"" Writer's Wanderings: Books For The Road - A Plain Death

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Books For The Road - A Plain Death

Amanda Flower, an Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes mysteries as Isabella Alan.

Amanda is a member of our Ohio chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers and since she lives so close to me, we had lunch together one day. I thoroughly enjoyed talking with her and reading her first book Maid For Murder, which was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. While it's good, I truly enjoyed her newest one better. A Plain Death is first of all a mystery novel. While I know some would want to toss it in with all the other Amish literature, it is a mystery that happens to take place in Central Oho where there is a large population of Amish. 

The story centers around a young woman, Chloe Humphrey, who relocates to a small town called Appleseed Creek to become the director of a small college's computer department. Chloe immediately gets thrown into an escalating situation between the Amish living there and the "Englischers" when she sees a young Amish woman being harassed by two unsavory characters. She rescues Becky and finds herself becoming friends with Becky who has ventured out on a Rumspringa trying to decide between the Amish ways and finding her own path in life. 

The tension builds when Becky borrows Chloe's car and is involved in an accident that kills the beloved local Bishop of the Amish District. But was it truly an accident? Is there more behind the whole incident? And why do these two roughnecks keep harassing her and Becky? 

Flower gives you a glimpse into some of the Amish culture and tradition as she unravels the mystery. She's done her homework by interviewing others who have been involved in the Amish culture. 

Bottom line is--it's a great story! A terrific Book For The Road.

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