Tales from The TBR Pile: Blood of The Prodigal

7 Feb

My shelves runneth over! I have so many books piling up in my house I am beginning to doubt I will be able to read, let alone review, all of them! So with that in mind, I am going to begin spotlighting books that I intend to read, but are near the bottom of the TBR pile. It may be YEARS before they emerge at the top, and I don’t want you to miss them. So here’s my first installment of Tales from The TBR Pile.

296466_w185Blood of The Prodigal by P. L. Gaus. In the wooded Amish hill country, a professor at a small college, a local pastor, and the county sheriff are the only ones among the mainstream, or “English,” who possess the instincts and skills to work the cases that impact all county residents, no matter their code of conduct or religious creed. 

When an Amish boy is kidnapped, a bishop, fearful for the safety of his followers, plunges three outsiders into the traditionally closed society of the “Plain Ones”.

My husband has read this book and liked it. It is set in an Amish community but is not an Amish-Amish book if you know what I mean.

To find out more or to purchase this book, click on the link below.


198_portrait-1Paul L. Gaus was born in Athens, Ohio, in 1949, and he has lived in Ohio for most of his life.  He has lived in Wooster, Ohio, for the past 36 years with his wife Madonna.  Paul’s extensive knowledge of the culture and lifestyle of the Ohio Amish comes from over thirty-five years of travel throughout Holmes and surrounding counties in Ohio, where the world’s largest Amish and Mennonite population sprawls out over the countryside near Millersburg, Wooster, and Sugarcreek.

Paul took an interest in writing fiction in 1993, and with the advice and encouragement of author Tony Hillerman, he began writing mystery novels set among the Amish in Holmes County, Ohio. The first of Gaus’s mysteries, Blood of the Prodigal, An Ohio Amish Mystery, was published by Ohio University Press in June of 1999, and a total of seven novels have appeared in this series: Broken English, 2000, Clouds without Rain, 2001,Cast a Blue Shadow, 2003, A Prayer for the Night, 2006, Separate from the World, 2008, and Harmless as Doves, 2011.  An eighth novel in the series is in preparation.

All of Paul’s stories have now been republished by Plume (a division of Penguin Group USA) as The Amish-Country Mysteries, and these editions have been embraced by Christian retailers such as CBD.com, Family Christian Stores, and LifeWay.  The publication date for Blood of the Prodigal, An Amish-Country Mystery was September 28, 2010, and the other novels in the series were republished by Plume approximately one a month for the next several months. The seventh hardcover novel Harmless as Doves was published in July of 2011 by Ohio University Press.  The eighth and future novels will be published as The Amish-Country Mysteries by Plume.

Paul and his wife Madonna still travel frequently in Holmes County.  He lectures widely about Amish culture at libraries, bookstores, literary societies, and the like, and his books have been featured at Book Expo America and similar professional shows and book fairs around the country. Paul frequently attends writer’s conventions such as Malice Domestic and Bouchercon.  Paul’s novels have been reviewed in prominent journals and newspapers, for instance, Kirkus Reviews, ForeWord Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, Ohioana Quarterly, and the New York Times Book Review.

Paul retired recently as the Benjamin S. Brown Professor of Chemistry at The College of Wooster, where he was Chairperson of the Chemistry Department. He was educated at Miami University (B.S.) and Duke University (Ph.D.), and he has held positions as Visiting Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois, Texas A&M University, University of Wisconsin (Madison), and The Ohio State University. In his academic career, he taught chemistry at the freshman, junior, and senior levels, and he is co-author of the best-selling senior text, Basic Inorganic Chemistry, published in its third edition in 1995, by John Wiley and Sons.

(I purchased this book. Any opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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