Book Review – An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series by Isabella Alan
Several years ago when searching for Amish themed mysteries I discovered an author by the name of Amanda Flower. The first series of books that I read were in “The Amish Candy Shop Mystery” series. These novels were quirky and fun and unpredictable. Since I enjoyed them so much I decided to see if she wrote more books in this genre. While searching, I discovered that Amanda Flower also writes under the name, “Isabella Alan”.
Amanda Flower (Isabella Alan) writes for both adults and children and has written over 25 cozy mystery novels. She has won and has been nominated for various literary awards. For more information about Amanda and a list of all her novels please visit her website by clicking the link: Amanda Flower.
The Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series
When I discovered the Amish Quilt Shop Mystery novels I immediately put them on my “to purchase” list. Luckily my dear husband saw this list and purchased them for me for Christmas.
The entire series consists of 5 separate novels and is centered around Angie who has inherited her Amish aunt’s quilt shop after her dear aunts passing. Angie, although not Amish herself, makes relationships with the Amish. She also becomes their advocate at times in the small-town community of “Rolling Brook”. Each of the 5 novels finds Angie discovering dead bodies and trying to solve the mystery of the real killer. Adding some fun to the mysteries is a dog (Oliver), a cat (Dodger) and even a goat (Petunia).
Murder, Plain and Simple (Book #1)
Angie is just starting to get into the groove of running her inherited Amish quilt shop, “Running Stitch”. She was ready for change in her life so jumped at the chance of starting a new life in the quiet mostly Amish community of “Rolling Brook”. Although Angie doesn’t appear as though she would fit in with this community, most of her deceased aunts quilting friends rallying around her and help her to settle in.
Just when things seem to be starting to run smoothly, Angie makes a grave discovery and finds the body of the cranky Amish woodworker Joseph in the back of her storage room. This is the man that she has been having some previous issues with.
The sheriff enters the picture and comes across mounting evidence that points to Angie as the killer. Before she is arrested for a crime she did not commit, Angie is on the case to find the real killer. With some help from a few of her new Amish friends she finds out that living among the Amish isn’t as peaceful as she once believed it would be.
Murder, Simply Stitched (Book #2)
Angie is starting to feel like she is making inroads in the community. Even though one of her aunt’s friend and former employee of the “Running Stitch” has opened up her own quilt shop right next door, she was getting the business of the summer tourists. Now that summer is starting to wind down and business is starting to slow down, Angie is looking for new ways to keep her quilt shop running in the off season. With some thought she has decided to sell some of the quilts in her shop in the town’s “Amish Auction”.
While the auction is underway Angie has a conversation with township trustee Wanda Hunt. Wanda is quite disturbed about a pie factory that Angie’s Amish friend, Rachel Miller and her husband hopes to erect in the small town. Wanda is concerned that the pie factory will be an eye sore and will deter tourists from Rolling Brook. While talking with Angie, Wanda gets into an argument with Rachel over the pie factory and Angie tries to smooth things over. Rachel attempts to end the argument by wishing Wanda a good day and offering her one of her yummy blueberry fry pies.
A bit later in the day Angie comes across Wanda’s dead body behind a canning shed. The cause of death appears to be a blueberry fry pie. A pie that came off of the bake table of Rachel Miller. Could Rachel have committed the murder of the board trustee? Angie with the help of her Amish friends in the quilting circle, makes it her mission to investigate. Who exactly it murdered Wanda?
Murder, Served Simply (Book #3)
Christmas in Rolling Brook this year may not be as festive and peaceful as Angie had hoped. Angie’s parents have decided to visit and are not coming alone. They have decided to bring Angie’s ex, Ryan, to join them. Angie is not thrilled with this as she is not wanting to get back into a relationship with Ryan. She is also not wanting to move back home. Angie is starting to become involved in a budding relationship with the town’s sheriff.
As soon as Angie’s parents and ex arrive in Rolling Brook, Angie gets them involved in the town’s progressive dinner. The progressive dinner involves a sleigh ride that takes them from each place that a meal course is being served. The dinner ends with an Amish themed play that is being produced in the barn at the local hotel.
While the audience is enjoying the play the performance gets cut short as the main actress falls to her death from the scaffolding. The Sheriff comes to investigate and suspects that this may not have been an accidental fall. Tensions rise between the Amish and the Englishchers as well as among the performers themselves. It gets a bit messy as Angie juggles spending time with her parents, dodging her ex and finding herself once again involved in trying to uncover the truth to this “murder”.
Murder, Plainly Read (Book #4)
Austina is a librarian who not only loves books herself, she loves to help others get the books that they want to read. Even if that person happens to be Amish, Austina gets the books for them. This does not go over well with all the members of the community, especially strict Old Order Amish Bishop, Bartholomew Belier.
Angie and her friend Rachel come across an argument that is happening between the bookmobile librarian Austina and Bartholomew. After witnessing Bartholomew leaving in a huff, Angie is asked to help with the library book-sale. Although Angie is not keen on helping, she eventually agrees.
Angie decides to get her mom involved with helping with the book-sale. They go to the bookmobile to meet with Austina when Angie’s mom comes across the dead body of Bartholomew. Even though Angie’s sheriff boyfriend Mitchell is investigating, Angie can’t help herself and is knee deep in her own investigation. Between running her shop, dealing with her mother, and trying to find the real killer, Angie and her quilting circle friends work on proving Austina’s innocence.
Murder, Handcrafted (Book #5)
Spring has sprung and Angie’s parents have decided to renovate their new home’s kitchen. Even though Angie’s dad is not all that handy, he decides to do some of the renovations by watching DIY videos on the internet. The renovations are barely even getting started when Angie receives a phone call from her frantic mom from the hospital’s x-ray department.
Angie asks her Amish childhood friend Jonah, to take over her dad’s attempts at the kitchen renovations. Jonah readily agrees and has started is his work on the kitchen when he encounters electrician Griffin Bright. It soon becomes apparent that there is some history between Jonah and Griffin. Angie tries to get the reasoning behind the animosity between them, but it is not the Amish way to talk about such things.
Later Angie receives a phone call at home from distressed Jonah requesting she return to her parents. Angie initially thinks that there is something wrong with her parents. Jonah states that it’s not her parents but has come across a dead body — the electrician.
Angie’s boyfriend Sherriff Mitchell is on the case but Angie is determined to find the killer and clear Jonah’s name. This is not an easy task as she encounters a goat that likes to head butt and a wife who is not her biggest fan. It gets a bit messier when she encounters a bigfoot that has brought the Sasquatch searchers to the usually quiet community.
More Book Reviews
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