HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Blessings in Disguise: Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries, Book 1
Author: Nancy Mehl
Publisher: Guideposts Books and International Media, 2015
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 12 and up
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Mehl, Nancy. Blessings in Disguise: Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries, Book 1 (published in 2015 by Guideposts Books and International Media, 110 William St., New York City, NY 10038). Thirty year old Cheryl Cooper, fresh from just having her wedding called off by her longtime fiancé Lance, leaves her banking job in Columbus, Ohio, to her aunt’s a gift shop, the Swiss Miss, in Sugarcreek, while her Aunt Mitzi fulfills an overseas missionary call. Strange things begin to happen. While investigating the corn maze next to her shop, she overhears a man’s menacing voice making serious threats to kill a woman. Items not in her inventory appear on the shelves for sale. She finds an ominous note telling her to keep quiet. Then she learns that there is a woman named Abby in town who is hiding with some friends to escape her abusive husband.
Naomi Miller is an Amish woman in Sugarcreek who supplies the Swiss Miss with homemade treats, and Cheryl becomes really good friends with her and her thirty year old stepson Levi. There are three men in town whose backgrounds are unknown. One is a new tour bus driver. The next claims to be the brother of the corn maze operator. And the last is someone wanting to buy a store in Sugarcreek. Is one of them the abusive husband who is looking for his wife? Can Cheryl and her friends use their detective work get to the bottom of this matter, or are they putting their lives in danger? And what will happen to Abby? Blessings in Disguise is book #1 in the “Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries from Guideposts.
We have read two other Guideposts mystery series, the “Mysteries of Sparrow Island” set in the San Juan Islands of Washington state, and “Mystery and the Minister’s Wife” which takes place in the mountains of Tennessee. Guideposts books are generally wholesome. The mysteries have a great deal of suspense but omit unnecessary violence, bad language, and other objectionable features. Families, while having normal disagreements, are portrayed as loving one another and wanting to work together rather than dysfunctional and forever at each other’s throats. And there is always an underlying emphasis on trusting in God. Anyone who enjoys reading fiction that is set among the Amish should like these books. The next volume in the series is Where Hope Dwells by Elizabeth Ludwig.
Where Hope Dwells: Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries, Book 2 (2015) by Elizabeth Ludwig
The Buggy Before the Horse: Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries, Book 3 (2015) by Tricia Goyer