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What the Bishop Saw (The Amish Bishop…
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What the Bishop Saw (The Amish Bishop Mysteries)

by Vannetta Chapman

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Title: What the Bishop Saw (The Amish Bishop Mysteries #1)
Author: Vannetta Chapman
Pages: 348
Year: 2017
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Henry Lapp is a widower in his mid-sixties who is the Bishop of a small Amish community in Colorado. When he was a boy of 12, he was hit in the head with a baseball. After being in a coma for a while, he had the ability to draw from memory a picture-perfect drawing of a scene he had encountered. He used this talent once as a boy with harsh results. He hasn’t used the talent for a long time, but soon he will be left with no choice but to put his God-given gift to work. Henry is unsure if it is a gift or a curse. An unlikeable, older, Amish man is killed in a house fire that is discovered to have been deliberately set. An arson investigator is called in to solve the case, but dealing with Amish people who like to keep to themselves proves to be a challenge for her.
As the case comes to a standstill, Henry’s drawing talent is put to use. His picture provides a lead, but that turns out to be a dead end. Henry and the arson investigator continue to ask questions, but can’t seem to discover who the arsonist is. Another building is set on fire, then another with no suspect in custody. Some Amish families begin to think about moving to other communities as they no longer feel safe. Henry confides in Emma, his close friend since childhood and she helps him work through things. Emma is a widow and lives with her son and his family. Henry is very close to this family as his wife died twenty years ago and they had no children. As the danger mounts, Henry feels the tension in his families that he shepherds. He also begins to realize he feels more for Emma than friendship, but is unsure if she feels the same spark.
Now that is how a community should live together! They came together when someone needed help with shelter, food, emotional or spiritual support and much more. This small, tightknit, Amish community was deeply spiritual in their lifestyle, showing Christ in their actions. However, their Bishop was also the first to point out that they were human as well and not above sinful actions, addictions, reactions, negative emotions, etc. Henry Lapp was a humble, but admirable leader of his small band of fellow Amish. I don’t believe in or agree with everything their Ordnung says, but in this story the actions of some these Amish people were fine examples of Christian living. I think this is a good start to what I hope will be a fine series of Amish mysteries! ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Jun 10, 2017 |
I’m not Amish but I sure wish I could attend Henry Lapps services, what a kind loving man, and yet he has had to deal with his own daemons.
The setting for this story is the breath taking valley of San Luis Colorado, and a quaint and closely-knit Amish community. What happens here is about to tear apart this group of plain people, and in the end leave some hurt and worse dead.
Now in his sixties Henry has a blessing, or a curse, depending on how you look at it, and now he needs to make a decision to use this for the greater good. As a youngster he was hit in the head with a baseball, a brain injury and that turned on a switch that gave him a rare ability.
As we travel this story to find the person responsible for the terror that these people are facing. Will they find the arsonist before they loose any more, or will be more be hurt and force some to make a hard decision to leave for their peace of mind.
These are pacifists and they are surely put to the test by the perpetrator, but why are these peaceful people being targeted? When you discover who is responsible, I had a feeling that he had been let down by society, and yet he is so wrong.
You won’t want to leave here and found myself doing so extra reading about being savant, very interesting. I hope we will be visiting with Henry and his community again; I wanted to immerse myself with the people.

I received this book through Net Galley and Harvest House Publishers, and was not required to give a positive review ( )
  alekee | May 1, 2017 |
What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman is the first book in The Amish Bishop Mysteries. Bishop Henry Lapp lives in San Luis Valley, Colorado. Henry is awakened with news of a fire at nearby Vernon Frey’s house. When Henry arrives at the scene, he finds out that Vernon did not survive. It is disturbing to find out that the fire was set deliberately. Henry is asked to write a list of people who might have wished to harm Vernon. Within days a second fire breaks out at a construction site in town. Sam Beiler spots the fire and calls 911. Turns out that Sam also called in Vernon’s fire. Sam is soon arrested for arson and the murder of Vernon. Henry visited Vernon the day before the fire, and he has a gift that could assist the investigators. Henry has not used his talent in fifteen years. But it seems the time has come to use his God given gift once again. It could provide a helpful clue that will lead to the arsonist. Unfortunately, the fire bug is not finished and Henry’s workshop becomes the next target. Meg Allen, the arson investigator, works with Henry and the Amish community to ferret out clues. Will they be able to identify the arsonists before he claims more victims?

What the Bishop Saw is well-written and is easy to read. The book has a good pace. The story has engaging characters. My favorite are Henry Lapp and Emma Fisher. They are adorable and nicely complement each other. They both have loving hearts and you can tell how much Henry cares for the people in his community. It was good to see growth in the characters by the end of the book. I loved the subtle, slow paced romance between Henry and Emma. I appreciated the author’s unique setting. I have not read an Amish novel set in Colorado previously. I found the scripture and prayer quotient to be medium level (it goes well with the book). I give What the Bishop Saw 4 out of 5 stars. The mystery was interesting, though, readers can easily identify the culprit based on the clues. There is a little suspense near the end that will have readers on the edge of their seats. I did feel that the book was a little long and some information was repeated. I liked the epilogue. It was a good ending to the story. What the Bishop Saw is the beginning of a delightful series. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Apr 19, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0736966471, Paperback)

Somewhere in the Embers Lies the Truth

A fire blazes out of control in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, leaving an elderly Amish bachelor dead. Bishop Henry Lapp rushes to the scene, and he learns the fire was no accident. Someone intended to kill Vernon Frey. But who would want to kill Vernon? Well, practically everyone—Amish and Englisch alike.

When the police point the finger at a suspect Henry knows is innocent, the bishop must decide whether or not to use his mysterious, God-given gift—one he's tried desperately to ignore all these years—to try and set the record straight. His close friend and neighbor, Emma, encourages Henry to follow God's leading.

Could the clue to solving the case be locked somewhere deep in his memory? Will Henry find the courage to move forward in faith and put the right person behind bars? Is his friendship with Emma becoming something more?

What the Bishop Saw is a story of extraordinary talents, the bonds of love and friendship, and the unfailing grace of God.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 27 Jan 2017 11:02:05 -0500)

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