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becke_davis
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Don't Miss: A PLAIN DISAPPEARANCE by Amanda Flower

[ Edited ]

A Plain Disappearance (Appleseed Creek Series #3)  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overview

 


USA Today recently hailed award-nominated author Amanda Flower for A Plain Death, calling it “the first Amish rom-com . . . bring on the next one!” As the enthusiastic reviews continue to mount, she’s back with her third Appleseed Creek mystery, A Plain Disappearance.

 

It’s Christmastime in Amish Country, and Chloe Humphrey has begun settling into her life in Appleseed Creek excited to see where her new relationship with Timothy Troyer will lead. Unfortunately it leads to murder when the couple discovers the body of Amish teenager Katie Lambright while on their first date.

 

Near the scene there is evidence that Timothy’s friend and auto mechanic Billy Thorpe is involved with the crime. The police reveal Billy is not really who he said he was and has been living the last decade in Knox County under a stolen alias. Now, Chloe and Timothy must find Billy, bring him to justice, or prove his innocence.

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Featured New Release: MURDER: PLAIN AND SIMPLE by Isabella Alan aka Amanda Flower

[ Edited ]

This week is a kind of Week of Cozy(ish) Crime, since we're spotlighting several cozy mysteries and cozy authors. Amanda Flower has visited with us before - here's the link:

 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Mystery/Please-Welcome-Featured-Author-AMANDA-FLOWER/m-p/1437...

 

Amanda's website is here:  http://www.amandaflower.com/

 

She blogs here: http://amandaflower.wordpress.com/

 

And here: http://www.killercharacters.com/

 

She's on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/authoramandaflower?fref=ts

 

She's on Pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/aflowerwriter/

 

And on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/aflowerwriter

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Re: Featured New Release: MURDER: PLAIN AND SIMPLE by Isabella Alan aka Amanda Flower

[ Edited ]

Amanda Flower, an Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes mysteries as Isabella Alan.

 

Murder, Plain and Simple (Amish Quilt Shop Series #1)  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plainly Murder  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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becke_davis
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Featured New Release: MURDER: PLAIN AND SIMPLE by Isabella Alan aka Amanda Flower

[ Edited ]
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becke_davis
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Re: Featured New Release: MURDER: PLAIN AND SIMPLE by Isabella Alan aka Amanda Flower

[ Edited ]
Meet Amanda @ an Upcoming Author Event

 


Super September 2013

A Plain Disappearance
 Release
September 1

Murder, Plain and Simple Release
writing as Isabella Alan
September 3

American Christian Fiction Writers Annual Conference
Indianapolis, IN
September 12-16

Annual Conference of Northern Ohio Chapter of Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
Cleveland, OH
September 21

Andi Unexpected Release
September 24

Twitter Chat about ANDI UNEXPECTED
September 24, 2-3pm

SUPER SEPTEMBER LAUNCH PARTY
Goodyear Heights Presbyterian Church, Akron, OH
September 28, 2-4pm

October 2013
Westerville Public Library
Amish Fiction Panel & Signing
Westerville, OH
October 3, 7pm

Danville Public Library, Book Talk
Danville, OH
October 5, TBA

Tallmadge Branch Library, Book Talk
Tallmadge, OH
October 7, 7pm

Granville Public Library, Book Talk
Granville, OH
October 26, 2pm

Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library, Book Talk
Stow, OH
October 28, 7pm

November 2013
Buckeye Book Fair
Wooster, OH
November 2, 10-4

Plain Community Branch Library, Book Talk
Canton, OH
November 16, 2pm

McKinley Memorial Library
event with Mary Ellis and Kathy Fuller
Niles, OH
November 23, 1pm

May 2014
Malice Domestic Convention
Bethesda, MD
May 1-4
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becke_davis
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Re: Featured New Release: MURDER: PLAIN AND SIMPLE by Isabella Alan aka Amanda Flower

[ Edited ]

Coming June 2014...
Murder, Simply Stitched


An Amish Auction turns deadly...

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becke_davis
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Re: Featured New Release: MURDER: PLAIN AND SIMPLE by Isabella Alan aka Amanda Flower

Murder, Plain and Simple (Amish Quilt Shop Series #1)  

 

Overview

 

 

First in a new series!

When Angela Braddock inherits her late aunt’s beautiful Amish quilt shop, she leaves behind her career and broken engagement for a fresh start in Holmes County, Ohio.
 
With her snazzy cowboy boots and her ornithophobic French bulldog, Angie doesn’t exactly fit in with the predominantly Amish community in Rolling Brook, but her aunt’s quilting circle tries to make her feel welcome as she prepares for the reopening of Running Stitch. 
 
On the big day, Angie gets a taste of success as the locals and Englisch tourists browse the store’s wares while the quilters stitch away. But when Angie finds the body of ornery Amish woodworker Joseph in her storeroom the next morning, everything starts falling apart.
 
With evidence mounting against her, Angie is determined to find the culprit before the local sheriff can arrest her. Rolling Brook always appeared to be a simple place, but the closer Angie gets to the killer, the more she realizes that nothing in the small Amish community is as plain as it seems....  

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becke_davis
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Re: Featured New Release: MURDER: PLAIN AND SIMPLE by Isabella Alan aka Amanda Flower

What People Are Saying

 
From the Publisher
 
"Isabella Alan captures Holmes County and the Amish life in a mystery that is nothing close to plain and simple, all stitched together with heart." –Avery Aames, Agatha Award-Winning author of the Cheese Shop mysteries

 

“Who can best run a quilt shop in Holmes County’s Amish country – an English outsider, or only the Amish themselves? With its vast cast of English and Amish characters in fictional Rolling Brook, Ohio, Isabella Alan’s Murder, Plain and Simple will be a dead certain hit with devotees of cozy mysteries.” –P.L. Gaus, author of the Amish Country mysteries 

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becke_davis
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Re: Featured New Release: MURDER: PLAIN AND SIMPLE by Isabella Alan aka Amanda Flower


becke_davis wrote:

Murder, Plain and Simple (Amish Quilt Shop Series #1)  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overview

 

 

First in a new series!

When Angela Braddock inherits her late aunt’s beautiful Amish quilt shop, she leaves behind her career and broken engagement for a fresh start in Holmes County, Ohio.
 
With her snazzy cowboy boots and her ornithophobic French bulldog, Angie doesn’t exactly fit in with the predominantly Amish community in Rolling Brook, but her aunt’s quilting circle tries to make her feel welcome as she prepares for the reopening of Running Stitch. 
 
On the big day, Angie gets a taste of success as the locals and Englisch tourists browse the store’s wares while the quilters stitch away. But when Angie finds the body of ornery Amish woodworker Joseph in her storeroom the next morning, everything starts falling apart.
 
With evidence mounting against her, Angie is determined to find the culprit before the local sheriff can arrest her. Rolling Brook always appeared to be a simple place, but the closer Angie gets to the killer, the more she realizes that nothing in the small Amish community is as plain as it seems....  

 

 


Stay tuned - I'll be posting an excerpt soon!

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maxcat
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Re: Featured New Release: MURDER: PLAIN AND SIMPLE by Isabella Alan aka Amanda Flower

I have read A Plain Death and it was very good. I will have to look into her newest book.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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becke_davis
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Re: Featured New Release: MURDER: PLAIN AND SIMPLE by Isabella Alan aka Amanda Flower

Excerpt: MURDER, PLAIN AND SIMPLE

An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery

By Isabella Alan

 

 

Chapter One

There it was—the empty white bakery box. Just the light dusting of powdered sugar surrounded it on the blond wood kitchen table in my new home in Holmes County, Ohio. A streak of red jelly ran along its side with my fingerprint perfectly preserved in raspberry red. It was a crime scene.

My stomach ached as I remembered the enormous jelly donut that had been inside the box. Did I really eat the entire thing? After weeks of starving myself for my big Texas wedding that was not to be, I’d gone on a bender. I shivered when I thought about the two-week juice cleanse. What a waste.

Oliver, my black-and-white French bulldog, whimpered.

I grabbed the box off the table and shoved it into the wastebasket under the sink. “Don’t judge. I was under extreme distress. Moving across the country is stressful, you know. Besides, lugging all the boxes into the house yesterday burned off the calories.”

He butted the back of my knee with his head as if he understood. My überathletic ex-fiancé, Ryan Dickinson, Esq., would not have been so sympathetic. But what Ryan thought shouldn’t matter to me now. Unfortunately, it did—a lot.

I wanted to lie on the couch and take a nap. I could blame it on carb overload, but I knew the true cause of my lethargy was fear. What was I doing in Ohio? I’d quit my well-paying advertising job in Dallas, Texas, to move to Amish Country. Was I crazy? Had I finally hit my quarter-life crisis at thirty-four, almost ten years late, or was I experiencing a midlife crisis a few years early? I couldn’t decide which of those would be worse.

On the heels of my broken engagement, I learned I’d inherited my Amish aunt’s quilt shop, Running Stitch. I saw the inheritance as a divine sign to get out of Texas.

Aunt Eleanor had not grown up Amish. She left her modern life when she fell in love with an Amish man. She gave up her culture to be baptized into the Amish church. The hopeless romantic in me wished someone would make such a sacrifice for me. Ryan could not. He’d called off the wedding because of “commitment issues.” After six years of dating and one year of being engaged, you’d think he’d have been over those.

As a young child, I’d spent countless hours at my aunt’s quilt shop, watching my aunt’s quilting circle and learning the craft myself. When I was ten years old, my father got a high-powered executive job and we moved to Dallas, Texas. Until I reached high school and became too preoccupied with my own life, I returned to HolmesCounty every summer to quilt with my aunt and tramp around the Ohio countryside with my childhood friend Jo-Jo. Even after I stopped visiting Ohio, I kept quilting and looked forward to my aunt’s letters, which always included a quilting tip or pattern inside. From hundreds of miles away, she continued to teach me the craft. I saw moving to Ohio as an opportunity to dedicate myself to the craft I loved. I may have thought this was an excellent idea, but my friends back in Dallas thought I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Standing in the middle of my Ohio kitchen, I wondered if they were right.

This called for the big guns—er—boots, I meant. I hurried through the small two-bedroom house I rented in Millersburg. I opened box after box until I finally found them, my cowboy boots.

The boots were made of aged leather and the yellow daisy and blue cornflower pattern was stitched along the side of the foot and up the calf. The fine hand stitching reminded me of Aunt Eleanor’s quilts. I think that’s what drew me to the boots in the first place. It certainly wasn’t the price, which had been a month’s worth of my advertising salary. I didn’t wear the boots often, only when I needed a boost of rawhide courage. Starting a brand-new career hundreds of miles away from any family and friends qualified.

Solemnly, Oliver watched me wrestle the boots onto my feet. He knew to respect the boots.

With the proper footwear intact, I felt ready to face the appointment that morning at my aunt’s shop—my shop. Running Stitch was in Rolling Brook, a small, mostly Amish town two miles south on Ohio’s Route 83, five minutes from my new home.

In front of Running Stitch, I climbed out of my small SUV to find my aunt’s lawyer, Harvey Lemontop, waiting for me on the sidewalk. Martha Yoder, who managed the shop during my aunt’s illness, was with him. Harvey was a short man and resembled a pillow with arms, the way his belly hung out over his belt. His dress shirt was open at the throat and his diamond-printed necktie hung crookedly from his neck.

Where Harvey was disheveled, Martha was neat as could be in a plain navy dress, crisp black apron, and white prayer cap. I parked diagonally in the spot directly in front of the quilt shop and climbed out of the car.

Oliver hopped onto the pavement with a solid thump. He cocked his head at me, showing off his large, batlike ears to their best advantage. They resembled antennae, one black and the other white, searching for a signal as they flicked back and forth.

The shop was on the center block of Sugartree Street, the main road going through Rolling Brook. Unlike Millersburg, which was dissected by Ohio 83 going north to south and Ohio 39 going east to west, Rolling Brook was off the state routes, so the traffic consisted of the Amish living nearby and English tourists. Running Stitch was a brick-faced shop that had been painted olive green. A darker green awning covered the entry. Several Amish-style quilts hung from quilt racks in the large picture window.

On the left side of Running Stitch was a bare redbrick woodworking shop. A fiftyish Amish man with a long gray beard was standing outside the shop, a black felt hat atop his head. His pose mimicked the life-sized black cutout lawn ornaments of Amish men I’d seen propped against trees and fences on my drive across Ohio’s countryside. I smiled at him, but he didn’t smile back.

“Ms. Braddock, I’m glad you made it here safely. How was your trip?” Harvey shook my hand. His was damp and reminded me of holding raw chicken.

“It was long but fine. Please, call me Angie.”

He nodded. “You remember Martha Yoder.”

“Yes, of course,” I said.

Martha examined my feet. “Those are some boots you got there. I haven’t seen anything like that before.”

“Don’t the farmers wear boots?” I asked.

“Work boots, sure, but nothing like those. Clearly, those boots are not for working.”

Was that a dig? I shook it off.

“Thank you so much for taking care of the shop while Aenti was ill.” I used the Pennsylvania Dutch word for “aunt.” “And for agreeing to stay on. I know I will need your help as I get started.”

Martha smoothed her hands over her apron. “It was my pleasure. I wished she had been well enough to visit the shop more often these last few months.”

Oliver barked a greeting. Ignoring Martha, he waddle-walked over to Harvey for a head scratch. The lawyer obliged, and Oliver shook his stubby tail in doggy glee.

Harvey motioned to the door. “Shall we go in?”

Martha unlocked the shop’s door. Inside, she flicked on the overhead lights, illuminating the store.

My eye was drawn to the half a dozen quilts, each one in the geometric color-blocked Amish style, hung on the plain whitewashed walls. Four of the six quilts I recognized as my aunt’s work. I walked over to the one closest to the front door and felt tiny stitches of the goosefoot-patterned quilt. Aunt Eleanor could fit as many as twenty stitches within an inch. Her stitches were far too tiny to count, but I knew they were there. A pang of sadness hit me, and I blinked rapidly.

“She did beautiful work,” Martha said.

I nodded and forced myself to look at the rest of the shop. There was one large room with a short hallway in the back, which led to the office, the restroom, and a small stockroom. Beside the stockroom, a door opened into the fenced backyard. I stepped across the wide-planked oak floors to a short wooden counter that sat at the front of the shop with a cash register. I ran my hand along its smooth surface and came back with fingers covered in a thin film of dust. Oliver’s toenails clicked across the floor. I thought of Aunt Eleanor’s welcoming smile and sure fingers as her needle worked its way in and out of a quilt. She never dropped a stitch and never scolded me when I did.

In the far corner, a quilt frame, which looked like a huge picture frame on its side balanced several feet above the floor by two sturdy table legs, held a four-patch quilt. Metal clamps grasped the four corners of the quilt tightly to the frame, so the fabric wouldn’t bunch up and the stitches would be flat and precise. The frame was pulled only four feet out from the middle of the quilt pattern. As the quilters moved out from center, the frame could be adjusted to grow wider and wider to the full size of the quilt. At the moment, the quilt was only half-finished. A light layer of dust coated the exposed fabric. On the wall opposite the cash register, shelving ran the entire length of the room. The shelves held bolts of dark fabric. On the opposite wall was the fabric to appeal to English shoppers. There were pastels, flower patterns, stripes, and bright colors.

Beyond the stockroom, I opened the door to the tiny backyard. Oliver made a beeline for an azalea bush. The yard was at a slant, as Rolling Brook was on a hillside. My aunt had planted a small garden there. It would need some weeding, but the gladiolas, hollyhocks, and other late summer flowers flourished. I had a clear view of the green rolling hills and an Amish farm about a mile away. A tiny farmer hitched his horses to a buggy. Although I’d lived in Millersburg as a child, standing in my aunt’s garden was the first time I realized how beautiful this part of the country was. As a kid, I’d taken its beauty for granted. This was the first time I really saw it with my adult eyes.

I tried to picture Ryan Dickinson, my former fiancé, standing next to me. In my mind’s eye, I put him—with his fancy suits and expensive European leather shoes—into life in Rolling Brook. It didn’t work. Ryan, an up-and-coming attorney, was a Dallas boy born and bred. He loved the traffic, fast pace, and intensity of the city. Nothing about Rolling Brook was intense. I smiled to myself. The only way I could be there at that moment was alone, and I realized being alone wasn’t such a bad thing. Maybe the un-Ryan-ness of Rolling Brook was its true appeal. Then again, it might have been the boots working their magic.

Harvey stepped into the garden and stood beside me. He wiped his brow with a blue handkerchief.

“It’s beautiful,” I said, motioning to the view.

He smiled and a dimple appeared on his left cheek. “It is.”

A cardinal landed on the wooden fence surrounding the garden. Oliver yipped and dashed under the closest bush, which was a little too small for him, leaving his hindquarters exposed. He held his black stubby tail completely still, as if he thought the cardinal wouldn’t see him if he didn’t move. I didn’t bother to tell him it was a bird, not a tyrannosaurus. My Frenchie suffered from ornithophobia. We’d sought treatment from acupuncture to hypnotism. Nothing had worked.

“Is your dog okay?” Harvey asked.

“He’s fine,” I assured him.

He cleared his throat. “Are you sure you want to take the shop on, Ms. Braddock? It’s a big job. I can still help you sell it if you’ve changed your mind.”

I smiled at him. “I thought I told you to call me Angie.”

The small lawyer blushed. “Yes, you did. I’m sorry, Ms.—I mean—Angie.”

“There’s nothing to be sorry for. As for your question, my answer is yes. I do want to run the shop. I haven’t been so sure of something in a long time.”

“What’s wrong with your dog?” Martha joined us and handed me a set of keys.

“He’s afraid of birds,” I said casually as if this were a normal canine problem.

She laughed. “Ach, he’s going to see a lot more of those in HolmesCounty.”

That was my fear. The cardinal hopped along the fence as if he knew. Poor Oliver. His transition to country life was going to be much more difficult than mine.

“Can the cowgirl run the quilt shop?” Martha sounded dubious.

I shook the keys in my hand. “She’s willing to try. The shop is perfect.”

“Only the gut Lord is perfect.” She winked at me. “But we’ll get as close as we can. Now, you’d better saddle up. There’s a lot of work to be done.”

I cocked an eyebrow at her. “How do you know all these cowboy expressions?”

She grinned. “I may have watched a Western or two during my rumspringa.”

The boots bolstered my courage. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Yes, of course.”

“The man standing outside the woodworking shop, who is he?”

Harvey’s dimple disappeared. “You must mean Joseph Walker. He owns that shop and makes the best wooden furniture in the county. I have a few of his pieces in my home.”

“He seemed . . .” I searched for the right word. “. . . cold.”

Harvey laughed nervously. “Oh, I’d hoped that we could talk about Joseph later.”

Martha folded her arms. “You may as well tell her. She needs to be prepared.”

“Prepared?” I looked from one to the other. “Prepared for what?”

Harvey pulled at his tie. “He claims he owns Running Stitch.”

I waved my hands in the air. “Wait, roll back, what?”

“He has a fifty-year-old deed for the property with his father’s name on it. It clearly states the Walkers are the owners.”

“Then my aunt and uncle must have bought the shop from Joseph’s father at some point. Where is my aunt’s deed to prove Joseph wrong?”

Harvey swallowed. “That’s the problem. We can’t find it anywhere.”

 

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Re: Featured New Release: MURDER: PLAIN AND SIMPLE by Isabella Alan aka Amanda Flower

And here's another excerpt!

 

A Plain Disappearance

An Appleseed Creek Mystery

By Amanda Flower

 

Excerpt from Chapter Two

 

 

Timothy knelt on the ground beside the buried body. He shoveled snow away with his gloved hands, revealing a girl’s head and neck. The black bonnet confirmed what I thought the moment we saw the hand: She was Amish and young. Her face was like a porcelain doll’s—flawless skin and fine-boned much like the hand. It was lovely except for the otherworldly bluish tint to it. Timothy placed a finger to her neck. I knew what he would say even before he opened his mouth. No one that blue could still be here on earth.

Timothy dropped his hand to his side and sat back on his feet. “She’s dead.”

I removed my cell phone from deep in my parka’s inner pocket and dialed a number with which I was all too familiar.

Chief Rose answered on the first ring. “What is it, Humphrey? Did you run into Fanning and Buckley?” She asked this in her typi­cally terse fashion.

I closed my eyes. Curt Fanning and Brock Buckley, a couple of local thugs, had spent the last few months harassing me and the entire Troyer family. Could they have had something to do with the Amish girl’s death? I winced from the stab of a headache coming on.

In the background, I heard laughter, conversation, and Christmas music playing. Was the Appleseed Creek Chief of Police at a holiday party? I found it startling to think Chief Rose had a life outside of her job, which she seemed to live, breathe, and eat. At least until I heard the background music playing through my phone.

“Are you still there?” she asked.

I removed my Fair Isle hat and pressed the phone closer to my ear. “Yes. I’m still here. We have a problem, and it doesn’t involve Curt and Brock. At least, I don’t think it does.”

“I’m not going to like this, am I? Whatever this is, it’s going to cause me to leave this party, isn’t it?”

“I’m afraid so.”

“Where are you?” Sharpness in her voice replaced the sarcasm.

“Um.” I lowered the phone just a tad. “Timothy, where are we?”

He stood and held out his hand for the phone. I gave it to him and listened while he described our location and the sad discovery.

Mabel’s growling stopped. She walked over to me and leaned against my leg with a whimper. I dug my fingers into the curly fur on the top of her head. “You did good, girl.”

I turned my eyes away from the girl’s face then. She was so young—just a teenager—a life cut short. I swallowed the lump in my throat.

Timothy handed the phone back to me. “It’s going to take Greta and her officers a little while to reach us. Also, depending on the location, the sheriff and some deputies may have to be rounded up too. I don’t know if this property falls within the limits of Appleseed Creek.”

I couldn’t look at the blue face, so I concentrated on the hand. “Do you know her?”

Timothy grimaced. “Ya,” he said, using the Pennsylvania Dutch word. He was more likely to pepper his English speech with his first language when he was around his family or when he was upset. At this moment, it was the latter.

“Who is she?”

He walked over to stand next to Mabel and me. “Katie Lambright.”

Katie Lambright. I rolled the name around in my head. I didn’t remember meeting a Katie since moving to the county, but my stomach dropped. I did know a Lambright. Anna Lambright was Timothy’s thirteen-year-old sister, Ruth’s, best friend. I prayed I was wrong. “Is she related to Anna?”

He turned to me, tears in his eyes. “Katie was Anna’s older sister.”

Ruth and Anna had only recently been allowed to see each other again. The bishop and the deacon had punished the Troyer family for continuing contact with Timothy and Becky, who left the Amish way, by forbidding Anna to interact with Ruth. The separation had hurt Ruth deeply and almost ruined their friendship. However, when the bishop changed his mind and saw there was no harm in the Troyers interacting with their English children, Ruth’s father had relented.

This tragedy could sever their friendship again—especially since Timothy and I were the ones to discover Katie’s body.

Timothy strode around the corner of the barn.

Mabel and I hurried after him. “What are you doing?”

He slowed just long enough to glance at us over his shoulder. “I want to take a look around before Greta arrives.”

The barn door stood halfway open and hung awkwardly from its hinges. A drift of snow four feet high blocked the doorway. Undeterred, Timothy stepped into the snow drift and sunk up to his thighs. He turned his head. “Mabel, stay.”

The brown and black dog sat with a whine.

Timothy’s steps broke a path into the barn that I was able to follow. The drift was deep but not long. It extended perhaps four feet into the huge expanse of the barn.

Inside the barn was dark, but the gaping hole in the roof worked as a sky light. We stood and let our eyes adjust. The items inside of the barn were what I expected to find: piles of old boards, rusty nails sticking out of the pillars, and grungy wagon wheels. Nothing was of any interest or relation to Katie Lambright, who lay dead on the other side of the barn wall.

Light from the hole in the roof reflected off the metal surface at the back of the building. Without discussion, Timothy and I moved toward the reflection.

The source of the light was a rearview car mirror sticking out of a blue milk crate. The crate was half-covered with an enormous blue tarp. Timothy pulled back the tarp, revealing dozens, maybe hundreds, of automobile parts from steering wheels to spark plugs. Ten tire irons were piled in a stack. “Looks like someone used this old barn for extra storage.”

“Is that allowed?”

He shook his head. “Not without the permission of the owner.”

“Who is somewhere in Colorado.”

“Right.”

“Maybe all this belonged to the Gundys.”

Timothy shook his head. “They’re Amish.”

The sound of snowmobiles broke into the tranquil quiet of the frozen farmland. Chief Rose and her posse were coming.

Timothy turned. “We’d better step outside. Greta won’t like it if she finds us in here.”

“She’ll know we were. We can’t really hide all the tracks we made in the snow.”

Timothy shoved his hands into his pockets. “You’re right.”

I scanned the car parts one last time because I knew Chief Rose would never allow me to snoop in the barn after she arrived. I gasped and stared at one of the mirrors.

Timothy touched my arm. “Chloe, what is it?”