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Murder, Plain and Simple: An Amish Quilt…
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Murder, Plain and Simple: An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery

by Isabella Alan

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Murder, Plain And Simple is the first in the An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery series.

Angie Braddock has recently broken off her wedding engagement, so when her aunt dies and leaves her her quilt shop in Rolling Brook, OH, she packs herself and Oliver, her French Bulldog, and moves to Ohio. this should be a happy time for Angie, but she soon finds out that Joseph, the Amish man who has the store next door claims that he owns the quilt shop and wants her out. On the morning of the grand reopening, Angie finds Joseph dead in her storeroom. A victim of murder.

Not being sure if she is the primary person of interest, Angie sets out with the help of her Amish Quilting Circle sets out to clear her name. The victims brother in law, Elijah, who has spent time in prison for arson, seems to have motive to be the murderer. The real question is how did he get in the shop, as Angie and Martha who has been running the shop for a couple years, are the only ones who have keys.

I really enjoyed this book, with it's well developed characters and story line. The author provides the reader with just enough information as to just how the Amish and Englischer coexist in a small community.

And for me being a dog lover, I really enjoyed reading the antics of Oliver. Oliver has a fear of anything with wings. Alan must be dog lover too, as she dead on with Oliver actions.

Looking forward to the next book, as some things took place in book 1 that will probably continue on in future books. ( )
  FredYoder | May 10, 2015 |
In the cozy mystery genre (sub-genre?), Amish is the new bandwagon.

I suppose when trying to develop unique themes for series mysteries, it gets to be rather hard to find anything new, and the Amish culture certainly seems to be one that a lot of people find fascinating (including myself). I love contemplating a life without technology; without electricity. Could I do it? Or would I end up tackling some poor, unsuspecting Englischer for his iPhone? Honestly, I suspect the dress and bonnet would get to me long before the lack of tech. Oh well, in the meantime, I can read about being Amish.

The author, Isabella Alan, published a short story before the release of this first book, introducing the characters and allowing readers to meet Angie's Aunt before she passes away (the premise of the series being Angie moves back to her hometown when she inherits her Aunt's store). It was a nice little novella that I reviewed earlier, and it did make it easier to dive into this story without needing the introductions
I like Angie as the main character, she's got some life in her, a little bit of sass, and she dotes on her dog. She feels like a real character to me; not as deep as she could be, but not nearly so shallow or caricature-istic as some cozy characters. The supporting cast is mostly Amish and I give kudos to the author - she doesn't create one-dimensional characters out of them just because they're Amish. There are likeable characters and there are a few that ought to go back and brush up on the basic tenants of their faith a bit more. A couple are just mean and nasty. The obvious love interest is the Sheriff, of course (makes it hard for the amateur sleuth to investigate without an 'in' with the authorities), and I liked him - not a lot of detail about him in this book, but what there is is likeable. The author also had me at "aquamarine eyes". I fell hard for a boy in high school simply because he had the most amazing blue-green eyes I had ever, and have ever, seen. But Angie's old childhood friend, Jonah (Amish) looks to create some awkward moments, though there's no chance of a love triangle developing - thank god!!!

The plot itself was very well done. Red herrings, lots of suspects, and I didn't have a clue until the author dropped the give-away hint. The ending, well, not the most plausible ending I've read, but certainly not the most far-out.

I'll definitely be on the lookout for her next book in this series - not to mention a 'donut-as-big-as-my-head' - where can I get me one of those? And can I get it filled with custard please? ( )
  murderbydeath | Sep 20, 2014 |
After Angela Braddock’s fiancé broke their engagement, Angela decided to move from Dallas, where she had grown up, to Rolling Brook, Ohio, in the Amish area of Holmes County. Her mother had been born there and left but her Aenti Eleanor married an Amish man, joined the order, and owned a quilt shop. The Running Stitch. Angela visited there every year until her teen years. When she died, Eleanor left her shop to Angela. The timing was perfect.
Rolling Brook had been an Amish community for a long time but in recent years, non-Amish people, called Englisch, had moved in. Some of the Amish residents accepted the changes and continued to live happily in the community, welcoming both the new residents and tourists who were drawn to learn a bit about the Amish way of life and purchase some of the foods and goods the Amish people produced. Others feared that Rolling Brook would become a mockery of itself with a faux Amish facade to draw in profits. Some of the Englischers, on the other hand, accused the more traditional Amish people of being stubborn. “But what can you expect from a people who haven’t changed for hundreds of years?”
One of the most traditional was Joseph Walker, a woodworker whose shop was next to The Running Stitch. Not only did he not want any Englisch living in the community, he also claimed that he owned The Running Stitch and was going to take it over. As any regular reader of cozy murder mysteries will quickly guess, Joseph is murdered and Angela is a prime suspect especially since his body was found in her shop and he had been killed with a device she had there.
The plot describes Angela’s efforts to find out who killed Joseph in order to clear her own name. It also discusses her efforts to reopen The Running Stitch and relationships between the Amish and Englisch communities.
Some characters seem stereotyped and their actions don’t seem plausible. Those include Elijah, an Amish man who had been imprisoned for arson; Martha, the Amish woman who helped Eleanor during her illness and worked at The Running Stitch; Sarah, the Amish gossip; and Danny, who wanted to make his name as a journalist and was looking for a big story. The relationship between Angela and Sheriff Mitchell copies similar involvements in so many books. After reading about Angela’s mother, a stereotype, it’s a good thing that they live so far apart.
At the end of the story is a concise chapter on “Amish Quilting Tips for Beginners.”
The book was well-written Amish people are treated very respectfully. The conflict between the Englisch and their ideas for growing the community and the Amish who want to preserve it is well presented especially regarding the Watermelon Fest that is a new attraction promoted by some of the Englisch and both supported and attacked by the Amish ( )
  Judiex | Jan 15, 2014 |
Murder, Plain And Simple is the first in the An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery series.

Angie Braddock has recently broken off her wedding engagement, so when her aunt dies and leaves her her quilt shop in Rolling Brook, OH, she packs herself and Oliver, her French Bulldog, and moves to Ohio. this should be a happy time for Angie, but she soon finds out that Joseph, the Amish man who has the store next door claims that he owns the quilt shop and wants her out. On the morning of the grand reopening, Angie finds Joseph dead in her storeroom. A victim of murder.

Not being sure if she is the primary person of interest, Angie sets out with the help of her Amish Quilting Circle sets out to clear her name. The victims brother in law, Elijah, who has spent time in prison for arson, seems to have motive to be the murderer. The real question is how did he get in the shop, as Angie and Martha who has been running the shop for a couple years, are the only ones who have keys.

I really enjoyed this book, with it's well developed characters and story line. The author provides the reader with just enough information as to just how the Amish and Englischer coexist in a small community.

And for me being a dog lover, I really enjoyed reading the antics of Oliver. Oliver has a fear of anything with wings. Alan must be dog lover too, as she dead on with Oliver actions.

Looking forward to the next book, as some things took place in book 1 that will probably continue on in future books.

( )
  yoder | Sep 20, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451413636, Mass Market Paperback)

First in a new series!

When Angela Braddock inherits her late aunt’s beautiful Amish quilt shop, she leaves behind her career and broken engagement for a fresh start in Holmes County, Ohio.
 
With her snazzy cowboy boots and her ornithophobic French bulldog, Angie doesn’t exactly fit in with the predominantly Amish community in Rolling Brook, but her aunt’s quilting circle tries to make her feel welcome as she prepares for the reopening of Running Stitch. 
 
On the big day, Angie gets a taste of success as the locals and Englisch tourists browse the store’s wares while the quilters stitch away. But when Angie finds the body of ornery Amish woodworker Joseph in her storeroom the next morning, everything starts falling apart.
 
With evidence mounting against her, Angie is determined to find the culprit before the local sheriff can arrest her. Rolling Brook always appeared to be a simple place, but the closer Angie gets to the killer, the more she realizes that nothing in the small Amish community is as plain as it seems....  

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:07 -0400)

With her snazzy cowboy boots and her ornithophobic French bulldog, Angie doesn't exactly fit in with the predominantly Amish community in Rolling Brook, but her aunt's quilting circle tries to make her feel welcome as she prepares for the reopening of Running Stitch. On the big day, Angie gets a taste of success as the locals and Englisch tourists browse the store's wares while the quilters stitch away. But when Angie finds the body of ornery Amish woodworker Joseph in her storeroom the next morning, everything starts falling apart. With evidence mounting against her, Angie is determined to find the culprit before the local sheriff can arrest her. Rolling Brook always appeared to be a simple place, but the closer Angie gets to the killer, the more she realizes that nothing in the small Amish community is as plain as it seems.… (more)

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