Read Suspendered Sentence (An Amish Mystery) Online

Authors: Laura Bradford

Tags: #FBS, #Amish, #Mystery, #read2015

Suspendered Sentence (An Amish Mystery)

BOOK: Suspendered Sentence (An Amish Mystery)
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More Praise for the National Bestselling Amish Mysteries

Shunned and Dangerous

“Superb . . . [A] thought-provoking mystery . . . The reader discovers the nuances of a culture that is foreign to most of us. . . .[Bradford] uses human relationships as the basis for her outstanding mysteries.”

—Lesa’s Book Critiques

“Laura Bradford once again transports her readers to the heart of the Amish country . . . Readers . . . will love Bradford’s attention to detail and her obvious love for the Amish people . . . [A] great addition to the series!”

—Debbie’s Book Bag

Assaulted Pretzel

“Bradford concocts a clever whodunit . . . Her characters possess depth, and her mastery of the Amish culture adds a dimension to her work that readers likely will find fascinating.”

—Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Delightful . . . Well-portrayed characters and authentic Amish lore make this a memorable read.”

—Publishers Weekly

“Bradford is adept at creating characters that readers will care about. Her books are fascinating with the combination of mystery, Amish culture, and relationships.”

—Lesa’s Book Critiques

“The Amish customs and traditions are fascinating and blend nicely into the mystery, while the author’s ability to provide an authentic sense of community makes this story engaging.”

—RT Book Reviews

“Engaging characters fill this well-plotted mystery. The Amish community of Heavenly is realistically depicted and English (as the Amish call non-Amish) characters are woven into the community in believable ways.”

—The Mystery Reader
(four stars)

Hearse and Buggy

“A really great, well-written mystery. The characters all had depth and dimension, and were easy to relate to . . . The plot itself was excellent . . . A delightful book, and I cannot wait to visit Heavenly again!”

—Fresh Fiction

“Undoubtedly one of the best cozy mysteries I’ve read this year. It is meaty, with an intriguing background, and it provides an education as to the Amish culture. And, Bradford’s characters are some of the best developed, most interesting ones I’ve come across in a cozy mystery. With
Hearse and Buggy
, Bradford has taken the Amish mystery and successfully made it her own.”

—Lesa’s Book Critiques

“An engaging amateur sleuth that interweaves Amish society with an enjoyable whodunit. Claire is a terrific protagonist whose wonderful investigation enables readers to obtain insight into the Amish culture . . . [A] delightful Amish cozy.”

—Genre Go Round Reviews

Berkley Prime Crime titles by Laura Bradford

HEARSE AND BUGGY

ASSAULTED PRETZEL

SHUNNED AND DANGEROUS

SUSPENDERED SENTENCE

THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) LLC

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

USA • Canada • UK • Ireland • Australia • New Zealand • India • South Africa • China

penguin.com

A Penguin Random House Company

SUSPENDERED SENTENCE

A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author

Copyright © 2015 by Laura Bradford.

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group.

BERKLEY® PRIME CRIME and the PRIME CRIME logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) LLC,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

eBook ISBN: 978-0-698-14826-0

PUBLISHING HISTORY

Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / March 2015

Cover illustration by Mary Ann Lasher.

Cover design by Sarah Oberrender.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Version_1

For my family, with all my love.

You really do make my world so much brighter.

Acknowledgments

Regardless of the book I’m writing, I invariably come across a question that sends me in search of answers. Sometimes, in respect to the Amish Mysteries, those questions mean a research trip to Lancaster County (I love my research trips). Sometimes, those questions send me rifling through my pile of books and newspaper clippings (thank you, Kevan Deardorff). And sometimes, those questions lead me to my cell phone and the really smart folks who inhabit my contact list.

J. D. Rhoades was one of those “smart folks” this go-round as I played with the plot for
Suspendered Sentence
. His willingness to answer my law-related questions (sometimes several rounds of questions) proved invaluable. Thank you, Dusty!

Equally important to the writing of each book, is the support I get from my readers. Your letters (via my website), posts on my social media pages, and willingness to come say hi when I’m doing an event always provide just the right boost at just the right time. Thank you!

Contents

Praise for the National Bestselling Amish Mysteries

Berkley Prime Crime titles by Laura Bradford

Title Page

Copyright

Dedication

Acknowledgments

 

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 1

C
laire Weatherly didn’t need to trade glances with her aunt to know what the woman was thinking. It was as palpable as the flames that danced in the hearth and the contentment she felt as she watched them.

Life was good. Great, even. And the man seated beside her on the floral couch was, without a doubt, a contributing factor in that assessment. The only question that remained was whether he was there as the friend she repeatedly tried to convince herself he was, or the something more Diane’s eyes were desperate to convey via their usual arched brow or deliberate blink.

Oh, how she wanted to lose herself in the kind of certainty reserved for the unhurt, but fear held her back. Instead, she turned yet another page of the paperback mystery novel she’d stopped absorbing the moment Jakob Fisher showed up at the door of her aunt’s inn, and mentally pleaded with herself to enjoy the moment.

“I think you were about fifteen when I opened the inn, weren’t you, Jakob?”

Claire lifted her head just in time to catch the detective’s faint nod. “I will never forget your smile the day you came out to my father’s farm to buy some pumpkins for your front porch. It was different than any I’d ever seen on an adult.”

“Different?” Claire echoed across her book. “How so?”

He trained his hazel eyes on her, eliciting a slight but audible intake of air from her lips in the process. “I don’t know. I guess the adults in my world at that time were more subdued. They smiled, sure, but not like your aunt did that day.”

“As I remember it, I wasn’t the only one smiling that day,” Diane teased before rising to her feet to add a log to the fire. “In fact, you were so smitten by that young girl walking along the road, I’m surprised you noticed anything else.”

Jakob’s momentary hint of confusion was quickly chased from his face by an expression more befitting a painful memory, piquing Claire’s curiosity in the process. “Do tell. Please.”

Hesitation gave way to an answer peppered by starts and stops. “That would have been Elizabeth Troyer.”

“That was Benjamin’s Elizabeth, right?” The second the words were out, she cringed. “Wait. You don’t have to answer—”

He shrugged. “Yes. Benjamin’s Elizabeth. But she was not Benjamin’s at that time.”

BOOK: Suspendered Sentence (An Amish Mystery)
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