Publication Order of India Hayes Books
|Maid of Murder||(2010)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Murder in a Basket||(2012)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Publication Order of Appleseed Creek Mysteries Books
|A Plain of Death||(2012)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|A Plain Scandal||(2013)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|A Plain Disappearance||(2013)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|A Plain Malice||(2014)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Publication Order of Andi Boggs Books
|Andi Unexpected||(2013)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Andi Under Pressure||(2014)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Andi Unstoppable||(2015)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Publication Order of Living History Museum Mysteries Books
|The Final Reveille||(2015)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Final Tap||(2016)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Final Vow||(2017)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Publication Order of Magical Bookshop Mysteries Books
Amanda Flower is an award-winning mystery author under both her pen name and her real name, Isabella Alan, and writes both for children and adults. She is well-known for her India Hayes series and Applewood Creek, along with the Andi Boggs series for younger readers.
Born January 23, 1980 in Akron Ohio, Flower moved to Mount Vernon to work as a librarian straight after grad school where she lived in close proximity to the Amish for three years. She has often highlighted this experience as being highly influential on her work, particularly the Applewood Creek Mystery series. In the series’ first entry, A Plain Death, Flower’s young protagonist Chloe Humphrey moves to the Amish countryside of Ohio for work, just as the author did in her early twenties. Flower made the decision to delve into Amish mystery novels after a brainstorming session with her agent, Nicole Resciniti, who suggested she use the experience of living near the Amish community in her early twenties as a starting point for new material. Such was the interest in the Amish mystery concept that Resciniti managed to sell ‘A Plain Death’ based off a 50-page proposal.
The main protagonist in the Applewood Creek series, Chloe Humphrey, closely mirrors Flower’s experience of moving to Mount Vernon. Chloe is a 24-year-old, technology-addicted computer expert with two Masters Degrees, who moves to the Amish countryside because it’s the only place she can get a job in IT. Apart from the occupations, Chloe’s experience of moving greatly resembles that of the author. It’s a fish-out-of-water scenario with the city girl moving to the middle of nowhere. ‘When I was Chloe’s age, I moved to Ohio’s Amish Country to take a job at a small college. Even though it was only a few hours from where I grew up in the city, it felt like landing on another planet’. Chloe was the perfect fit for this kind of story because the difference between her and her surroundings are so apparent. She’s comes from a society where technology is of the utmost importance and she can’t bear to be separated from her computer. Flower herself is a tech addict and often feels inseparable from her smartphone. Upon first moving to rural Ohio, she found the cellphone signal to be so awful that she had to lean across the fence at the edge of her apartment complex to even get one bar of coverage. The protagonist, Chloe, is faced with solving the murder of an Amish bishop and although A Plain Death differs from other Amish mystery stories because it’s main character is an outsider, it still deals with many familiar themes such as the Amish work ethic, belief in God and the importance of community.
Unlike many, Flower realised at a young age she wanted to be an author when in sixth grade, she presented a story to her classmates about being stuck on a ferris wheel and had them in stitches laughing. Her first novel, Maid of Murder, was published in the year 2010 and received a nomination from the Agatha Awards for Best First novel. The book was the first entry in the thrilling India Hayes mystery series. The titular character is a young librarian in Ohio, another example of Flower using her own personal experience to flesh out her characters. The story centres on India as she reluctantly becomes a bridesmaid and attempts to solve the murder of a close friend. To complicate things even further, the main suspect is India’s very own brother.
Flower began writing the Amish Quilt Shop mystery series under the pen name Isabella Anne in 2013, beginning with ‘Murder, Plain and Simple’. Her work in this series has brought her much success, leading to her becoming a USA Today Bestselling Author.
In 2015, Flower won the Agatha Award for Best Children’s/YA novel for Andi Unstoppable, the third entry in the Andi Boggs series. This series focuses on science-obsessed 12-year-old Andora ‘Andi’ Boggs, who lies with her older sister, Bethany, and her young aunt. Flower felt there was a lot of room for mystery novels geared toward the young adult market as she herself grew up as an avid fan of the genre. As a child she was largely influenced by the work of authors such as Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwell and Marcia Muller. In her acceptance speech for the award, she acknowledged the loving support her parents gave her from a young age in pursuing her writing career, ‘When I was a little girl and told them I wanted to be a mystery author when I grew up, they never said that was impractical, they said what can we do, how can we help and I am so very grateful.’ Flower also thanked other members of her family including her brother, Andy, and her sister-in-law, Nicole.
Although Flower is primarily known as a prolific mystery writer, she is also known for the humor she injects into the characters that populate her stories. She often uses real-life encounters with people as inspiration for many of the supporting characters in her books, just as she often draws on her own personal experience while crafting narrative. She loves meeting and talking with fans, and even some of the stranger things people come out with are welcome because it can be potential material for a new quirky character in one of Flower’s novels. Her favourite supporting character in A Plain Death is Grandfather Zook, because he is accepting of Christianity in all its forms. The topic of Faith is often prevalent in Flower’s books and she has stated that her belief has helped her through some of the more difficult periods in her life.
The author has a high productivity rate and averages between three and four books per year, although she finds it incredibly difficult to begin work on a new story, and like many of us, often finds herself procrastinating in any way possible. Aside from writing, Flower is very passionate about travelling and has visited many destinations across the world including Norway, Guatemala and Jordan.Book Series In Order » Authors » Amanda Flower