Falling to Pieces by Vanetta Chapman, and the Amish women of Shipshewana are concerned at the loss of their close English friend as well as the fact that Daisy has arranged to sell quilts by Esther, Melinda, and Deborah on consignment. So the women are happy to learn that Callie Harper, Daisy’s niece, has inherited her aunt’s property and is living in Daisy’s apartment. Deborah takes the initiative to visit Callie and ask her to continue to sell the quilts for them, concerned for the finances of Esther, a young widow, and Melinda, the mother of a critically ill young son.
Deborah then asks Callie to list their quilts on eBay, sparking an incendiary and libelous editorial in the local newspaper that Callie is taking advantage of the Amish in doing so. Callie angrily confronts the newspaper editor, Dennis Stakehorn, at the local coffee shop, demanding a retraction, so when she then finds Stakehorn murdered, Callie becomes the chief suspect. The new friendship that Callie has begun to develop with Deborah grows stronger as the pair work together to solve the case, helping to heal this woman broken from the recent loss of first her parents to a car accident and then her husband to cancer.
I really enjoyed listening to Falling to Pieces. Amish communities have become a popular trend in which to set fiction lately, but they haven’t yet made the leap to cozy mysteries much, so this is a fresh setting for a mystery. I like the love that Chapman demonstrates towards the Amish people and the strong faith they display. Further, I appreciate the clean nature of the book, which has no bad language of any sort, no sex, and no graphic violence. I also especially loved the relationship that develops between Deborah and Callie, as the two see how even people who come from such widely disparate cultures as Amish and English can find common ground on which to come together.
Pam Ward performs the audio edition of this book, and for the most part, I really liked the job she does. Ward uses good expression and pronunciation of the words spoken by the Amish. In addition, I liked her selection of voices to use for the various characters. My one complaint is that sometimes I had difficulty distinguishing certain names in Ward’s pronunciation. In particular, I had to look up on Amazon the name of Daisy’s niece, not being sure whether she was Callie or Kelly. I had the same problem figuring out other names as well.
I had a great experience listening to Falling to Pieces, whose title reflects the way the mystery unravels in the same manner as the pieces of a quilt come together at the last moment to create its own unique design. The mystery was interesting, but even more of a draw was the way personal relationships develop and characters develop. I give this book five stars!
To purchase this book for yourself, click here on Amazon.