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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Shunned and Dangerous (Amish Mystery, #3)

Shunned and Dangerous - Laura Bradford

I am one of the fascinated when it comes to Amish culture; intrigued by the idea of living without technology or convenience.  I have no doubt the work would kill me within the day but fascinated I remain.

 

That's why I picked up the first in this series, Hearse and Buggy, and when I read it, I found not only a good murder plot, but a possible love interest between an Amish and an English; meaty stuff for a cozy.

 

Alas, the one area holding this series up for me and holding down my ratings, is the constant, never-ending earnestness of the main character.  Also, to borrow a friend's phrase from a previous review, the MC is always mooning about.  In previous books she mooned over her divorce, then she mooned over two men, now she's mooning over her business and the two men.  Her almost love interest, Jakob, is also in a constant state of earnestness and pain over living amongst the community that's shunned him.  I get it, I get all of it.  But there's zero humour in this book (and series).  None.  No sarcasm, no edge.  She never even gets cranky.  It just feels one dimensional.  Near as I can tell, nobody in Heavenly has fun or cracks a joke, ever.  This is how I imagine Christian Romance reads.

 

As far as the plot - it's well done.  The author gives the reader two very obvious suspects to keep busy with, making it easier to hold off guessing the murderer too early in the book.    Clair pulls a ginormous TSTL move - 2 of them, actually, at the end that had me rolling my eyes, so the ending could have been better, but overall it's a good mystery and at least Clair isn't running around town interrogating everyone.

 

I do have concerns about how feasible it is for the murderer to have actually committed the crime and staged the body - unless said murderer was a rather sturdy unit, it doesn't really seem possible.  Add to that no explanation given for how the killer had enough knowledge of the corn maze to get to the centre of it; never mind dragging the body through and propping it up.

(show spoiler)

 

I enjoyed the story enough to make it worth the time and money, but I'm not sure if I'll read the fourth book.  I want my MC's to be people I could imagine being friends with, and I don't think Clair would put up with me for more than a minute before my irreverent attitude shocked her speechless.  I guess I'll decide when the fourth one comes out.