Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Plain Missing: An Amish Mystery

Happy Book Release Day!  The Promise Girls by Marie Bostwick is out today along with Tightening the Threads by Lea Wait, and When the Grits Hit the Fan by Maddie Day.  I hope you find some new books to read today.

Plain Missing by Emma Miller is the fourth book in An Amish Mystery series.  Rachel Mast is staying at her parents’ house to help take care of her mother, Esther while she is undergoing chemotherapy for her breast cancer. It is difficult because Esther refuses to talk with Rachel directly or let Rachel sit at the dining table with the rest of the family.  This has been going on for over seventeen years.  Late Friday evening, Rachel is sitting on the back porch when she notices a light bobbing across the field towards the Mast home.  It is her cousin, Mary Aaron seeking Rachel’s assistance.  Elsie, Mary Aaron’s sister, failed to arrive home from the singing.  Rachel and Mary Aaron drive around to see if they can find Elsie and the man who drove her home, Dathan.  After twenty-four hours, Elsie or Dathan are still missing and so are the horse and wagon.  Rachel contacts Trooper Lucy Mars for assistance since her fiancé (and detective) Evan Parks is out of town.  The police cannot do much since both parties are over twenty-one.  The police believe that the pair decided to elope and escape into the English world.  Elsie’s family knows that she would never do that.  Rachel is determined to find out what happened to Elsie and Dathan.  People in the community are keeping secrets, and Rachel is going to ferret them out. 

Plain Missing may be the fourth book in the series, but it can be read alone.  The author provides the needed background information on Rachel and her family.  The book is nicely written and, for the most part, easy to read.  The pace was a little slow at times especially when Rachel was speculating.  The author tried to make the mystery complicated, but it can easily be solved early in the story.  There are several major clues in the book that assist readers in untangling the riddle.  I give Plain Missing 3.5 out of 5 stars.  We get to see what life is like in an Amish community for its members, outsiders, and young people who have yet to decide whether or not to join the Amish church.  I can see the pros and cons for each choice.  I cannot imagine, though, living without modern technology (it has to be different if you have never had it).   I do wonder, though, if Amish are as naïve as they are made out to be in novels.  Are the young people aware of the dangers in our society?  While Plain Missing is a nice story, my attention was never fully captured by the writing.  I just felt that something was lacking and that the book was too long.  The ending was stretched out.  I did appreciate the epilogue and the growth in Esther’s character. The other novels in the series are Plain Murder, Plain Killing, and Plain Dead.  Plain Missing came out today!

I will be back tomorrow to review Cherry Cake and a Cadaver by Susan Boles.  May each of you have a very special day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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