P. L. Gaus is the author of seven books in the Amish-Country Mystery series. He lives in Wooster, Ohio, an area that is close to the world’s largest settlement of Amish and Mennonite people. Gaus lectures widely about the lifestyles, culture, and religion of the Amish..
Visit his website at P. L. Gaus
Listed in: Mystery · Fiction · American Literature · Ohio and Regional · Literary Studies
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.
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.
What is the relationship between history and fiction in a place with a contentious past? And of what concern is gender in the telling of stories about that past? After the first blizzard of an early winter, a Mennonite college girl with a troubled past appears curled up and bloodied outside the offce of her childhood psychiatrist. Mute for many years as a child, Martha Lehman is again not talking.