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.In the Land of Milk and Honey (Elizabeth Harris Mystery #2) by Jane Jensen
Series: Elizabeth Harris Mystery #2
Published by Berkley on August 2nd 2016
Number of Pages: 304
Genres: Amish, Cozy Mystery
Source: Berkley Prime Crime
Purchase: At Amazon
With its peaceful, hardworking Amish population, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is a rural paradise. But former NYPD homicide detective Elizabeth Harris knows that evil lurks there—it’s just easier to hide...
By solving the murders of two local girls, Elizabeth has gained some trust in the Amish community. So, she’s the first person its members turn to when a fast and fatal illness takes hold, though many believe that the sickness stems from a hexerei—a curse placed by a practitioner of old-world folk magic. Elizabeth doesn’t believe in curses, and when an entire Amish family is found dead, she begins to suspect something far more sinister...
As the CDC is called in to investigate, customers of a Philadelphia farmers market selling Amish raw milk start dying. Amid rapidly escalating panic, Elizabeth must peel away layers of superstition and fear to save the livelihood—and lives—of an entire community. Because what has happened isn’t an accident of nature or an act of God, it’s the handiwork of someone who has only just begun to kill...
I loved the mystery in this. And I loved the Amish characters too. It made perfect sense that some of them were stubborn, and still drinking the milk even though they knew some in their community had died because of doing that. THEIR cow(s) weren’t looking or acting sick, so why should they waste food?
We didn’t see much of Ezra’s family in this, but we did get to interact with Katie’s. As well as meet new characters, Amish and English both. There are descriptions of dead people, adults and children in the book. Nothing graphic, things like ages, what color their hair was, how the bodies were found and what they were wearing. A few gross bits like the mucus and such that showed the cows were sick. But if you’re sensitive to deaths of children, there were a lot of them killed in this book.
There was almost a love triangle, except that Elizabeth wasn’t interested in anyone but Ezra. There was also a bit of angst as Ezra worked through some issues of his own, and I was afraid for a bit that he was going to end up breaking up with Elizabeth.
I guessed who the killer was early on, but dismissed the person because it didn’t make sense at the time. And by “guessed” it was more a “oh look, someone I didn’t meet last book, it must be them!” not actually seriously as there are a number of new people in the book. It made a lot of sense that it was that person though, once the reveal happened.
I liked getting to know more about the Amish, and how they lived and worked. Most of the book is crime scene detective work, which I also love, but there were enough sub-plots to make everything feel fleshed out. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put the book down. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next book! If you haven’t read this series yet, you need to!