My mother in law, and lately my co-blogger, Cathy is back today with her latest review!
Karen Ann Hopkins
Lamb to the Slaughter (Book 1)
Lamb to the Slaughter is a story about the intertwining lives of three unlikely people in an Indiana Amish Community and the devastating results when a rebellious teenage girl is found shot to death in a corn field during the harvest. Serenity Adams is the newly elected young sheriff in the country town of Blood Rock and besides dealing with the threatening behavior of her predecessor, she now has a dead Amish girl on her plate. At first glance, the case seems obvious. The poor girl was probably accidently shot during hunting season, but when the elders of the Amish community and even the girl’s parents react with uncaring subdued behavior, Serenity becomes suspicious. As she delves deeper into the secretive community that she grew up beside, she discovers a gruesome crime from the past that may very well be related to the Amish girl’s shooting. Serenity enlists the help of the handsome bad-boy building contractor, Daniel Bachman, who left the Amish when he was nineteen and has his own dark reasons to help the spunky sheriff solve the crime that the family and friends who shunned him are trying desperately to cover up. Serenity’s persistence leads her to a stunning discovery that not only threatens to destroy her blossoming romance with Daniel, but may even take her life in the end.
The Serenity's Plain Secrets series first came to my attention because Jenny designed all their beautiful covers. Jenny did an amazing job setting the scene for each book. You can look at the covers and know exactly where these mysteries occur and with just the right amount sinister eeriness to draw you in. So the series was on my shelf and were so pretty that I didn't want to crack the spines, but you know how I love a good mystery. So I very carefully began turning to the first page of book one and before I knew it, I had finished three! I thought I would give you a mini review of the first three books so that you, too, can add them to your shelves.
Lamb to the Slaughter is the first in the series. We meet newly appointed sheriff Serenity Adams. She has returned to her hometown and her new territory which includes the nearby Amish community. She is a strong female character, which I love in a mystery. What also adds to the mystery is just the general mystic of the Amish culture. In this book we follow the story from several points of view, including that of the murdered Amish girl, Naomi. This really adds depth to the story. Serenity is a very by-the-book person and truly has a difficult time with the secretiveness of the Amish men. So, in an effort to understand and infiltrate the Amish she needs help. Meet Daniel - he used to be Amish but has left. He also becomes the love interest. Poor Serenity has to face a lot of frustration in this book, but for us it just adds to the suspense.
Whispers from the Dead is book two. Serenity's reputation at solving crimes, especially in the Amish community, finds her invited to another community having problems with arson. Then a body is found in one of the burned out barns. The intrigue in this story is intermingled with past crimes that had taken place in the town. She runs into that town's sheriff and definitely meets with not only resistance but outright animosity. The secretive nature of all the men in this book elevates the mystery and suspense. Daniel helps again with solving this case and putting himself closer to Serenity.
Secrets in the Grave is book three and it brings Serenity and Daniel back to the community Daniel grew up in. A new healer moves to the Amish community and a young pregnant woman bleeds to death. Checking into his past, it's found that this is not the first woman to die, even his wife had died. Is he a healer or a killer? Even though Daniel has been shunned, his help with the case brings him closer to the community and his family.
All three books were pages turners. I think that the Amish overtones of secrecy add to the mystery and suspense. I like a little romance that is equally frustrating thrown in for good measure. I am so glad that Jenny did these covers so that they were put on my radar.