Book Review: "Falling to Pieces" by Vannetta Chapman

Summary from When two women—one Amish, one English—each with different motives, join forces to organize a successful on-line quilt auction, neither expects nor wants a friendship. As different as night and day, Deborah and Callie are uneasy partners who simply want to make the best of a temporary situation. But a murder, a surprising prime suspect, a stubborn detective, and the town's reaction throw the two women together, and they form an unlikely alliance to solve a mystery and catch a killer.

As an Amish story, this book puts a different spin on the genre as it involves a murder mystery. That's not something you ever hear about in "peaceful paradise". What I did like best about this book is that the Amish interact with those who are not Amish, on their turf. Sure in the book Shipshewana there is a big Amish population. But there are lots of Englishers who live in the area and the Amish come to them and not really vice versa, in this book at least. I liked the blend of cultures.

I liked most of the characters in the book. Deborah doesn't try to make Callie think that the Amish way is the only way to live and Callie doesn't really try to change Deborah to the modern world. It was interesting seeing both try to adapt to each other with learning about Ebay or learning to ride in a buggy. The only thing that irked me a bit was that I felt that Deborah and the other Amish women wanted Callie to keep the store open for their own personal reasons. She's pretty much forced to keep the store open before she can sell it and without knowing anything about how to run the store or the area. It was like total culture shock for her. Also even though she noted that she had nothing back in Houston, it sounded like she originally came here for a visit and was intending to leave.

As a mystery story, it was just ok. It read pretty much like your basic cozy mystery. I was a bit surprised at who was chosen to be killed. I would have enjoyed more interaction between this person and Callie. The beliefs and insinuations that were raised seem so outlandish. I wondered why they came up in the first place and if they truly believed what they were saying or just trying to stir up trouble. I will admit that near the end when the killer is finally revealed I got a little bored. It almost felt like a rush to finally reveal the killer, motive and then what happens after they are caught.

Overall, it's a fairly pleasant read. The Amish twist on the mystery added a nice variant from all those Amish books out there. I really was pleased that that there is no romance in this book at all. I hope that the mystery portions of the book get tweaked up a bit for the next book in the series. I think I will try out another book in the future.

Falling to Pieces by Vannetta Chapman is published by Zondervan (2011)

This ARC was provided by the publisher


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