WHEN AN AMISH BOY IS KIDNAPPED, CAN THREE MEN BRIDGE THE DIVIDE BETWEEN TWO PEOPLES?
The Amish, or 'plain people,' and English, or 'vain ones, share a home county in the pastoral hills of Ohio. As summer approaches, boyhood friends and lifelong residents Pastor Caleb Troyer and Professor Michael Branden anticipate a season of fishing for bass, until a ten-year-old boy disappears from the home of the Amish bishop who had exiled the boy's father a decade earlier.
'Say little. Listen a lot' are Troyer and Branden's simple watchwords as they begin, at the behest of Bishop Eli Miller, to work the case. Following the bishop's mysterious strictures, the pair is plunged into the traditionally closed Amish society whose followers, innately suspicious of English ways, have been suddenly made vulnerable to the dangers of the world. When the man suspected of seizing the boy turns up dead, Sheriff Bruce Robertson takes up the investigation-only to uncover truths that many, especially the bishop, would prefer to leave undisturbed.
Deeply atmospheric and morally complex, Blood of the Prodigal is the first in a riveting series that explores a fascinating culture of a people set purposely apart from mainstream America.
Praise for P.L. Gaus' Amish-Country Mysteries
"A sensitively observed series."--Marilyn Stasio, New York Times
"Gaus's Amish-Country Mysteries examine the ethical, moral and scriptural nuances of the Amish, and the challenges their community faces co-existing with technology and temptations of the modern world."--Sharon Short, Dayton Daily News (Ohio)
Praise for Clouds without Rain
"Of all the dastardly crimes that might spark a good whodunit, a buggy robbery doesn't seem very promising--unless the author is P. L. Gaus, who writes a discerning series set among the Old Order Amish sects of Holmes County, Ohio... Gaus is a sensitive storyteller who matches his cadences to the measured pace of Amish life, catching the tensions among the village's religious factions."--Marilyn Stasio, New York Times
Praise for Cast a Blue Shadow
"An interesting who-dunit read, keeping me guessing in addition to providing insight into a unique way of life... This insightful novel will satisfy your hunger for a good murder mystery while it subtly educates you on the beliefs and values of a facet of society most know little about."--Bonnie Papenfuss, The Sahuarita Sun (Arizona)
Praise for Harmless as Doves
"For more than a decade, P. L. Gaus has been writing quietly spellbinding mysteries about one such group, the conservative Old Order Amish of Holmes County, Ohio... [A] sensitive account of the impact on this community when outsiders (that is, the cops) descend to deal with an Amish youth who has confessed to the murder of his fiancee's older, richer and very persistent admirer."--Marilyn Stasio, New York Times
"Gaus spins a fine mystery with a strong background of Amish faith and plenty of detail on the difficulties the Amish face in the modern age."--Michele Leber, Booklist
"What makes this book stand out as exceptional is the method in which Gaus describes events. There is intrigue, tenderness, religion, and much conflict... Blending of old-world culture with modern detective work makes this continuation of the same characters in key roles with different murders a true mystery series... If you like good mysteries, without salacious sex or mayhem, and adash of religion mixed in, you will want to read this book... A four star book and is highly recommended."--Clark Isaacs, Reviewer's Bookwatch
Praise for The Names of Our Tears
"Series regulars Professor Michael Branden, in Pinecraft, and Pastor Cal Troyer provide comfort and continuity in this eighth Amish-country mystery. Loose ends in the murder case lend realism and augur well for the next installment."--Michele Leber, Booklist
Praise for Separate from the World
"With each new mystery, P. L. Gaus treats us to yet another view of life among the Old Order Amish in Wayne County, Ohio... [H]e has great admiration for the Amish themselves, writing with quiet gravity about aspects of their lives rarely shown to strangers."--Marilyn Stasio, New York Times
"The latest in this too-little-known series again combines a fascinating, realistic look at an Amish community in Ohio with a gently satiric take on academic life."--Barbara Bibel, Booklist