Friday, April 13, 2012

A Plain Death: An Appleseed Creek Mystery, by Amanda Flower

Overview (from NetGalley): 24-year-old computer whiz Chloe Humphrey moves with some uncertainty to Appleseed Creek to direct technology services at a nearby college. Her first acquaintance is Becky, an ex-Amish teenager looking for a new home. While driving Chloe’s car, Becky collides with a buggy, killing an Amish elder. But what looks like an accident is soon labeled murder when police discover the car’s cut brake line. Now, Chloe must take on the role of amateur sleuth to discover who the real intended victim was before the murderer makes a second attempt. Becky’s handsome Amish-turned-Mennonite brother, Timothy, a local carpenter, comes in handy along the way. With God’s help, they’ll solve the mystery that’s rocking this small community.

Review: I really liked the premise of this book, and for the most part, it delivered. It is nicely written, very simple but, nevertheless, nice. The main characters —Chloe, Timothy and Becky— were ok. It has a very good pace; never felt dragged or too slow or boring. The mystery is a good one; you form your ideas here and there, you try to piece it all together and you kind of know, but then you're not so sure, so you go back and then you're pretty sure and the author changes it up a bit once you get to the climatic scene. So it keeps you interested.
That said, I had a few problems with this novel:
  • The romance is very lacking. I was expecting something more romantic or substantial to happen between the romantic leads, but no. It left me hanging, waiting, expecting until it was over.
  • The climatic scene was just too bland and rushed. It left a few questions unanswered but I'm not going to get into them because I don't want to spoil it for the rest of you.
  • The hero. Yes, it is someone unexpected, but the reason this person gave for being there is laughable, it made no sense.
  • Finally, the portrayal of the Amish left much to be desired. I will not get into the details, but suffice it to say that in this novel the Amish who stayed Amish were presented in a very bad light and those who left the Amish were great, the good guys, with the exception of the Troyer family and Aaron.
In the end, I had a nice time reading this novel; it is entertaining and kept my interest, but I wish and hoped it was better. It ended with a few loose ends, so I'm thinking there will be more to come.

3 out of 5 stars

*I received a copy of this book from B&H Publishing Group through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

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