Blessings in Disguise

Blessings in Disguise (Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries #1) by Nancy Mehl

Thoughts Before Reading:

So I picked this up in the library as I was interested in the little proverb they had on the first page. These are part of a Christian Inspirational series, so they are clean mysteries. No murder, no swearing, no sex. Mysterious happenings and investigation.

Anyways, on with the review…

Plot Synopsis:

Cheryl Cooper was ready for a change. Her boyfriend turned out to be a stuck up prig, she dislikes her job as a banker in Columbus, Ohio; so when her aunt calls her asking her to take over her shop as she goes overseas as a missionary-Cheryl jumps at the chance.

Cheryl finds herself in Sugarcreek, right next to the Amish community. She runs the Swiss Miss gift shop, which carries all kinds of local Amish products.

Who else thinks of these guys when they hear “Amish”.

She quickly becomes friends with Naomi Miller, an Amish farmer-and her family. Naomi’s daughter Esther and her best friend help out in the Swiss Miss.

Cheryl is learning a lot about the Amish life as the two girls are on their rumspringa. There also are two brothers who meet in her store to play chess, but do not speak as one brother is Amish and the other is shunned.

Things are going well…except Cheryl starts finding items she never purchased or remembers having stocked. They are beautiful items and people want to spend quite a bit to take them home. She sells them, but places the money aside-unsure of who to give it.

Esther also finds a beautiful leather bible, and inside is a note:

“Someone is not who they seem.”

Cheryl is shocked at the note, and wonders what it means.

It turns out the bible belongs to Levi Miller, Naomi’s son. He’s handsome, the same age as Cheryl, and she finds herself admiring him.

Levi doesn’t know what the note means, and Cheryl, Naomi, and Levi decide to stick their heads together trying to find out what it could mean.

Cheryl keeps getting invited to visit the corn maze her neighbors have. When she goes she overhears a man talking about finding “her”. He knows she is there somewhere and he won’t rest until she is found or killed.

Ooops…

Cheryl is upset and discusses it with Naomi and Levi. They begin trying to look into it and stumble onto a secret. An Amish woman, Rachel, is pregnant and has her cousin visiting to help her. Rachel confesses that she lost the note, and it is about her cousin.

Her “cousin” is really a abused friend of a friend hiding out until she can come up with a better plan to escape her husband. Cheryl promises to keep mum about it all, but warns her about the husband being in Sugarcreek.

They give the best description they can to Cheryl, and she, Naomi, and Levi try to figure out who could be the abusive husband. There are three suspects that match the description…

  1. There is a new bus driver for the tourist buses that visit the Amish areas. He claims to be married and started this new route to be home more…but is he lying?
  2. There is a man that is approaching buisnesses about buying their land and shops. It seems legit but he doesn’t ask a lot of questions for a potential buyer.
  3. Cheryl’s neighbor’s have a cousin Stanley visiting and helping with their corn maze. But Levi was told that both of them don’t have any aunts, uncles, or siblings..so how can they have a cousin?

Who is it? And will Cheryl and the gang figure it out before Rachel’s friend is caught? Or will Cheryl be the next on his hit list.

Thoughts After Reading:

I loved it!

The characters were awesome! I loved how they became their own Scooby-Doo crew.

I can’t wait for the next book!!

For more Amish mysteries, go to The Lesson

For more Christian mysteries, go to A Match of Wits

For more mysteries, go to The Key to Midnight

On a sad note, given the context of this book I wanted to add this:

Are you being abused?

It’s abuse when someone who should care about you does or says things that hurt you or make you feel afraid, helpless or worthless. Here are only a few examples:

  • Slapping, hitting, punching, choking, grabbing, shoving, kicking you or your kids, your pets
  • Threatening you, your kids, friends, family or pets
  • Hitting, kicking, slamming walls, doors, furniture, possessions
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Calling you names, swearing at you, yelling
  • Controlling all the money, even money you earn
  • Blaming you or your kids for everything
  • Putting you down, making you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough
  • Treating you like a servant or slave
  • Controlling where you go, what you do, what you wear
  • Controlling who you see, who you talk to
  • Humiliating you in front of other people
  • Refusing to let you leave the relationship

If you are in danger call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

 

He’s Gone

He’s Gone by Deb Caletti

So I read a book by this author before, Stay, and it was very sad, but compelling and kept me turning every page.

So when I spotted this one, I checked out the back and felt drawn to it, just like her other novel.

So one morning Dani wakes up and finds that her husband Ian is gone. At first she doesn’t think much of it, hoping he went out for coffee or maybe to cool off as they had a disagreement the night before. They went to a work party for Ian, but Dani was a bit too much under the influence and wasn’t up to Ian’s standards.

Ugh! One of those guys!

But everything changed that night when Ian didn’t return. His car stayed parked in the same place all day. None of his clothes or things are missing. No one has seen him. And Dani has no memory of what happened after the party.

They and everyone she knows searches and searches but to no avail, what happened to Ian?

Between the modern day of the disappearance and the searching we also have Dani recounting how they met and how they unraveled.

Dani was married to an abusive man, always getting a fist or a kick-life was unbearable. She wanted out. She wanted to be rescued. And Ian felt the same feelings of being trapped in his marriage that was solely superficial-he made money and his wife spent it all on countless shopping trips and she flirted with everyone.

Ian saved her, and everything was good-until it wasn’t. Ian had a lot more faults than Dani had originally seen. In fact-he turned out to be just as abusive-except emotional and verbal instead of physical. He blamed her for his loss of friends, children, money, stuff in the divorce-taking no blame for something he instigated.

Jordan

The two began fighting more and more-unraveling faster than a ball of yarn.

So now the question is: did Ian leave? Or is he dead?

Thoughts After Reading:

I thought it was compelling and kept you turning page by page to see what happened to Dani and Ian.

It was so sad how Dani left one abusive relationship, only to find herself in another. I think it is a travesty that more people aren’t educated about the many levels of abuse, only thinking it is physical or verbal.

For more disappearances, go to Deadly Intent

For more Not in a Series Mysteries, go to The Wife Between Us

On a sad note, given the context of this book I wanted to add this:

Are you being abused?

It’s abuse when someone who should care about you does or says things that hurt you or make you feel afraid, helpless or worthless. Here are only a few examples:

  • Slapping, hitting, punching, choking, grabbing, shoving, kicking you or your kids, your pets
  • Threatening you, your kids, friends, family or pets
  • Hitting, kicking, slamming walls, doors, furniture, possessions
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Calling you names, swearing at you, yelling
  • Controlling all the money, even money you earn
  • Blaming you or your kids for everything
  • Putting you down, making you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough
  • Treating you like a servant or slave
  • Controlling where you go, what you do, what you wear
  • Controlling who you see, who you talk to
  • Humiliating you in front of other people
  • Refusing to let you leave the relationship

If you are in danger call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

 

Lowcountry Boil

Lowcountry Boil (A Liz Talbot Mystery #1) by Susan M. Boyer

So I first became aware of the Liz Talbot Mysteries with the third book, Lowcountry Boneyard. I was a book reviewer for a blog, we didn’t get paid but I did get free books to read, like that gum commercial.

I tried to get the rest of the series but the libraries didn’t have it and I thought about buying it but I really wanted to read it first. I finally got my hands on the first book, so here we go!

Liz Talbot left Stella Maris Island, her hometown, for college and marriage and has hardly been back. Her high school sweetheart, Michael Devlin, married her evil cousin Marci Miller (seriously she has some screws loose), and then she married, Scott Andrews, turned out to e a narcissistic conman.

She is divorced and now runs a successful private investigator team with her ex-brother-in-law Nate Andrews. (It is obvious he has feelings for her but Liz doesn’t see it and still carries a torch for her high school sweetheart).

Everything changes when she sees the ghost of her high school friend, Colleen Stevens. She warns her to come back to the island as her grandmother, Gram is dead.

At first Liz thinks her grandmother died by accident, but soon she and her brother. Blake Talbot, Police Chief, decide there was something more happening.

Liz inherits her Gram’s house and Colleen, a guardian spirit who is connected to the island. As long as Liz remains on the island, Colleen is there to guide and protect her-but if Liz doesn’t stay then terrible things will happen.

As Liz says goodbye to Nate and her other life, she sets out to make Stella Maris her new home and solve who killed Gram.

She finds herself in a wasp nest of developers, fighting city council, blackmail, hired guns, domestic violence, choosing between her old flame or starting something new, and more! Will she find out the truth, or end up joining Colleen in the spirit world?

Thoughts After Reading:

It was a great read. I love how classy and ladylike Liz is, as a Southern woman should be, along with how tough and resourceful she is.

This novel is great read as it gets intense in the middle and I was flipping pages trying to get to what happened next.

I loved it and can’t wait for book 2!

For more private investigators, go to The Case of the Invisible Dog

For female private investigators, go to Innocent in Las Vegas

For more Southern mysteries, go to Design for Murder

For more supernatural mysteries, go to Christina’s Ghost

The Enemy We Know

The Enemy We Know (A Letty Whittaker 12 Step Mystery) by Donna White Glaser

Letty Whittaker is a psychologist and recovering alcoholic, trying to help others. One of her patients “Carrie” and her discussed a plan to get away from her abusive husband.

When “Carrie” takes off, her abusive husband, Wayne, comes to the clinic and threatens her, fleeing when the police come-Letty just barely being able to be okay.

Oh no!

But now-Wayne claims that Letty attacked him and she’s being disciplined as there is no “proof” of her story.

Letty starts to fall into despair, when to make things worse-gross and cruel gifts keep coming her way. Wayne finds out about her alcoholism and threatens to reveal it to her boses and have her lose her license.

Then Wayne is found murdered and Letty is the prime suspect!

Thoughts After Reading:

This book was awful.

Ugh!

The clinic turned on Letty saying she made it up-believing the crazy guy who is need of help for his domestic violence over their trained psychologist?

Seriously!

And to top that off-her coworker was worried about her and snuck in the back of the cubicle and overheard everything! Why doesn’t she say something?

And then they have the guy who threatened her come back every week. Who are these people?

Plus Letty needed some real help. Seriously.

DO NOT READ!!!!!!

For more reviews, go to The Case of the Invisible Dog

Given the context of this book I wanted to add this:

Are you being abused?

It’s abuse when someone who should care about you does or says things that hurt you or make you feel afraid, helpless or worthless. Here are only a few examples:

  • Slapping, hitting, punching, choking, grabbing, shoving, kicking you or your kids, your pets
  • Threatening you, your kids, friends, family or pets
  • Hitting, kicking, slamming walls, doors, furniture, possessions
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Calling you names, swearing at you, yelling
  • Controlling all the money, even money you earn
  • Blaming you or your kids for everything
  • Putting you down, making you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough
  • Treating you like a servant or slave
  • Controlling where you go, what you do, what you wear
  • Controlling who you see, who you talk to
  • Humiliating you in front of other people
  • Refusing to let you leave the relationship

If you are in danger call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.