Separate from the World: An Amish-Country Mystery
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Separate from the World: An Amish-Country Mystery (Ohio Amish Mystery #6)

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  185 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Enos Erb, an Amish man, claims that his brother, -benny, -a dwarf like himself- has been murdered. Upon investigation, links to a controversial genetics study examining the effects of inbreeding within the Amish community are uncovered-a study in which both Enos and benny had participated.
ebook, 224 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Plume Books (first published July 8th 2008)
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When I started this series, I really enjoyed the characters. Obviously, or I wouldn't have read this any books. It seems like we hit a bump a couple of books ago, and this series hasn't been as good. This one was just meh. But I kept reading for the characters. One of the best things about this series is the fact that I see the Amish as having their own problems that are separate for the English.
Gaus lives amongst the Amish - and it shows, unlike other books purporting to portray them. The academic atmosphere and the mystery aren't bad either. I am glad that these books keep getting written and published. Really glad to see the audio version available.
Rachel Henderson
This book had a good story line. However, I had no idea this was part of a series. Nowhere in or on this book did it say this was not a stand alone book. Because of this, I was very confused as to why a college professor and a preacher would even be allowed to be in on a criminal investigation, even if they were the sheriff's best friends. I found this very irritating, as this is just not believable in the real world. Also, I find it confusing when the author is conveying two characters's though...more
This was different from most Amish novels I have read. Most are not mystery novels. I am going to have to look for more of these books!
If you switched Agatha Christie over a century and placed her in the middle of Amish country you would have “Separate from the World”, it is that type of a cozy.
Here you have Professor Michael Branden, teacher at a small town college and a native of the area, who has been best friends with the local sheriff, Bruce Robertson, since grade school. Along with another grade school buddy, Caleb Troyer, the local pastor, the trio becomes this group of investigators in a series of books that Gaus gives...more
People who are trustworthy tend to be trusting of others, sometimes when they shouldn’t be. This premise is evident in the plot of this tale. A split in the Amish community seems inevitable as people takes sides either for against a scientific study that could help prevent genetic birth defects. Students at a nearby college worked on such studies for their senior theses, interviewing Amish in the community. An Amish dwarf falls from a ladder, an accident that his brother says is murder. A coed f...more
Larry Hostetler
Had the first half of the book been as good as the second half, I would have given the book at least a 4-star rating. A quick read, I finished the last half of the book in a couple of hours.

Murder among the Amish is a difficult setting to make believable, but Gaus is able to do so. Unfortunately I found myself on several occasions wondering who edited the book, and why they missed some duplicate conversations that also didn't ring true to the setting and the characters.

A good plot with a compe...more
While Gaus does an interesting job intersecting the Amish and English lives in a fairly dry, academic way; the essence of the book - a murder mystery - reads rather like an elementary paint-by-numbers exercise, with the level of skill, excitement and depth you could expect from viewing such a painting.

It was all a bit two-dimensional and dull.

Its not that the writing was bad; or the plot was horrible; but there wasn't anything original about it. When you can puzzle out in your head when the cr...more
This book was a good mix of the Amish Culture and a mystery that involved drugs. The kids involved were involved in the Amish rite of passage, Rumshpringe where they can cast of their Amish clothing, shave their beards, and spend time experiencing the "English" way of life. Three of the kids come up missing and one is discoverd dead and they don't know who killed him. The Amish people find they were using GPS units and pay as you go cell phones, etc.

The mystery does get solved, we find out what...more
I won a copy of an advance uncorrected proof from the author. The book is well written, well thought out, and in the end the story was finished with all of the loose ends tied up. I never knew that the Amish may have a problem with their inbreeding causing health problems. That was a good part of the story involved with the Amish in this mystery. The inbredding as they don't marry outside of their group, caused problems such as dwarfism and other problems.

I don't want to give away the premise o...more
This book was a good mystery and the style of writing was well done. I like the short chapters because it was easier to follow the details of the mystery. It takes place in Ohio near Wooster with the contrast of Amish life and intellectual life. If you enjoy mysteries I believe you will enjoy this book.
I read books with an Amish background if they seem authentic and have plots that raise interesting issues. This is the first book I've read by P. L. Gaus. It had more German than I normally see in an Amish themed novel written by an Englisher. The only lapse from authenticity that bothered me in this book was an Amish man using Englisher slang regarding sex. I can see him knowing sexual slang from Rumspringer, but not actually using the slang in ordinary conversation. I didn't abandon the book a...more
I bought this book at the airport after I finished the book I had brought with me and after I was told my flight would be delayed for several hours. I ended looking at this book because I liked the cover, but then bought it because the book jacket described it as a mystery that tied in genetic research on the Amish. I found the writing, at least at first, a little sparse. There were a lot of characters and not much detail about or depth to them; perhaps if I had read the earlier books in the ser...more
This was entertaining and a very fast read but not very believable. The bad guy was TOO bad; there were no layers to him. I don't believe that he would have committed the crimes he did based on the motive given in this book. And the end scene seemed very cliched to me. I feel like I've read that same climax scene in a dozen other (although not Amish) mystery stories. Also, there was a bit of a disconnect for me since I didn't read the first books in this series - I have no idea why this professo...more
I will preface this review by saying that I am not a fan of crime stories in general. At best I usually only give crime stories 3 stars. I received this book for free so I thought that I would give it a try.

Immediately when I picked up this book I knew that I wouldn’t enjoy this story. The voice of the narrative was just not for me. I also found the idea of Amish crime a little bit unbelievable. I know that it has happened in the past but it just lacked authenticity.

I could only suggest you re...more
Lois Fisher
This book kept me spellbound throughout the book. Sara Yoder learned that danger can lurk in freedom's shadow. John Schlabaugh and Yoder--Sara's friends and fellow travelers on the Amish rite of passage, Rumschpringe, or wild days--are missing. Worried, she calls Pastor Cal Troyer for help. Then Sara also disappears, and Troyer, along with his old friend Professor Michael Branden and Sheriff Bruce Robertson, must race against the clock to find a murderer and break a ruthless drug ring operating...more
I really was not a fan of this book and the only reason it got 2 stars instead of 1 is because it was so bad, I have kept thinking about it for two days after I finished reading it. The characters were one-dimensional and boring. The dialogue was unbelievable and stale. The mystery wasn't very intriguing, seemed to be based on too ridiculous of a motive, and the only twist at the end was that there WAS no twist. I don't get Amish people and this book certainly didn't make them any more understan...more
Tha best yet!
Liked this book as much as the first one in the series. Better story in this one than in the other books. But the author refers to each character by one of 3 "names" job title (professor, sheriff, deputy, Bishop, etc...), first name, or last name. Last names could also be a first name (Brandon, Neal, etc....), so it's confusing as to which character is speaking. The author should choose one of those 3 "names," and stick to using that one. PL Gaus's editor isn't doing a good job on this.
Marsha Moyer
I really enjoyed this one.
It's a good page turner, but not very deep. The setting is quite real, I can tell you, because I have driven those country roads many times and can attest to their beautiful simplicity. It was interesting to read such gruesome fiction set in that lovely location. The characters are one-dimensional and the story is a tad weak. The NRA would love the ending.
Not quite what I expected. I thought it would be more about the Amish. They were a minor part of story. It was a little slow and confusing with the number of characters... but I made it through. I may try another in the series to see if it's the way it goes or was a fluke. (Maybe I'll go read Fluke, again... I loved that book!)
I thought that it was going to be a thrilling Amish mystery. It was a slow story that had a background story intermingled with an Amish community. Short read that was clean in language and scenes which was nice for a change. Won't read the whole series though.
Having lived among the Amish, in a small private college town with privileged rich students - but not in Ohio made this book all the more believable and enjoyable.
It was a relatively interesting read but I think I may have enjoyed it more if I had read the previous books. I found the plotting slightly clunky.
It was very good. I enjoyed it the best of all of his books. Definitely worth reading, but you should read some of the earlier ones first.
John Hanscom
Probably more like 4 1/2. I have now read all 7 books in the series, and this one was probably the best.
I had just been to Millersburg so this book held my interest.
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Paul L. Gaus writes The Amish-Country Mysteries, set authentically in the Amish settlements of Holmes County, Ohio. Three life-long friends - Professor Michael Branden, Sheriff Bruce Robertson, and Pastor Caleb Troyer - work sometimes together and other times at crossed purposes to solve mysteries involving the often inscrutable Amish sects of the region. The rich cast of English characters includ...more
More about P.L. Gaus...
Blood of the Prodigal (Ohio Amish Mystery, #1) Broken English (Ohio Amish Mystery, #2) Clouds Without Rain (Ohio Amish Mystery, #3) A Prayer for the Night (Ohio Amish Mystery, #5) Cast A Blue Shadow (Ohio Amish Mystery, #4)

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