Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review: Murder Tightly Knit by Vanetta Chapman

Murder Tightly Knit 

By Vanetta Chapman

Blurb: In a town where Amish and Englisch mingle every day, a grisly murder leads to mutual suspicion. Can Amber and Hannah find the killer before fear unravels the community . . . or he strikes again?

Even before she heard of Owen Esch’s death, Hannah Troyer knew something was amiss at The Cat’s Meow yarn shop. The store has been closing at odd times, the ever-dependable Mary isn’t always at her post . . . and an Englisch man has been seen loitering around back.

Now, as leaves of brown, gold, and orange blanket Middlebury, Indiana, Owen lies dead on the Pumpkinvine Trail. The only clues to the murderer’s identity point in two very different directions—one of them leading right to The Cat’s Meow.

The police call in a federal investigator, but Hannah and Village manager Amber Bowman are in no mood to wait for them to figure out what they already know—that no one from the Amish Village could have killed Owen Esch.

Amber and Hannah will need to work quickly to solve the murder mystery and bring harmony back to the Amish community.

Genres: Christian, Mystery, Realistic Fiction 

Publication Date: December 6, 2014

Pages: 352

Series: Amish Village Mystery (book 2)

My Rating: 1.5 stars

 This was my first 'real' Amish fiction book. Aside from a few YA Amish titles, (I liked one, detested the other) I have never really thought that they would be my thing, but Amish + murder mystery seemed to be a bit more interesting than most Amish fiction. However, that didn't end up being the case. I rounded up my rating because I don't know if perhaps it's just that this genre isn't my thing and I don't want to be unfair in this review.

I'm afraid that this book was quite boring. Now, I didn't expect this book to be a chilling thriller. I's Amish fiction. But for a mystery, it wasn't even mysterious, and that was my problem.

First off, the characters. Wow, they were borrrrring. There was no personality with any of these people! Amber, Hannah, Jesse...they were very two dimensional and not very colorful as characters. They were the opposite of colorful. They were the bleakest, slush-coloured grey characters I have encountered in a long time.

The mystery...not a mystery at all, more like. First off, we get a few chapters from the murderer's POV, so there's no question that it is not one of the main or secondary characters. Second, there are no plot twists. Zip. Zilch. It's a very straightforward plot and you can see where it's going. Not fun. The end was very anti-climactic and nothing new was revealed.

And do Amish people only use Pennsylvania Dutch words that are cognates for the English translation? (I'm being sarcastic, of course, they don't.) No, so why are those the only kind that show up in this book? And why have a dictionary for them? I mean, I didn't even look at the dictionary, and I could definitely figure out that nein was no and bruder was brother. In fact, all the random sprinkling of Amish phrases actually annoyed me a bit.

Murder Tightly Knit has a bit of an ironic title since the whole murder unraveled pretty easily. I don't think I'll be trying Amish fiction for a very long time unless I have ran out of all other reading material.

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