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.
The illusion of peace is shattered one early morning when a young Amish boy goes missing—abducted from his home and from Bishop Miller’s care. At first, the bishop suspects the child’s father, who was exiled from the Old Order ten years ago, but a murder soon casts doubt on the bishop’s theory. With a strong distrust of law enforcement and the modern “English” ways, the bishop must put his faith in an unlikely partnership with Professor Michael Branden before it’s too late.
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.
As another college year draws to an end, Professor Michael Branden is weary after nearly thirty years of teaching. Sitting in his office on a warm spring day, he receives an unexpected visit from an Amish man who claims his brother, a dwarf like himself, has been murdered. Their discussion of the odd details of the case is interrupted by a commotion on campus, which turns out to be the apparent suicide of a young woman, who, it seems, has leapt to her death from the college bell tower.
The investigations of these two deaths become intertwined as Professor Branden again teams up with his colleagues Pastor Cal Troyer and Sheriff Bruce Robertson to seek explanations for these bizarre events.
Separate from the World is a story of a rift between two Amish factions, one that favors the use of medicine and that participates in a college study of genetic traits particular to the Amish community, and the other that rejects any outside influence.
Once more, P. L. Gaus takes us inside a separate culture and, in a manner both gentle and grim, highlights the complex relationship of the Amish and the “English” as they live inside or outside each other’s orbits.