Tuesday, April 3, 2012




Can two young people survive the suspicions of their friends and neighbors when tragedy strikes a close-knit Amish community?

Perry Borntrager had been missing for months from the quiet Amish community of Crittenden, Kentucky, when his body is discovered at the bottom of an abandoned well. The first death from mysterious circumstances in more than two decades brings the scrutiny of the outside world: A police detective arrives to help the local sheriff with the investigation. His questioning begins with Lydia Plank, Perry’s former girlfriend, and Perry’s best friend, the Englischer Walker Anderson.

Lydia and Walker know they didn’t have anything to do with Perry’s death, but they both hold secrets about his final days. Do they dare open up about the kind of man Perry had become? In the oppressive shadow of these dark times, they discover strength in a most unlikely companionship: one that offers solace, understanding, and the promise of something more.

My Review:

This is an Amish story with a refreshing twist. In fact -- it's not just an Amish story since half the characters are Englisch, but they all have something in common -- a sense of something missing in their lives. That's a very clever tie-in to the title and the overall theme for the book.

Told from multiple viewpoints gives the reader a sense of kinship with a whole town. And Gray has also added brilliant character quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Most of the quotes are opinions expressed about the murdered man, Perry Borntrager which ups the intrigue both about Perry's last days and the complicated relationships he's left behind.

At the heart of book one of The Secret of Crittenden County series is the tenuous friendship/burgeoning romance between Walker and Lydia. Bound by the secrets they share, they form an uneasy alliance that spirals into a complicated relationship that leaves them both confused.  A wonderful basis from which to grow an angsty romance!

While there isn't complete resolution at the end of Missing, there is enough to satisfy a reader while leaving her eager to sample more. The next book in the series, The Search, comes out in July. And the final installment, Found,  in September. According to the author, all three books span a time-period of just seven weeks. I'm definitely hooked and can't wait to find out more!

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like to win a copy of Missing, please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Remember to put the title in the subject line so I can easily spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday April 8 2012. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!



    This sounds great!! I love Amish and I love mystery, so I'd love to go in the draw please!! Thankyou!


    ettaman89 AT yahoo DOT com DOT au

  2. This book really sounds intriguing. I love Amish and mystery as well. Am finding that I am really enjoying the Amish mystery books that I am reading. Thanks for the opportunity to go in the drawing.


  3. Sounds intriguing. I love it when publishers don't make you wait too long for the next installment in a series.

  4. I love Shelley's books and this one sounds intriguing! Today is my 39th wedding anniversary, so maybe I will have a little better luck in the drawing! LOL!


  5. I can't read enough Amish stories! I love them and what an awesome twist! Add me please!

  6. Yaaayyy -- love there are so many kindred reading spirits out there. Mystery and Amish and an interesting twist = one amazing read.

    Good luck, y'all!!!!

  7. I have read all of Shelley's Amish fiction books but not this one yet! I would love to win a copy of Missing. This book sounds so good!


  8. This sounds like a captivating book, would love to win it. Thanks!


  9. Sounds interesting...please enter me! :)


  10. You're entered, Charity U!

  11. I love Amish books, but adding a mystery ups the ante! Would love a chance to win. Please enter me.

    Linda at: desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  12. There seem to be so many good books coming out. Please enter me this one sounds intriguing.

    sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

  13. You're right Amy, there are so many good books coming out this spring it's making me dizzy.

    Carmen, I went to the store on the weekend and came away with six books -- all of them Amish! They're just exploding off the shelves! Thank goodness I love Amish books too!

    Good luck you two!

  14. Ohh sounds fantastic. I can't keep up with all these good books!!

    cbus.blogger at gmail dot com

  15. Missing sounds interesting and a little complex. I'd love to be entered. Thanks, Kav!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

  16. Good luck Merry and Bethany!