I received this book for free from Berkley Prime Crime in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Churn for the Worse (An Amish Mystery #5) by Laura Bradford
Series: An Amish Mystery #5
Published by Berkley on March 1st 2016
Number of Pages: 304
Genres: Amish, Cozy Mystery
Source: Berkley Prime Crime
Purchase: At Amazon
When an Amish farmer is found dead in his barn, his family accepts his death as God’s will. But Detective Jakob Fisher knows the farmer didn’t hit himself in the head with the shovel lying beside his body. And when it comes to light that a stranger appeared at the farmer’s home and now money is missing from their milk can, Fisher suspects robbery as the motive—especially when another Amish family is victimized.
Getting to the truth proves difficult, however, since Fisher has two strikes against him in the eyes of the Amish—his chosen career, and the Amish roots he left behind. Desperate to stop a murderous thief, Fisher turns to Heavenly Treasures shop owner Claire Weatherly for help. The trust she’s earned from the Amish community enables her to go where the detective cannot—straight into the path of a killer...
If you know nothing about the Amish, you may be a little lost with some of the terms used. Mostly the book does a good job of explaining things, but certain terms (like “Ordnung” which is basically the rules by which the Amish live) aren’t explained quite enough for someone unfamiliar with Amish culture to completely understand. It may have been explained better in the earlier books though, and since most people don’t start a series with book 5 (except me apparently, since I was sent this and it looked good!) then it shouldn’t be an issue.
However, those moments are few and far between. For the most part, everything you need to know is explained either in words or character actions.
I loved all the characters. Especially Claire, Jakob and Annie. Annie was so adorable with Katie, and I liked how Claire was almost a big sister figure to her. The characters were well-rounded with distinct personalities.
The mystery was interesting, and I liked how there was another minor mystery woven through the main one. I had a few ideas on who the killer was, but by the end of the book it turned out to be someone completely different. It totally made sense once you know who that person is, and I love when I can’t figure out who did it until the end!
I also liked all the friendships and family moments we got to see during the book. A lot of them were Claire and Jakob, or Claire and her Aunt Diane. But we also got to see into Amish lives, like Annie and her crush on Henry. Or Jakob’s niece Esther and her husband Eli (and their soon to be born baby).
If you’re looking for a new mystery series with some unique settings and well-written characters, you need to try this one!