Falling to Pieces

Narrated by: Pam Ward
Series: Shipshewana Amish Mysteries, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (171 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this first book of a three-book series, author Vannetta Chapman brings a fresh twist to the popular Amish fiction genre. She blends the familiar components consumers love in Amish books - faith, community, simplicity, family - with an innovative who-done-it plot that keeps readers guessing right up to the last stitch in the quilt.

When two women - one Amish, one English - each with different motives, join forces to organize a successful on-line quilt auction, neither expects nor wants a friendship. As different as night and day, Deborah and Callie are uneasy partners who simply want to make the best of a temporary situation. But a murder, a surprising prime suspect, a stubborn detective, and the town's reaction throw the two women together, and they form an unlikely alliance to solve a mystery and catch a killer.

Set in the well-known Amish community of Shipshewana, Falling to Pieces will attract both devoted fans of the rapidly-growing Amish fiction genre, as well as those who are captivated by the Amish way of life.

©2011 Vannetta Chapman (P)2011 Zondervan
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Cozy English Meets Amish Mystery

I enjoyed this book as an easy summer listen. Positive, happy in the face of difficulties, and strong community feelings empower this light story that engages but does not stress the listener. I really enjoy quilt shops and quilting so I could relate easily to the background story. If you are not interested in quilting you might not find enough here to hold your interest. As always I like Pam Wards reading style--she does a good job evoking the country homey tone of the book. Glad I gave it a try.

30 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Very Good!!

This is my first book by Vannetta Chapman.
It was wonderful! I enjoyed it tremendously. I can't wait for the next one in the series. Keeps you guessing until the end. The narrator, Pam Ward, makes it easy to follow along with the flow of story. I recommend this book.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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charming book

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

I loved the book. It was a charming respite to go to in turbulant times. Quiet yet entertaining, especially in the familiar world of fibre art.

What about Pam Ward’s performance did you like?

yes

Any additional comments?

I would definatley buy another title in this series.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful Cozy Amish Listen

Callie is a young widow who comes to Shippshewanna after her beloved aunt dies. Auntie owned a quilt shop and several Amish women are reliant upon her to sell their quilts. One of the women has a significant need for the funds as she has a child with a rare illness. Callie is a spunky woman from a big city in Texas suddenly in small town Indiana. A real fish out of water. But as the story progresses one senses she was a goldfish swimming in the ocean who needed to be in a tank, required the cozy closeness that provided. Lovely job of dropping that into the story over time. The Amish quilters are lovely women, each with distinct voices that are also unlike most other Amish stories I have heard.

Callie hasn’t gotten over the loss of her husband, in fact doesn’t even share this with her new friends until very late in the book. She is an endearing character despite her prickly behavior, which furthers the story line, especially when she becomes the prime suspect in a murder. This is not a romance but there are a couple of romantic possibilities. By the end of the story we have a real possibility for a boyfriend in the next book, which I am looking forward to reading/listening to!

This was a great Christmas season listen because it a) has an easy tempo b) has an excellent narrator (amazingly she sounds almost exactly like the real Vannetta Chapman!) c) it’s like having a girlfriend in your room with you telling you the story d) while it is a suspense/mystery it has a cozy feel and is not knuckle whitening – I mean who needs that this time of year? It has a soothing quality to it despite the suspense and the murder mystery. It may be one of the first women’s fiction reads I’ve read in a long time, but Vannetta’s book almost defies genres.

I plan to listen to this book again sometime as I really liked it and it has the qualities of a repeat listen - great voice, characterization, and pleasing story line.

Bibliotherapy: Loneliness, estrangement, grieving, child with a rare disease, and friendships.

Formats: I listened through http://audible.com and it is available in paperback, ebook (e.g., Kindle), and audio.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful Book

I enjoyed the entire book. While the narrator did a good job with the story and characters, her voice sounds much older than the main characters age. My mind kept picturing the main character in her 50's or 60's, rather than in her late 20's. A case of character and voice don't match.

4 people found this helpful

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A good mystery with even stronger characters

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!

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Mystery quilt mytery and charm

This is a new look at old world country living tied together with a twist of modern innovation all wrapped up with intrigue and healing. It is fun and light.

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Easy and funny listening

The characters in this book were blended so well and written so clearly that they really came to life for me. The performance was so well executed I found myself laughing part of the time just by her delivery.

1 person found this helpful

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Falling to Pieces (BOT)

I personally always enjoy Amish stories, this one is particularly pleasing because characters are mixes with "English" and Amish, so one is not overwhelmed by Amish practices. Neat book for a change of pace, plus it involves some craft and mystery.

1 person found this helpful

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Fun Amish group with a mystery solved!

Any additional comments?

Mix in a friendly Amish community, four close knit quilters, a sad /lonely newcomer woman 'Englisher'whose just inherited the town's quilt shop, and mix in a little Agatha Christie, a bit more of God's Word, some heroes and bad guys, and you have this five store mystery called "Falling to Pieces" by Vannetta Chapman. I am SO glad it's the first in a three book series because I really want more of this great community!! Though God's word explained a great deal in this story, I believe that His "All things work for good for them that love the Lord" was not mentioned , though I believe it summed up this story perfectly! Looking forward to reading more of the development between these interesting folks and how quilts, friendships, and God Will go to make up Vannetta's next mystery. A surprisingly terrific read---recommend it highly!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Dee
  • 06-19-15

excellent story & excellent storyteller.

This was a great book to listen to. I have already purchased the next book in this series. I have purchased & listened to two books in the Amish Village series.

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  • Maria
  • 08-10-15

very intertaining

this story has a lovely interesting plot it tells about the strong friends and family among the amish