Bea 's Reviews > Hearse and Buggy

Hearse and Buggy by Laura Bradford
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jan 05, 2013

liked it
bookshelves: library-book, action-mystery-thriller, read-in-2013
Read from January 26 to 30, 2013

I didn't love this book but I did enjoy it and I expect I'll read the next one. I'm curious to see how she handles this series. It's set in a town called Heavenly, a small rural town right next door to an Amish community. It's mentioned in the book that the last murder was 16 years ago so I can't see the setting being fertile ground for a viable murder mystery series. Also, it's my understanding that crime within Amish communities is low; now, crimes committed against the Amish are higher, though I don't know actual numbers. If the author incorporates other kinds of mysteries, that would be the better road although, again, the setting doesn't really lend itself to an ongoing mystery series.

I liked how respectful the author was concerning the Amish; this was not the tourist, "oh aren't they special", approach. Bradford takes the time to show the Amish characters in the story as individuals, as people, and she's respectful of their way of life. Several times the main character, Claire, has to bite her tongue and remind herself that just because it's not her way of life, that doesn't make it wrong.

Claire is likable. She's been getting over a divorce, and made major changes to her life; moving from New York City to this small town in rural Pennsylvania, moving in with her aunt and helping her run a B&B, and opening her own store.

That store was previously owned by a man who took advantage of the Amish and then ran away with their money. He was threatened publicly by one of the Amish, a young man named Eli, who has trouble controlling his temper. That difficulty causes problems for him within his Amish community. When the man who stole from them turns up dead, Eli is the first suspect for his murder.

Bradford introduces further complications with a new police detective who grew up in that Amish community and then left it to become a police officer. He's shunned by the Amish community which makes it difficult for him to conduct his investigation. Additionally, he and Claire and drawn to each other and, to complicate things further, Claire is also drawn to a widower, Benjamin, but he's Amish and Claire doesn't see herself converting nor Benjamin leaving.

"Hearse and Buggy" is a murder mystery, a romance (there are several), and a story of self-discovery. A little slow at times, Bradford weaves the story lines together and pulls off the different mysteries going on in a quiet, meandering yet intriguing fashion. There's a substance to the story that some cozy mysteries don't have while it still retains that cozy feel. If you want a smart, complex yet cozy story, give this a try.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Hearse and Buggy.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

01/28/2013 page 60
show 1 hidden update…

No comments have been added yet.