Isabella Alan, the mind behind both the Isabella Alan mysteries and the Amanda Flower mysteries as the two are one. Isabella Alan, a pseudonym for the Amanda Flower has proven to be quite talented in her work. As a young girl in elementary school, she found her calling with a story she authored and presented to her class about being stuck on a Ferris wheel at the very top. She recalled that her classmates were all in stitches and that at that very moment she knew that she had found the very thing that she wanted to be doing for the rest of her life.
A long time from her years in elementary school, the author born in Akron, OH January 23, 1980, Flower has received many awards for her various works. Her very first award nomination was in 2010 for the Agatha Award Nominee in Best First Novel. Since then she has seen her work grant her a Thunder House New Voice of Fiction label and a ForeWord Book of the Year Finalist in Religious Fiction. In 2013 Flowers was named a Christian Retailing Finalist in the Amish Category, an Inspy Awards Finalist in the Mystery/Thriller Category, an Agatha Award Nominee for Best Children’s/YA Mystery, and a ForeWord Book of the Year Finalist in Religious Fiction. Again in 2014, Flower received the Agatha award for being the best Children’s/YA Mystery.
Along with being an author, Flower also enjoys her job as a librarian at small college around Cleveland, OH.
The first novel that put Flower on the map was Maid of Murder, a novel that follows character India Hayes through her journey of finding a childhood friend’s murderer who framed her brother for the crime. Her transition from a college librarian and reluctant bridesmaid into an amateur sleuth won Flower a nomination for an Agatha Award in the Best First Novel category and launched her into the mystery writing community.
Flower later decided to write as another person within herself and later created Isabella Alan. As Isabella Allan, she has created a riveting series of novels published by Penguin Press as the Amish Quit Shop Mystery. This series includes the titles Plainly MurderPlain and also Simple; Murder Simply Stitched; Murder Served Simply; and Murder, Plainly Read.
The Amish Shop Mystery series follows character Angela Braddock. In the first book of the series, Simple,Murder and Plain and also An Amish Shop Mystery, she has just inherited her aunt’s Amish quilt shop after her aunts passing. Angela moves to Holmes County, Ohio to begin a fresh start for her life leaving behind not only her broken engagement but her career as well. Finding it difficult to fit in amongst the predominantly; the Amish community, she finds comfort in her Aunt’s quilting circle who attempts making her feel welcome in her new environment while preparing to reopen the Running Stitch. With her French bulldog and her new found success of the Running Stitch’s big opening day Angelia was feeling like she could finally find peace in this new place until she finds the woodworker Joseph’s dead body in the storeroom of her shop the next morning. All of the feelings of success begin to fall apart. She finds mounds of evidence being piled against her but remains determined in finding the real killer. Every time she feels like she is getting closer to an answer, she uncovers more and more that makes her new Amish community not as plain as she once thought it was.
The USA Today author Isabella Alan has more to say for her character Angie in the follow ups in her series. In Murder, Served Simply Alan tells the story of Angie Braddock having to solve a Christmas mystery murder when an actress from a visiting acting troop falls off of the scaffolding to her death. If Angie and her quilting circle don’t stitch together some answers and fast, the tension among Amish and Englisch neighbors might drive them to perform actions on one another which are not found in the Christmas spirit. If the actress’ death wasn’t enough, Angie also has to entertain her parent’s and her ex fiancé for the holiday dinner. Stresses run high but the character performs the progressive dinner like a champion and provides entertainment of the readers in every page.
Alan has been called a brilliant writer for her numerous works by many. Her fans always mention how great she is at bringing her characters to life and showing how accessible and real the Amish people are.
Isabella Alan, who is also Amanda Flower has also appealed to many younger readers as well. In 2013 Flower was an Agatha Award Nominee in the category of Best Children’s/YA Mysteries for her children’s novel Andi Unexpected. In this novel, Andora “Andi” Boggs, a twelve year old orphaned girl, and her sister Bethany have to move in wither their eccentric aunt in rural Ohio after the sudden death of their parents. Dealing with the grief of her dead parents, Andi discovers another Andora Boggs that has been hidden in a Depression-era trunk that no one remembers. Andi, along with her new friend Colin do all they can to find out everything they possibly can about this other Andora Boggs and most importantly, what happened to her.
As a mystery writer, one important skill is to keep the reader engaged to the end, something that Flower a.k.a. Alan is in no short supply of. She incorporates factual knowledge of the different areas of Ohio that she is writing about so that the reader can not only enjoy the story like that is happening but also become more knowledgeable and provide a truly real backdrop to that very story line. Flower and Alan both create strong and determined female characters with wit and charm to solve the mysteries placed before them.
Flower not only likes to provide readers with exciting and edge of the seat stories, she is also well known for giving back to her community. She does many charity events and givebacks to help those within the Ohio area making the world a better place every chance that she gets.Book Series In Order » Authors » Isabella Alan