It’s hard to believe that MURDER, SERVED SIMPLY is my eighth book featuring Amish characters. Throughout those eight novels, I’ve stuck my Amish characters in many funny and even dangerous situations and have loved every minute of it.
When I write about the Amish I focus on the interaction between the Amish and English in Ohio where I live. In some counties in Ohio, including Holmes County where the Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series is set, the Amish and English interact every day. No English (non-Amish) person living in those counties thinks much about passing an Amish person on the street. The Amish are just neighbors. Yes, they dress different, but they are a part of everyday rural Ohio life. Some of my novels focus on how Amish people leave their communities to become English but still interact with their Amish families. Some relationships are broken when this happens, and most relationships between former Amish and their Amish families remain tense.
Because I have written on this topic a lot, I thought what if an Amish man left his community but remained Amish in his own way? What if he went rogue? I suspect that there must be a rogue Amish or two living in Holmes County, but to be Amish and not living in community goes against everything Amish culture stands for. The heart of Amish faith is community. They turn away from modern technology not because they think it is wrong, but because they believe it will make life too easy for their members and cause church members to be less reliant on each other. They look at English culture with families separated by hundreds or even thousands of miles as a perfectly example of how modern convenience can scatter a community.
Certainly a rogue Amish would cause problems for both Amish and English people alike, so of course, I knew I had to put one in my Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series, which already has a zany supporting cast, including a French bulldog afraid of birds and an escape artist goat.
My rogue Amish character in MURDER, SERVED SIMPLY is not the nicest guy in the world, and he’s introduced as a possible murder suspect. However, what makes him most interesting is his surprising connection to one of the Amish quilters from Running Stitch, the main quilt shop in the novel. More about that relationship will unfold in future novels. As for how the quilter is tied to the rogue Amish man, you will have to read and find out…
About the Author
National Bestselling Author Isabella Alan is the pseudonym for Amanda Flower. Amanda Flower, a two time Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.