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Clouds Without Rain by P.L. Gaus

Books about the Amish seems to be popular these days. Yet another to be published is P.L. Gaus’Clouds Without Rain: An Amish Country Mystery, number three in the series. The author draws his readers deeply into the unfamiliar world of the Amish in Holmes County, Ohio, mostly through the eyes of college professor Michael Branden.

Branden, newly deputized to the Holmes County sheriff’s department, gives every appearance of being Amish. His assignment is to act as a decoy in Sheriff Bruce Robertson’s investigation of a series of robberies among the Amish. Then his undercover work is interrupted by a horrific accident. An Amish buggy has collided with an 18-wheeler with catastrophic results. Sheriff Robertson is seriously injured while attempting to save the life of one of his officer’s, also involved in the accident. Was it really an accident?

Branden and Pastor Cal Troyer need information from the Amish community if they are to determine how the crash is connected with a series of disturbing events, including a buggy horse shot dead, a bank official gone missing, and land swindles involving unscrupulous developers, one of whom has close ties to an Amish bishop.

Gaus illuminates Amish culture with his series. Who are the Amish, and why do they hold themselves apart from the rest of the world? What is it like to live Amish, think Amish, and pray Amish? Why do they shun the conveniences of the modern world and live simply, farming the old ways, traveling by horse and buggy, and worshiping privately? Gaus examines culture in the context of a murder investigation, set authentically among one of the most peaceful peoples of the world. He also shows how modern conveniences are seeping into Amish culture and the tension that creates between sects.

The story is well structured and plotted and will hold readers’ interests from beginning to end.

~Ginny

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