Death in Amish Country, A Jake Curtis / Vanessa Malone Mystery

May 18, 2015|
Death in Amish Country, A Jake Curtis / Vanessa Malone Mystery
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Jake sitting in his office reading the paper as he usually does each morning, gets a call from a Marine Corps buddy, Gordon, a new member of the Old Order Amish Church. He called from the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania jail. He stands accused of murdering his fiancee's father. The two men fight in the barn after his fiancee's father slapped her. A gas fueled lantern is knocked over turning the barn into a blazing inferno. Gordon carries his future father-in-law from the burning barn, but he is dead when Gordon laid him on the ground. The autopsy reveals his future father-in-law was stabbed in the back several times.
A witness, his fiancee's brother Caleb, tells the police Gordon killed his father. Jake and Vanessa undertake to prove Gordon innocent and Jake calls on some of his other Marine Corps buddies, which he calls his platoon, for help while Vanessa takes on Gordon's legal defense. The police believe they have an airtight case. Failure to prove Gordon's innocence could mean a life sentence in a Pennsylvania prison for Gordon, but Jake and Vanessa see more holes in the police's case than in a colander.
While the Amish people have a great deal of respect for Gordon and believe in his innocence, Jake and Vanessa are stymied by the local Amish people's refusal to talk with the Englischers. The Amish call all non-Amish people Englischers. Gordon's friend, mentor and father figure, an elderly Amishman named Ephraim Glick, offers to smooth the way and the people now open up to Jake and Vanessa.
Under intense questioning, Caleb recants his accusations and the charges against Gordon are dropped, but the real killer is still unknown. Jake and Vanessa believe that until the real killer is brought to justice, a cloud of doubt will hang over Gordon's head forever. Jake and Vanessa proved Gordon innocent, now they have to remove the cloud hanging his head.
At first their course of action was to interview everyone they could to prove Gordon's innocence, now they have to reinterview everyone again to find the real killer. Their questions must be hitting close to someone's home as three Amish thugs attack Vanessa in the parking lot of a convenience store and put her in the hospital.
Armed with the names and descriptions of the thugs, the police make the arrests. Jake threatens to kill the thugs who hurt his wife until his platoon corporal, Lyons, convinces him to stay out of the fray so Jake can maintain his innocence when the police come knocking. Lyons and a few of the old platoon soon convince the thugs to mend their ways or bleed out on the cell floor.
Jake and Lyons' investigation runs into dead end after dead end. It looks as if whoever killed Gordon's father-in-law simply vanished in a puff of smoke. This case had Jake at his wits end. At dinner at Gordon's fiancee's mother's farmhouse, Jake admits he's stumped by this case and is ready to give up and go back to D.C.
The sounds of fight between a man and a woman erupt outside the farmhouse. The neurotic woman who fancies herself in love with Caleb's older brother, David, and fancies he's in love with her enter into a screaming match with him. The woman, as tempers flare and the argument intensifies, goes into a psychotic episode, yelling, screaming and cursing David, his father-in-law and anyone else who tries to intervene. In the midst of her tirade, she screams she's the one who stabbed Gordon's father-in-law.

Title:Death in Amish Country, A Jake Curtis / Vanessa Malone Mystery
Format:Kobo ebook
Published:May 18, 2015
Publisher:Tony Flye
Appropriate for ages:All ages

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