Publisher: B&H Books
Publish Date: February 15, 2013
Origins: From Publisher for Review
Format: Trade Paperback
Order From: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: 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.
Review: In the first book of this series, ‘A Plain Death’, Chloe Humphrey had moved to Appleseed Creek to take a job at the local college and became friends with two former Amish siblings and their Amish family. In ‘A Plain Scandal’, there are new attacks on the Amish – haircutting, which is an affront to the Amish way of life and a hate crime. In addition, Chloe finds the body of an Amish man who was stabbed to death and his beard shorn. Chloe isn’t going to back down from finding the truth and helping to bring peace back to her adopted hometown. While all of this is going on, the Troyer family, who Chloe has come to love is being ostracized for two of their children leaving the district (Chloe’s friends Becky and Timothy) and for having Chloe herself visiting. Chloe hopes to figure out the culprit behind the haircuttings and the murder before it costs her new community even more.
I have totally fallen in love with the people and the setting of Appleseed Creek. From the bucolic setting to the close-knit Amish families, Appleseed Creek will definitely capture the hearts and minds of readers. Chloe has found herself embroiled in another mystery which threatens the Amish way of life. Chloe is still learning the ins and outs of Amish culture via her friendship with Becky and Timothy Troyer, two former Amish siblings and their family. All she wants to do is help out the sheriff and solve the mystery while minimize the harm her relationship with the Troyers is having on their standing in the Amish community. I love the characters Ms. Flower has created and the story flows very well. I think fans of Amish fiction and mystery lovers will find common ground in ‘A Plain Scandal’. The reader is kept guessing in an engaging mystery which harnesses the flavor of Amish culture and there is a sweet romance blossoming as a counterpoint to the horrific crimes taking place. I think Ms. Flower has done an excellent job of showing how the Amish culture may be different, but human nature is intrinsic without being stereotypical. ‘A Plain Scandal’ is a great addition to the Appleseed Creek Mystery Series and I am eagerly awaiting the next book!
Appleseed Creek Mystery Series: A Plain Death (1), A Plain Scandal (2), A Plain Disappearance (3)