Amish-Country Mysteries Books In Order

Publication Order of Amish-Country Mysteries Books

Blood of the Prodigal (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Broken English (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Clouds Without Rain (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cast a Blue Shadow (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Prayer for the Night (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Separate from the World (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Harmless as Doves (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Names of Our Tears (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Whiskers of the Lion (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The ‘Amish-Country Mysteries’ is a series of novels set in Ohio, America and written the famous American author, P.L. Gaus. The series consists of eight novels published from 1999 to 2013. Base on the mystery and thriller genres, it features the main character in the form of Professor Michael Branden. Branden is described as one of the very few people to work on the cases related to the Amish people. The character of Professor Branden along with a few others keep recurring throughout the novel series. Initially the series was titled ‘Ohio Amish Mysteries’, but after releasing the first six novels under this title, author Gaus decided to re-release them with the new title ‘Amish-Country Mysteries’. The series provides an in-depth detail about the Amish culture and the way the Amish people interact with themselves as well as the outside cultures. The depiction of the Amish culture by author Gaus answers most of the questions of the readers as to who the Amish people are and why do they keep themselves apart from the other cultures of the society.

Each novel of the series has a unique self-contained story. Recommended by many authors and readers, the Amish-Country Mysteries has been examined with great reviews from many journals and publishing houses. Author Gaus was praised for his sensitive way of storytelling and depicting complete knowledge about the Amish life, which is mostly filled with tensions related the religious factions of the Amish people.. The steady cadence of the Amish life is very well captured in the series, offering a vivid description of the particular vision of the Amish people towards the human experience. The novel gives a kind and intriguing description of the famous Amish colony of Ohio. The plot of the novel seems like a satisfying puzzle filled with simple ways and complex values. Author Gaus was praised for his precise and vivid display of the Amish practices and traditions. The Publisher’s Weekly magazine has described the novel as a refreshing story with unusual characters and setting. This has helped Gaus to add a few milestones to his fame by getting to be known as an expert writer of the mystery and thriller genres.

The first novel of the series was released under the title ‘Blood Of The Prodigal’ in the year 1999 by the Ohio University Press. An overview of the novel shows the disappearance of a 10 year old boy from the house of an Amish Bishop, ten years ago. This had shocked the boy’s father at that time. Now the father of the boy gets murdered in present time and Sheriff Bruce Roberton gets appointed to investigate the case. He discovers some bitter truths about the Amish Bishop which lays the foundation of a suspenseful thriller plot of the novel. The introduction of the plot of novel starts with the description of the Amish County as a mysterious place filled with foreboding under the layers of tradition. The whole place starting from the choppy waters of the Lake Erie’s Middle Bass Island up to the tranquil farms of Amish countryside of the Holmes County gets surfaced with some tragic consequences resulting from the Amish people’s rituals. The countryside is depicted as the home of the largest Mennonite and Amish settlements of the world and offers deeper understanding of their culture and beliefs. The plot opens with the kidnapping of a 10 year old boy by his own father, Jonah Miller from the house of an Amish Bishop.

Jonah commits the crime in order to take revenge from the Bishop who had exiled him a decade earlier. The Bishop feels the desperation of retrieving the boy and appeals for help from his community. The Amish sect allows him to take the help of the ‘English’t they approved, Professor Michael Branden. Professor Branden had arrived in the Amish countryside to enjoy the summer vacation along with his friend Pastor CalebTroyer, but gets indulged in the investigation of the missing boy. When the case takes a different turn after the murder of Jonah, Professor Branden is not allowed to proceed with the investigation. Rather, Sheriff Bruce Roberton is appointed to take charge of the case. However, Professor Branden does not leave the case and begins to dig the mysterious past of the Amish culture to bring out the truth, although many prefer it to be left undisturbed due to their religious beliefs. He has to cross paths against Sheriff Bruce to investigate the case in his own way, although the Sheriff was an old friend of the professor. He finds out that the bishop himself is hiding some secrets and is quite anguished to face a moral dilemma. Branden and Troyer discover the troubled path of Jonah Miller when he was exiled for his habit of drugs, women and whiskey, in the company of people who did not belong to the Amish sect. They come to know about the reason behind the Jonah’s attempt to kidnap his own son 10 years back and come close to solving the mystery.

The second novel of the series was published under the title ‘Broken English’ in the year 2000 by the Ohio University Press. The novel revolves around the Englishman David Hawkins, who comes to the town of Millersburg to get acquainted with the Amish culture. However, the events take a twisting turn when his daughter gets killed by an ex-convict. The plot of the novel begins with a murder in the quiet town of Millersburg, in the heart of the Amish country, Ohio. The vicious murder is followed another death of the reporter covering the story. As the convict of the first murder is already in police custody, David Hawkins, the father of the first victim falls under the suspicion. However, he also goes missing from the Amish colony, which had accepted him as one of its own in spite of being an Englishman with a suspicious past. The trio of Professor Michael Branden, Pastor Caleb Troyer and Sheriff Bruce Roberton once again set out to solve the mystery just like in the first novel of the series. Author P.L. Gaus has given a unique portrait of the English and Amish cultures. Set in the backdrop of mixed cultures, the novel turns out to be a tale of deception, revenge and honor, in which the investigators are tested beyond their limits in trying to reveal the truth behind the murders. The readers found the novel quite exciting to read because of its intriguing and suspenseful plot. Various reviewing magazines labelled it as a combination of drama and bewilderment in appropriate proportions. The well-developed and tightly plotted story of the novel along with the cultural richness of the Amish country keeps the readers guessing till the last page.

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