Driving the rural roads of Michigan one might suddenly come upon a black buggy driven by a bonneted woman or a bearded Amish man. In 1955 there were fewer than five hundred Amish in Michigan—in 2000 there were more than seven thousand. The Amish, with their unique life-style, are found only in North America where approximately 170,000 live in twenty-four states and one Canadian province. This sensitive and fascinating volume explores the Amish historical background, immigration into Michigan, occupations, marriage patterns, cultural conflicts, community-financed schools, medical practices, and cultural survival.
P. L. Gaus’s Blood of the Prodigal, a mystery in the tradition of Tony Hillerman, is back in a new edition, including an exclusive interview with the author, discussion questions for reading groups, and a detailed map and driving guide to Holmes County, Ohio, with everything one needs to visit the iconic scenes depicted in the story.
In Holmes County, Ohio—home to the largest Amish and Mennonite settlements in the world—mystery and foreboding lurk in the quiet Old Order Amish community led by Bishop Eli Miller.
With the help of the peaceful pastor Cal Troyer and the reckless Sheriff Bruce Robertson, Branden plunges headlong into the closed culture to unravel the mystery of the missing child and uncover truths many would prefer to leave undisturbed.
Broken English is a tale of honor, deception, and revenge, one in which circumstances and the search for justice test the mettle of the closest of friends and reveal the desperate measures of the strongest of foes. Following on the critical and popular success of P. L. Gaus’ acclaimed Amish mystery series, this new edition of Broken English includes an exclusive interview with the author, discussion questions for reading groups, and a detailed map and driving guide to Holmes County, Ohio, with everything one needs to visit the iconic scenes depicted in the story.
The peaceful town of Millersburg, Ohio, in the heart of Amish country, is rocked by the vicious murder of a woman at the hands of an ex-convict. When a local reporter covering the story turns up dead, while the convict is already behind bars, suspicion falls on David Hawkins, the first victim’s father. With Hawkins nowhere to be found among the protective Amish community that had taken him in as one of its own, Professor Michael Branden, Sheriff Bruce Robertson, and Pastor Cal Troyer set out to uncover the elusive truth in this otherwise quiet corner of the world.
In Cast a Blue Shadow, his fourth Amish mystery, P. L. Gaus spins a suspenseful tale of power, pride, and tested faith. As always, Gaus explores the threshold of culture and faith among the Amish sects and their English neighbors, combining it here with the political divisions unique to the academic world.
After an early winter blizzard in Holmes County, Ohio, a wealthy socialite is found murdered in her mansion. That same morning, a troubled student, Martha Lehman, turns up at her psychiatrist’s office, bloody and unable to speak.
Professor Michael Branden and Sheriff Bruce Robertson begin an investigation that threatens to tear Millersburg College apart. Mute for many years as a child, Martha is once again unable (or unwilling) to speak. As Branden wrestles with the murder of the college’s leading benefactor, the real story of Martha Lehman begins to emerge—born Amish, converted to Mennonite, and drawn to the “English” world for the worst of reasons.
This new edition of Cast a Blue Shadow features an exclusive interview with the author, reading group materials, and a detailed map and driving guide to Holmes County, Ohio, with everything one needs to visit the iconic scenes depicted in the story.
Written in the tradition of Tony Hillerman, in Clouds without Rain, P. L. Gaus once again provides compelling intrigue and insight into Amish culture and tradition alongside contemporary American life.
In the wake of a fatal accident involving an Amish buggy and an eighteen-wheeler, Professor Michael Branden, working with the Holmes County Sheriff’s Department, becomes suspicious about the true nature of the crash. His suspicions only grow when the trustee of the dead man’s estate disappears a few days later.
Faced with Amish teenagers in goat masks robbing buggies on dusty lanes, land swindles involving out-of-town developers, several mysterious deaths, and the disappearance of a bank official, Branden realizes that there is far more to the story than a buggy crash on a sleepy country road.
This new edition of Clouds without Rain features an exclusive interview with the author, reading group materials, and a detailed map and driving guide to Holmes County, Ohio with everything one needs to visit the iconic scenes depicted in the story.
As he goes about his milking chores on a cold October morning, Bishop Leon Shetler daydreams of escaping the Ohio winter and taking a bus to the Pinecraft Amish community in Florida for a vacation. His reverie is suddenly interrupted when young Crist Burkholder enters the barn, head down, hat in hand, to make a confession. ”I just killed Glenn Spiegle.”
“An Amish murderer?” Sheriff Robertson asks when he arrives on the scene. “Who will believe that?” But Burkholder is adamant about his guilt, fueled by the passion of his love for Vesta Miller, the young woman both he and Spiegle so desperately wanted to marry.
No sooner does the sheriff start his investigation than he learns of two more murders in the Pinecraft community, and a startling connection is made. There’s no way around it — Professor Mike Branden will have to put his research trip on hold and, along with detective Ricky Niell, travel south to investigate. There they discover the disturbing truth about Spiegle’s conversion to the Amish faith and the reason for the long–smoldering hatred that has reached into the secluded pastoral valleys of Holmes County.
In Harmless as Doves, P. L. Gaus takes the action to Florida in one of the most exciting mysteries in this series. This is Gaus at his best.
Amid a whirlwind of drugs, sex, and other temptations of the “English” world, a group of Amish teenagers on their Rumschpringe test the limits of their parents’ religion to the breaking point. The murder of one and the abduction of another challenge Professor Michael Branden as he confronts the communal fear that the young people can never be brought home safely.
Along with Holmes County Sheriff Bruce Robertson and Pastor Cal Troyer, Professor Branden works against the clock to find a murderer and a kidnapper, and to break a drug ring operating in the county, determined, wherever the trail may lead him, to restore the shattered community. In his desperate search, Branden struggles with the reluctance of the Amish to trust the law to help them find the answers to their problems.
In A Prayer for the Night, his fifth Ohio Amish Mystery, P. L. Gaus deftly balances the pace and practices of Amish life in northern Ohio against the unfolding urgency of a hostage situation. As Gaus has proven before, the mystery gains from its exploration of the ever-widening chasm between the traditional life of the Amish people and their interaction with the outside world.
There are two ways to leave the Amish—one is through life and the other through death. When Saloma Miller Furlong’s father dies during her first semester at Smith College, she returns to the Amish community she had left twenty four years earlier to attend his funeral. Her journey home prompts a flood of memories. Now a mother with grown children of her own, Furlong recalls her painful childhood in a family defined by her father’s mental illness, her brother’s brutality, her mother’s frustration, and the austere traditions of the Amish—traditions Furlong struggled to accept for years before making the difficult decision to leave the community. In this personal and moving memoir, Furlong traces the genesis of her desire for freedom and education and chronicles her conflicted quest for independence. Eloquently told, Why I Left the Amish is a revealing portrait of life within—and without—this frequently misunderstood community.
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