Sunday, November 02, 2014

Review: Murder Tightly Knit

While He Was Away Murder Tightly Knit by Vannetta Chapman
Published December 16, 2014 by Zondervan
Source Netgalley

As fall blankets the Pumpkinvine Trail with leaves of brown, gold, and orange, a local Amish man is found dead on the path. The only clues to the murderer’s identity point in two very different directions—toward the local survivalist group and toward the Amish Village—specifically the village’s knitting shop, The Cat’s Meow. The police call in a federal investigator, and he quickly puts everyone on the suspect list. Amber Bowman and Hannah Troyer know who isn’t guilty—they know this community down to the last buggy, but can they find the guilty party before someone else is in danger?

While Hannah helps Amber solve the mystery, she and Jesse Miller continue courting. But when Jesse’s prodigal brother returns to their farm, Jesse becomes distracted by family troubles. He and Hannah will have to overcome the tension in order to keep their relationship alive. And Amber and Hannah will need to work quickly to solve the murder mystery and bring harmony back to the Amish community.

Murder Tightly Knit has several things going for it. At its core, this is a cozy mystery where the author does everything right. Author Vanetta Chapman tells a wholesome story, which is to be expected coming from a publisher of Christian fiction. There are references to faith and church and the Bible and God, but it's all done with a light hand and I didn't find it the least bit intrusive. And, you might even find Murder Tightly Knit shelved with the romance novels, though the romance is a slowly simmering undercurrent to the main storyline. With all that said, read it for the mystery.

When Owen Esch is murdered on Pumpkinvine Trail near Amish Artisan Village, suspicion falls on several people in the town of Middlebury, Indiana. As police struggle to discover who committed the murder, Amber Bowman and Hannah Troyer set out to discover exactly why Owen was killed and why he was calling Mary Weaver at the Village's yarn shop just before he died. After Andrew Miller is arrested, Amber and Hannah put their heads together, following clues and using their knowledge of the both the Amish and Englischer communities to free Andrew and identify the real killer.

When I requested a review copy, I didn't realize that it is the second book in Vanetta Chapman's Amish Village Mysteries series. Although I have a very strong preference to read books in order, it turns out that this book works well enough as a stand-alone. There are references to a murder which occurred in the prior book, but the reader is not left confused or wondering about the relationships between the characters. (Which can happen when you jump into the middle of an established series.) And, since the publication date is December 16, you have plenty of time to read the first book in the series, Murder Simply Brewed, while you're waiting for this one.


Note that I received a free copy of Murder Tightly Knit from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.


  1. Replies
    1. It was my pleasure. It's so cool when an author stops by the blog.