Members of Esther Stauffer’s Southern Maryland Amish community have been struggling to recover from various maladies despite seeking medical care from the substitute doctor who has been filling in for the town's regular physician. Something strange--something potentially deadly--is going on, and Esther aims to find out what it is. If she can't obtain answers from the doctor, she'll simply have to launch her own covert investigation.
On the heels of the trouble with her community, Andrew Fisher has returned to town, and he’s one more thorn in her side, one more aggravation to deal with. She still views him as the mean-spirited boy who teased her mercilessly and who later lied to her, shattering her dreams. She has no intention of allowing him into her life or her heart.
Somehow, though, circumstances make him the only person she can confide in. Because of her concern for her community, she lets down her guard to reveal her suspicions and to trust him with her secret plans. And slowly, old feelings return.
When her amateur sleuthing goes awry, and her own life is endangered, Esther must rely on her quick wits to save herself, her people, and her hope for love.
Second book in series!
Plain Discovery by Susan Lantz Simpson is the second book in Plainly Maryland series. Esther Stauffer lives in St. Mary’s County, Maryland where she is worried about her niece and nephew. David and Ella have been diagnosed with Celiac disease and, on the right diet, they do well. However, they have been losing weight, tired and listless recently and Dr. Kramer, who is substituting for Dr. Nelson, has been unable to find a cause for their decline. Andrew Fisher has returned to town and he is not someone Esther wishes to encounter. He teased her terribly when they were in school and Esther cannot get past how her tormented her to see that Andrew has grown up. To make matters worse, family members keep pushing Andrew and Esther together. Esther learns that other members of the community have been ill and are not getting better despite the medication prescribed by Dr. Kramer. She does not know what is going on, but Esther intends to get answers. Despite her misgivings, Esther teams up with Andrew to investigate their substitute physician.
Plain Discovery may be the second installment in the Plainly Maryland series, but it can be read alone. I thought the story was well-written with steady pacing. The characters are likeable and relatable. Esther is an intelligent young woman who enjoys working with plants (it is her gift). She loves her family and community. When she sees that sick people in her community are not getting better, she knows that something is off. Andrew has returned to St. Mary’s County and he would like to get to know Esther. However, Esther has a hard time overcoming how he treated her when they were children. She has yet to learn the difference between teasing and cruelty (bullying). I enjoyed the authors casual writing style that made Plain Discovery easy to get into and read. I preferred Plain Discovery to Plain Haven (first book in this series). The Christian elements are woven into the story (forgiveness, faith, prayer, God’s will) and enhance the story. I appreciated that Plain Discovery was not just a predictable romance. There is a mystery to solve and it helps bring our two main characters together. I am giving Plain Discovery 4 out of 5 stars.