Monday, April 16, 2012

Hearse and Buggy-Laura Bradford

Hearse and Buggy

Laura Bradford

Berkley Prime Crime, Jun 5 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780425251317

Though Claire Weatherly was married for five years to a prominent businessman, his neglect and apathy towards her left her feeling deserted and alone. Claire divorced her spouse accepted her Aunt Diane’s invitation to stay at her Sleep Heavenly Bed & Breakfast in Amish Heavenly, Pennsylvania. Claire opens up Heavenly Treasures selling Amish items. As she begins making friends like her assistant Esther King and the next door owner of the Shoe Fly Bake Shoppe Ruth Miller, Claire feels she belongs for the first time in a long time.

Claire’s contentment ends when she finds the murdered corpse of the former store owner odious Walter Snow behind her shop. Leading the homicide investigation is Police Detective Jakob Fisher; who is shunned by his Amish community including his family due to his violent vocation. The prime suspect is Eli Miller, who threatened to harm Snow if he did not return money the thief stole from the Amish when he sold their furniture in consignment. At the same time someone vandalizes gentle Ruth’s bakery. Feeling she owes a debt of gratitude for the warm welcome, Claire investigates the homicide and the vandalism though she has never done anything remotely like this before.

Hearse and Buggy is an engaging amateur sleuth that interweaves Amish society with an enjoyable whodunit. Claire is a terrific protagonist whose wonderful investigation enables readers to obtain insight into the Amish culture. Although Claire’s reason for amateur sleuthing is weak, fans will enjoy her inquiry as Laura Bradford provides a delightful Amish cozy

Harriet Klausner

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