The best Amish murder mystery story since "Witness
Okay, okay, so, I haven't read a whole lot of Amish murder mysteries. While I'm certain that there are more than the Harrison Ford movie and Jane Jens..Show More »en's new book, "Kingdom Come", none come to mind. Certainly none that I've read. Despite originally being from Pennsylvania and spending a little bit of time in Lancaster, I can't say that I've spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about the Amish or their lifestyle and even less time reading fictional Amish murder mysteries. When it comes to the Amish, I like their baked goods, their rocking chairs, and their beards. I also like a good pair of suspenders. And horses. Horses are nice.
"Kingdom Come" is the first in a promised new series of mystery novels by writer Jane Jensen. Full disclosure: I've been a fan of Jensen for a very long time. I've played the video games that she's written and designed and I've read her previous novels. I am, loathe as I am to use the term, a Jane Jensen fanboy.
Even those unfamiliar with Jensen's work should appreciate and enjoy "Kingdom Come". It's a solid murder mystery; not too complicated (unless I've just gotten good at figuring out "whodunit") but creative, clever, and thoroughly enjoyable.
Jensen populates her novel with believable characters and dialogue, brisk pacing, and enough moments of pulse racing suspense to keep the pages turning. While the Amish play an important part of the story, Jensen doesn't bog down the story by dwelling too heavily on their lifestyle and tradition. There's just enough to keep them interesting and to introduce them to readers unfamiliar with their lifestyle.
The narration is good if not spectacular. Rachel Fulginiti has a clear, comfortable voice that's easy to listen to. She does a pretty good job with the complex Amish accent and none of her characterizations seem forced. She doesn't force the distinct Lancaster accent on any of the characters nor does she make Harris, a Lancaster native who spent ten years in NYC, sound like she's some sort of weird Big Apple Amish hybrid, for which I was grateful. Instead, her reading was a bit like watching a newscast, a bit blandly generic but pleasant and enjoyable enough.
While not breaking any new ground in the police procedural / mystery genre, "Kingdom Come" is an enjoyable, engrossing read written by a talented storyteller. I look forward to the next entry in the series.