A quiet Amish community is thrown for a loop when a young Amish man comes to his Bishop early one morning and announces that he has killed a man. Bishop Shetler is not sure what to say, no one had ever heard of an Amish murderer. The Amish were peaceful people and not prone to anger and definitely not violence.
Glenn Spiegle was one of the English and had recently come to the Amish community wanting a new life and became Amish. Crist Burkholder is a young Amish man in love with his sweetheart and hoping to marry her. Unfortunately, her father has other plans for her, ones that will make him more profitable. Her father plans for her to marry Glenn Spiegle, against her wishes.
Crist and Vesta decide to run off together and leave the Amish way of life behind so they can get away from her father, and be able to be together. Unfortunately, on the morning of their running away Crist has a run in with Glenn and Glenn tells him he will die if he doesn't marry Vesta and offers to pay Crist a lot of money if he will let Vesta marry him. Crist gets upset when Glenn throws the money in the trunk of he car that Crist has bought to take him and Vesta away and he punches Glenn. Glenn falls down and doesn't get back up. Crist doesn't know what to do, so he runs to his Bishop to tell him of his crime and come clean.
So with Crist admitting murder the Sherriff in the town has no other choice but to place him under arrest during the investigation. The whole Amish community is stunned, there is no way one of their own could have killed a man.
In comes Professor Mike Branden and his friend the pastor to save the day again and unravel another mystery. They both believe, as do the Amish that there is no way that an Amish man could kill someone. This adventure takes them all the way from the quiet town in Ohio to Florida to unravel a mystery that has been brewing for several years before and started with an accident in Florida that killed a teenage girl.
So can the professor and pastor come to the rescue of their friends the Amish, and help unravel this mystery and save an Amish man from a hard life in prison for a crime he couldn't possibly have committed? Will Vesta and Crist finally be able to be together as they want and have a happy life together? You will be hanging on until the last page to find out.
I really love this series. I live in Ohio and have Amish communities that are all around me, so I love reading about these steadfast, hardworking, and peaceful people. There is a lot I think we can learn from them, if we only slow down enough to listen.
I hope this author keeps writing the stories, and I will definitely be one to keep reading them.
As he goes about his milking chores on a cold October morning, Bishop Leon Shetler daydreams of escaping the Ohio winter and taking a bus to the Pinecraft Amish community in Florida for a vacation. His reverie is suddenly interrupted when young Crist Burkholder enters the barn, head down, hat in hand, to make a confession. “I just killed Glenn Spiegle.”
“An Amish murderer?” Sheriff Robertson asks when he arrives on the scene. “Who will believe that?” But Burkholder is adamant about his guilt, fueled by the passion of his love for Vesta Miller, the young woman both he and Spiegle so desperately wanted to marry.
No sooner does the sheriff start his investigation than he learns of two more murders in the Pinecraft community, and a startling connection is made. There’s no way around it—Professor Mike Branden will have to put his research trip on hold and, along with detective Ricky Niell, travel south to investigate. There they discover the disturbing truth about Spiegle’s conversion to the Amish faith and the reason for the long-smoldering hatred that has reached into the secluded pastoral valleys of Holmes County.
In Harmless as Doves, P. L. Gaus takes the action to Florida in one of the most exciting mysteries in the series. This is Gaus at his best.