Shocking, right? But as I've told a couple of publicist friends, when it comes to Amish fiction, I'll only review it if it is weird. Or quirky.
Amanda Flower has managed to hit the quirky nail on the head with her Amish(ish) mysteries, imbuing them with a classic chic lit vibe and a colorful cast of characters, both in and out of the buggy.
A Plain Scandal (An Appleseed Creek Mystery #2) by Amanda Flower
What it's about (from the publisher): 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.
Why you should read it: I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm not a fan of the usual sort of Amish fiction that populates so many "inspirational fiction" shelves. Unless the storyline includes something cosmically weird — like vampires or zombies, maybe? — I really don't want to even look at it. But … I've found the exception to my rule with Amanda Flower's Appleseed Creek Mysteries. Simply stated, I love them. Even though there isn't a zombie to be found, these books make me giggle. And who can't stand to add a little more laughter to her day, eh?
If I'm being totally honest, however, these aren't your usual sweet Amish romances. Instead, author Amanda Flower plops a modern, tech-savvy girl (Chloe) down in Ohio's Amish country with a super-hot — and formerly Amish — love interest, a large but comic cast of minor characters, a grisly murder or two, and then rolls it all up with a fun, chick-lit vibe.
A Plain Scandal lives up to last year's A Plain Death (see my review on HEA) with no fear of suffering the dreaded "sophomore slump." In fact, I found this installment of Chloe's quirky and dangerous life even more enjoyable than the first! And the romance? Oh, yeah. It's cranked up a couple of notches, too. I can hardly wait to see what trouble Chloe, Timothy, and crew will find in the next Appleseed Creek Mystery!