Earlier in the week, I reviewed the first book (Murder Simply Brewed) in this cozy whodunit series set in an Amish Artisan Village in Middlebury, Indiana. Today, I’m talking about book #2 – Murder Tightly Knit. If you’re like me and you sometimes think (for a millisecond or two) about trying to solve one of those “Unsolved Mysteries” or “Disappeared” cases on your own, then you’re going to love these books!
Hannah Troyer knows something isn’t right when she stops by The Cat’s Meow yarn shop to see her friend Mary and finds the store closed at an odd time of day. If that weren’t troubling enough, there’s an Englisch man loitering in the back alley, like he’s waiting for Mary – only, Mary’s not at her post. Then, Hannah hears of Owen Esch’s grisly murder that morning on the Pumpkinvine Trail, and her suspicions and anxieties take flight. Surely, Mary wouldn’t be involved with something so awful… would she?
In the meantime, Jesse Miller should be rejoicing along with his family that his prodigal brother Andrew has returned home. Again. But instead of peace, his older brother’s arrival has just brought more unrest to Jesse’s spirit. He doesn’t want to believe that Andrew had anything to do with Owen’s death but, as the evidence mounts, will anyone else agree?
As manager of the Amish Village, Amber Bowman is turning over a new leaf along with her recent marriage. She’s working less, enjoying more time off with her husband, and making more of an effort to build relationships with her employees. But when one of those employees is murdered and another one disappears, she gets tired of waiting on the police to figure out who is responsible. Dodging attempts on her life, watching out for her friends, and avoiding the obnoxious federal agent assigned to the case are becoming just par for the course for this amateur sleuth!
Can Amber and Hannah find the killer before fear unravels the community . . . and before he strikes again?
One thing I enjoyed so much about Murder Simply Brewed was the friendships between the Englisch (non-Amish) and the Amish residents of the area. It’s even better in Murder Tightly Knit since these relationships are much more established after the events in book one. A wonderful reminder that we don’t have to remain isolated from each other simply because we worship differently.
I just love these characters, and I am happy to say that unless they were killed off or arrested in book one they are all back in Murder Tightly Knit 🙂 Elizabeth, Amber’s secretary, gets a little more page time in this book, as does formerly homeless veteran Preston, and I could not be happier! Also Amber’s new assistant manager Pam is a hoot, and these three make excellent additions to the “regular cast” that we met in Murder Simply Brewed.
The mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat and have you second-guessing your own Sherlocky skills from beginning to end (well, at least until the point where Amber herself knows whodunit). The romance is sweet and gentle and honorable – everything that’s good about love. Murder Tightly Knit is a delightfully cozy mystery that celebrates faith, friendship, and romance. The series is a must-read for any one who loves Amish novels or mysteries.
I give Murder Tightly Knit 4 out of 5 stars. On to the last book in the series – Murder Freshly Baked! I’m excited to see what kind of trouble Amber & Hannah will get themselves into – and out of – this time 🙂
Thank you, Netgalley, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Vannetta Chapman holds a BA and MA degree in English and has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace in Albion, Pennsylvania. She published a novel with Abingdon Press called A Simple Amish Christmas in October of 2010. Her first Quilt Shop Murder Mystery, Falling to Pieces (Zondervan) was released in September of 2011 and received the 2012 Carol Award for best mystery. She currently lives in the Texas hill country. You can connect with Vannetta on her website and at Facebook.