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

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3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  303 Ratings  ·  48 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 January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Bobbi
Sep 25, 2012 Bobbi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-read, mystery


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.
Debra
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.
Lori
May 29, 2012 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Connie
Jul 07, 2015 Connie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good story although it took me awhile to get into it for some reason. I liked it though.
John Hanscom
Jun 03, 2013 John Hanscom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably more like 4 1/2. I have now read all 7 books in the series, and this one was probably the best.
Mark
Jan 07, 2011 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mark
Jan 17, 2016 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you switched Agatha Christie over a century and placed her in the middle of Amish country you would have 1CSeparate from the World 1D, 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 gi
...more
Janice
The 6th book in the Ohio Amish mystery series. I've been wishing from the start that the story writing by Gaus would improve because I love the local scenery and his writing of all things Amish, but after reading the last one (#5) I didn't have much hope of them getting any better and wasn't even sure if I would read the last one I had sitting here. Imagine my surprise when I decided to read it so I could give them back to my friend on her next visit, and I found this last book to be really real ...more
Mayda
Mar 18, 2012 Mayda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, amish, christian
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
Sarah
Jun 11, 2011 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Brenda
Mar 11, 2011 Brenda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Larry Hostetler
Jul 13, 2013 Larry Hostetler rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
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
Brenda
Feb 20, 2011 Brenda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Shomeret
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
Erica
Nov 16, 2008 Erica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
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
Rachel
May 13, 2014 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sharon
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
Erin Caldwell
Feb 20, 2009 Erin Caldwell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Amanda
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
Sue
Jul 19, 2016 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
Well, not a typical book about the Amish, at least. It was easy to listen to since the action was continuous and multidirectional and unpredictable. I think it was the marriage of the mundane with the impossible that kept me interested but skeptical. Overall, the plot was implausibly tightly constructed. I never quite understood the motivation of the bad guy, his smoothness, his sheer luck. It seemed glaring that one character had no obvious recovery time from a concussion--a good example of how ...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
Sandy
Apr 27, 2012 Sandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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"...by 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.
Adrienne
Jun 09, 2016 Adrienne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I’m enjoying listening to this mystery series, set in Ohio Amish country. It’s read by George Newbern whose voice I love. Although the stories are set around Amish life and mores, they contain quite a few “English” characters who are involved in the mysteries – police chief, university professor and his wife, and the coroner (who happens to be married to the police chief). A good, light mystery.

Candace Haskell
Jan 23, 2016 Candace Haskell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-books-read
I felt like this was part of a series where the main investigators back stories had already been revealed in previous books. They seemed 2 dimensional to me - as were the flatly rendered Amish characters. The author doesn't seem to have much love for the Amish and that was sad to me. They are a beautiful people.
Rick
Jan 06, 2013 Rick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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.
Karen
May 20, 2012 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
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!)
Georgia
Feb 16, 2014 Georgia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
KDawn
Feb 22, 2015 KDawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My only complaint with this book? Everyone says everyone else's name multiple times in conversations. I only know two people who do that in real life and it's not very realistic...and frankly, it got terribly annoying. Otherwise? I like Gaus's stories a lot.
Wendy
Mar 26, 2011 Wendy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Rachel
May 07, 2016 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book as an audiobook, and I really enjoyed it. I have not read or listened to any of this author's other Amish mysteries, but the plot and characters were full of surprise and depth, which I really liked. Overall, I would recommend it to others.
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159024
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...

Other Books in the Series

Amish-Country Mysteries (9 books)
  • Blood of the Prodigal (Ohio Amish Mystery, #1)
  • Broken English (Ohio Amish Mystery, #2)
  • Clouds Without Rain (Ohio Amish Mystery, #3)
  • Cast A Blue Shadow (Ohio Amish Mystery, #4)
  • A Prayer for the Night (Ohio Amish Mystery, #5)
  • Harmless as Doves: An Amish-Country Mystery
  • The Names of Our Tears (Amish-Country Mystery, #8)
  • Whiskers of the Lion: An Amish-Country Mystery

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