cover image Falling to Pieces

Falling to Pieces

Vannetta Chapman. Zondervan, $12.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-310-33043-1

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. (Oct.)