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Publisher's Summary

A compulsively readable new series that explores a fascinating culture set purposely apart.

In the wooded Amish hill country, a professor at a small college, a local pastor, and the county sheriff are the only ones among the mainstream, or "English", who possess the instincts and skills to work the cases that impact all county residents, no matter their code of conduct or religious creed.

When an Amish boy is kidnapped, a bishop, fearful for the safety of his followers, plunges three outsiders into the traditionally closed society of the "Plain Ones".

Listen to another Amish-Country Mystery.
©2000 P.L. Gaus (P)2011 Random House

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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  • Story

Interesting view of the Amish attitiudes

I really liked the way the author incorporated cultural bits of Amish beliefs into how the main characters went about solving the crime. The two main characters, "English", were likeable and sympathetic to the Amish points of view. The sherrif was a bit more jaded in his view than they, but he was smart enough to work in the background with his knowledge of crimes and Amish to ensure that the crime was solved. Unfortunately, the plot was not riveting for me. If you want to learn more about Amish life and views, I think you will find this story very interesting, if you are looking for an action type book, it will probably be too slow for you. I definitely liked the book enough to check if there are more to the series because the main characters seem like they be fun to observe as they evolve.
You should find George Newbern a good narrator. I enjoyed his style and was able to easily distinquish between the characters. If you aren't too picky and like Amish, give P.L. Gaus a chance.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Madge
  • Sterling, VA, United States
  • 07-03-12

A fascinating look at a separate culture among us

Most of us know something of the Amish - that they try to live separate from the technological world, that they are pacifists, and maintain old crafts - that there is deep faith, but also a mandated conformity to the norms of the community, that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. A child is taken by his father, who had been banned from the community for wildness, and the Bishop is reluctant to do more than verify the child is OK - but lacking the resources, he asks two outsiders who understand the community to locate the child.

This story is complex, but the twists and turns are logical and "character-driven", based on the characters as shaped by the needs of the culture. The end is satisfying,

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Living separate is sometimes good.

Fascinated with mysteries peopled with Amish, I thought of the movie "Witness" with Harrison Ford as I downloaded this title. Not as suspenseful as the afore mentioned movie, it is an easy listen and introduction into an authentic Amish community separate but within an "English" community. The author appears to have done thorough research into a little understood relationship of disparate communities living parallel to each other. With the exploration into human nature that the structure of this mystery allows, the study of traditional values versus modern temptations is expanded. The mystery is well written and structured, I didn't guess the ending until the author meant me to see it. A good, nay, excellent GP mystery with equally good narration. I will welcome adding to my collection of Gaus books.

A personal tie to a Mennonite life cements my interest in the Amish and led to my listening to "Blood of the Prodigal". I understand the Amish and Mennonite are different, but this author sympathetically describes a lifestyle foreign but intriguing to me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • Penrith, Australia
  • 07-31-12

An Excellent Tale

I found the story captivating and demanding of my full attention. As with every good read (even a detective novel) there is more to the book than the story. The social discussion as to the role of religion in and the challenges it presents to our society I found interesting.

Newberns' reading was excellent.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Complex plot excellent start for series.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it is a compelling story for a lifestyle many can only try to understand. The humanity of people comes through no mater what the lifestyle or religious belief is. In a time when most of people are striving for more, stuff, things and excitement this simple lifestyle mixed with murder and mystery can be complicated to comprehend. The narrator really brings the story to life. The relaxed tone and intonation of the voice made this a great listen,

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Simple life is not so simple?

Any additional comments?

I will continue to read the series. It's nice to read a complex story with out all the muck and foul language. This is a book with a murder mystery but also good values. It's a nice change to all the bang bang shoot em up stories.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A Solid 4 for kids

I don't know if the author intended this series for kids but it should work well for murder mystery (without explicit violence) buffs up to the age of 15, give or take a year. Adults may want to pass as characters are thinly drawn and procedural details in all disciplines are lacking.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathy
  • Davis, CA, United States
  • 07-30-12

Satisfied me

I enjoyed this mystery and found the subject matter new and refreshing. It never got preachy or religious, but showed an understanding and respect of the Amish people. It was an easy, light listen that kept my interest, and I finished it in two days.
I am thinking a 3 1/2 star rating, close to a 4.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Disappointing

What did you like best about Blood of the Prodigal? What did you like least?

I was interested to read a story set in Holmes County, Ohio, a beautiful part of the country. Unfortunately, it is poorly written.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narration seems rapid and flat. The occasional dramatic moments are overplayed.

Any additional comments?

I won't choose more in this series. The plot is thin. The treatment of the Amish is respectful, but seems superficial, repetitious, and preachy. The author's favorite narrative device -- one or another character suddenly feels that he or she is missing something -- is overused.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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ughhhhh

I was SO excited to find not only what sounded like a good, country/Amish story; but being mystery was the cherry on top!! Unfortunately, it was a slow, boring story. I hung in there through 6 chapters, hoping it would get better, but I finally gave up :-(. I hate it when I waste money on an audiobook that I don't enjoy. Sorry, Mr. Gaus, for the dismal review :-(

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Informative, kinda fun, sometimes slow

It was interesting to learn so much about the Amish. The mystery was tight, with a few red herrings and a tight ending. But there was "fillet" that dragged.u

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  • Maureen
  • 03-01-12

Interesting

I did enjoy this book with its excellent 'feel' for the Old order Amish community and its lovely descriptions of Ohio where we visited a few years ago. I found the solution of the murder mystery, however, a little less satisfactory. I will nevertheless probably still buy the next book in the series.

George Newbern's reading is excellent and adds to the enjoyment of the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful