Happy Saturday! I hope everyone is having a lovely day. Expiration Date by Devon Delaney along with Bleeding Tarts by Kirsten Weiss, Death of a Cookbook Author by Lee Hollis and The Marmalade Murders by Elizabeth J. Duncan will be published on April 24.
Plain Confession by Emma Miller is the fifth book in A Stone Miller Amish Mystery series (aka An Amish Mystery series). Rachel Mast owns Stone Mill House, a bed and breakfast, in Stone Mill, Pennsylvania. She is attending the funeral of Daniel Fisher who died in a hunting accident. Many people comment on Daniel’s kindness and the improvements he made to the Studer farm since his marriage to Mary Rose. Rachel is surprised when Evan Parks, her fiancé and a state trooper, shows up at the funeral with the news that Daniel’s death was not an accident. Detective Sharp is in charge of the investigation (since Evan stepped down), but he is unfamiliar with the Amish and he is lacking in people skills. Moses Studer, Daniel’s brother-in-law, confesses to killing Daniel when he is questioned which leads to his arrest and the end of the police’s investigation. Alma Studer, Daniel’s mother-in-law, comes to Rachel asks her to prove Moses innocence. Rachel agrees to help Moses and sets out to find the truth. She needs to work in her wedding preparations in between her sleuthing. Rachel and Evan’s wedding is fast approaching, and Rachel has yet to have her final dress fitting. Townspeople are wondering if Rachel will show up at the altar or become a runaway bride. After making some inquiries, Rachel soon discovers that outward appearances are deceiving. Rachel becomes intent on solving the case before she walks down the aisle. Who killed Daniel Fisher? Will Rachel make it to her wedding? Return to Stone Mill and help Rachel solve the case in Plain Confession.
Plain Confession is the fifth book in the series, and it can be read as a standalone. Details on Rachel, her family and Evan are included. I found Plain Confession to contain good writing, and it was easy to read. Emma Miller is a descriptive writer which helps bring a book to life. I did feel that some details were not needed. An example is as a person is driving down the road readers get a detailed description of the scenery, the turns the person makes while driving, etc. Rachel Mast is a unique character. She was raised Amish, but she was not baptized into the faith. She stayed in the community where she was raised and runs a bed and breakfast. This allows her to interact with the Amish and Englisch. I like that Rachel honors Amish traditions (dressing modestly and covering her head for example) and is respectful. I felt that she became too fixated on the case. It made it seem like she was having second thoughts about her marriage to Evan Parks. I did not like how Evan did not want her to look into Daniel’s case and kept reminding her (once was enough). It felt off since Rachel has helped Evan on past cases. I like that the main characters are established and nicely developed. I was not a fan of Detective Sharp. Sharp is a cliché nasty detective that is similar to those in other cozy mysteries. The mystery has some good components, but I felt it was too simple. I wish it had been more complicated and harder to identify the culprit. The investigation consists of Rachel asking questions and then speculating on the case. I was curious as to why Daniel’s body had been released for the funeral when the investigation into his death was not complete and the autopsy results were not in. Of course, the police showing up at the funeral was tacky and inconsiderate (they could not wait until the next day). Plain Confession needed more action. The pace was too slow at times which made my attention wander. Christian elements are woven seamlessly into the story (having faith, God’s mercy), power of prayer). My rating for Plain Confession is 3 out of 5 stars. While Plain Confession is not my favorite book in the series, I will continue to read the books in A Stone Mill Amish Mystery series.