Suspendered SentenceSuspendered Sentence by Laura Bradford is the fourth book in the “Amish” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, March 2015

The national bestselling author of Shunned and Dangerous returns to the Amish community of Heavenly, Pennsylvania, where shop owner Claire Weatherly has come to appreciate a simpler, more peaceful way of life. But dark secrets are about to complicate things—and lead to murder.

After the Stoltzfus barn catches fire, Claire is awed by the response of the community. Hundreds of Amish men gather together to raise a new barn for the family in a matter of days. But in the midst of the work, a human skeleton is unearthed. Found with the remains is half of a friendship bracelet last seen on Sadie Lehman, an Amish teen long believed to have left her strict upbringing for the allure of English ways.

Now Detective Jakob Fisher—once a member of the Amish community himself—is determined to solve the young woman’s murder. With Claire’s help, he must dig into the past and bring to light long-buried secrets—secrets that someone is willing to kill to protect.

This was a very enjoyable read that quickly consumed my waking hour from beginning to end. The mystery stirred up so much emotion that it was hard to put down as this character-driven drama placed me in the shoes of our heroine, Claire. The author did a great job in the telling of this tale, having me gasped at just the right moments with my query as to how this will all play out with some surprising twists as to the culpability of those involved. The angst of the main character was well played as I had those same thoughts myself and I liked how the author let us see two sides to the dilemma. Laura Bradford is a gifted author whose words transfixed me with a sweet and tender reading experience that left me with a yearning to move to Heavenly, Pennsylvania. This was the best one yet in this delightfully heart-warming and charming series and I look forward to more adventures with Claire, Jakob and her friends.

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