best First Novel.


Amanda Flower received positive reviews and award nominations with the first book in this series, A Plain Death, and although I missed that book, I was eager to review this one. Flower has deftly combined two genres-murder mystery and Amish fiction-into one novel that kept me captivated from start to finish. The expected tension between several of the Amish and Englisch within the community is present and well-portrayed, with the crimes adding to the uneasiness; however, there are other relationships that do not experience such strife, which is a welcome counter-balance. Flower weaves in several threads that may or may not be helpful or significant for the reader trying to solve the mystery before Chloe does. While I had no problem reading A Plain Scandal as a stand-alone, it did make me want to read the first novel, and I'm already looking forward to A Plain Disappearance, coming in September! This series is just plain good!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from B&H Books via Shelton Interactive as part of a blog tour. 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.”


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1 comment:

Beth said...

Thanks for the review! Will add this to my list to be read!