In this first book of a three-book series, author Vannetta Chapman brings a fresh twist to the popular Amish fiction genre. She blends the familiar components consumers love in Amish books—faith, community, simplicity, family—with an innovative who-done-it plot that keeps readers guessing right up to the last stitch in the quilt. When two women—one Amish, one English—each with different motives, join forces to organize a successful on-line quilt auction, neither expects nor wants a friendship. As different as night and day, Deborah and Callie are uneasy partners who simply want to make the best of a temporary situation. But a murder, a surprising prime suspect, a stubborn detective, and the town's reaction throw the two women together, and they form an unlikely alliance to solve a mystery and catch a killer. Set in the well-known Amish community of Shipshewana, Falling to Pieces will attract both devoted fans of the rapidly-growing Amish fiction genre, as well as those who are captivated by the Amish way of life.
A quilting shop is the setting for this mystery with an Amish woman as amateur detective. Deborah Yoder solves a series of crimes that have embroiled her non-Amish friend, Callie. Unfortunately, Chapman (A Simple Amish Christmas) strains credulity with plot and characters: the villains lack subtlety; journalists blithely engage in behavior that would get real ones fired, sued, or boycotted. Although this novel is published by an evangelical Christian publisher, law-abiding characters cheerfully engage in unethical practices, such as a cop seeking to date a murder suspect. Yoder is generally well drawn, but there s a moral disconnect when she devises a plan to have a newspaper print lies in order to catch the bad guy. Lying is a far more serious offense for the Amish than the novel s chosen problem of doing business over the Internet. The Amish also don t use weapons to attack others, even if the weapons are quilting implements. This is the first book of a planned trilogy that could be vastly improved with better research.