A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Harvest House Publishers, Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman
Series: The Amish Bishop Mysteries #1
Published by Harvest House Publishers on May 1st 2017
Genres: Amish & Mennonite, Christian Fiction, Clean & Wholesome, Mystery
Source: Harvest House Publishers, Netgalley
Somewhere in the Embers Lies the Truth
A fire blazes out of control in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, leaving an elderly Amish bachelor dead. Bishop Henry Lapp rushes to the scene, and he learns the fire was no accident. Someone intended to kill Vernon Frey. But who would want to kill Vernon? Well, practically everyone—Amish and Englisch alike.
When the police point the finger at a suspect Henry knows is innocent, the bishop must decide whether or not to use his mysterious, God-given gift—one he's tried desperately to ignore all these years—to try and set the record straight. His close friend and neighbor, Emma, encourages Henry to follow God's leading.
Could the clue to solving the case be locked somewhere deep in his memory? Will Henry find the courage to move forward in faith and put the right person behind bars? Is his friendship with Emma becoming something more?
What the Bishop Saw is a story of extraordinary talents, the bonds of love and friendship, and the unfailing grace of God.
What the Bishop Saw is the first book in the Amish Bishop Mysteries series written by bestselling author, Vannetta Chapman. Suspense is definitely not the first thing that comes to mind when I hear Amish. Murder? Arson? Well, now, that just seems downright out-of-place. But, Vannetta sells this story and makes it believable. This woman’s ability to make me crave pie while reading about some poor person’s demise is a God-given talent. Unless I’m just a crazy person and I refuse to believe that. Weird? Yes. Crazy? I don’t think so.
It’s not just the suspense in this book that does it for me. I really like the inclusion of the Bishop’s unusual gift. I really hope that Henry Lapp is at the center of more mysteries in the future as the series title seems to suggest this. I really liked Henry and I thought that his ability would be considered unique even by “worldly” standards. By Amish standards, I’m sure it was hard for him to even share this gift for fear that the community would consider it to be a curse or of the devil. Still, he chose to do what he felt was right. Even at risk to himself and that makes him a likable guy.
Suspense and Henry’s gift aside, the ending is what did it for me in this book. I don’t know what I expected and I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone. But, Henry’s character to me became more evident within the last few pages of the book and I went from liking him to respecting him. Can one respect a book character? Perhaps so, if his lesson is one that is important enough to hear. I feel that we could all learn a lot from Henry.
This series promises a fresh, new, take on the Amish genre and I’m looking forward to reading future installments.