Murder of an Amish Bridegroom (An Amish Seamstress Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Crooked Lane Books (December 5, 2023)
Hardcover : 272 pages
ISBN-10 : 1639105328
ISBN-13 : 978-1639105328
Kindle ASIN : B0BXKHG8CG
The quiet Amish lifestyle isn’t all that it seems in this debut cozy mystery series, for fans of Amanda Flower and Wanda E. Brunstetter.
Petunia Yoder is Blueberry, Pennsylvania’s youngest old maid, at twenty-two years of age, and completely unmarriageable. But she’s determined to celebrate her friends’ weddings with joy and a full heart. Unfortunately, Petunia’s best friend, Eden Beiler, is playing a dangerous game with a man who is ruining her reputation.
Ike Smoker is the community’s iceman—the one who cuts, stores, and sells the ice—and when Petunia discovers him dead with an ice pick in his chest, Eden is found on the scene with blood on her hands. Homicide detective Asher Nate is new to the area, and he has a challenge on his hands. The Amish community sticks close together, and he doesn’t understand the subtleties and nuances of the clues he uncovers. He needs an Amish interpreter, and he asks Petunia if she’ll help. In a bid to keep her best friend out of prison, she agrees.
In this first Amish Seamstress Mystery, we meet Petunia Yoder. She is twenty-two years old and has been deemed “completely unmarriageable” and “Blueberry, Pennsylvania’s youngest old maid”. She is opinionated and not afraid to speak her mind, she is barely a passable cook, but she stays true to her Amish beliefs, and has a heart as big as all outdoors. She lives with her father who runs a tourist company showing Englishers around the Amish community. She helps him and makes ice cream treats for the tourists. She is also an experienced seamstress making wedding clothes for her Amish community.
Ike Smoker cuts, stores, and sells ice to the community. He has been seeing Petunia’s best friend Eden Beiler and the whole community is not happy about it. He doesn’t care that his actions are ruining her reputation and she is convinced he is the love of her life.
Petunia needs ice for a new batch of ice cream from the ice house. When she arrives she finds Ike dead with an ice pick in his chest and Eden covered in his blood. She swears she didn’t kill him and Pet believes her but homicide detective Asher Nate is the one that needs to be convinced. Eden is arrested but the detective is new to Blueberry. He knows to get to the truth he is going to need help understanding the Amish and their ways. He asks Petunia to be his Amish interpreter. She will do anything to help her friend so with her father’s permission she agrees to work with him.
This series is off to a fine start. I enjoyed meeting Petunia “Pet” Yoder. She is not your typical young Amish woman, that is for sure, but I feel bad that she has already been declared an old maid and that she has accepted her fate. She just needs to find a strong man who likes to cook. There is a little spark between her and Detective Nate but he is not Amish. He does respect Pet and quickly sees she is a puzzle solver so they work pretty well together. I love the relationship Pet has with for father. He accepts her for who she is and suffers through her burnt pies and deflating breads while supporting her and striving to always keep her safe. I felt these core characters were nicely developed for the first book in this series.
I was surprised that Ike Smoker was allowed to behave as he did and stay within the community. He may dress like the Amish and drive a horse and buggy but he is an awful man without any scuples. Allowing him to stay in the community does set up a notable mystery. It is not hard to see the list of suspects grow as Pet and Asher find out all that the man has done. Like any community you could find anywhere, Englishers or Amish, people have secrets and will go to great lengths to keep them from being revealed. Pet turned out to be an excellent amateur sleuth. She listened carefully, asked great questions, was aware of everything happening around her, snooped when she had to, thought things out, and talked things through with Asher. I really enjoyed following along with the both of them as they sorted through all the clues.
Blueberry, Pennsylvania is an interesting town. The author described the area very well. It was very easy to map out the community in my head. I love the seamstress theme of the series and getting to see inside the Amish way of life including some darker sides. The subplots were interesting and added depth to the book, especially that of a young bride-to-be whom Pet was sewing for.
I am a little confused about the title. Ike was murdered and he wasn’t a bridegroom.
Murder of an Amish Bridegroom introduces a wonderful protagonist and a handsome detective, both of whom I want to get to know better. They are caught up in an intriguing mystery that is very well written. I am eager to see what Ms. Johns has in store for her characters next.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
About the Author
Patricia Johns was born in Alberta, Canada, and moved with her family all over the country, as well as some parts of the US. She attended college at the University of Toronto, where she obtained her Hon. BA in English literature. She began pursuing her writing career then while working part-time jobs in Toronto. She met her husband when she was twenty-five and got married shortly afterward. They moved together to Alberta, Canada, and their son was born a few years later.
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Following My Facebook Fan Page.
Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.
If you share the giveaway on Threads, X, or Facebook or anywhere you will receive 5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
The Contest Will End on January 25, 2024, at 11:59 PM CST
The Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”