Murder of an Amish Bridegroom

A Boy’s Amish Christmas

Patricia Johns

Murder of an Amish Bridegroom has author Patricia Johns venturing into a new genre, a cozy mystery. Her heroine is not the typical Amish woman. 

Petunia Yoder is Blueberry, Pennsylvania’s youngest old maid, at twenty-two years of age, and is completely unmarriageable. As she ventures into a store she finds her best friend, Eden, standing over a dead body who happens to be her secret lover, Ike Smoker.  He is a bad boy literally because there is no one in the community who likes him. Homicide detective Asher Nate is called to investigate. He knows it will be difficult because the Amish community stick close together and will not readily talk to an “English” detective. Petunia volunteers to be his go between because she loves mysteries. As they investigate it becomes apparent that they like each other, and Petunia is willing to be a “consultant” to the police. Both want to find the killer and Petunia knows in her heart that Eden is innocent.

This is a great start to hopefully a new cozy mystery series.  There are great likeable characters, a storyline that will keep readers guessing as to who the antagonist is, and an interesting setting. Hopefully, there will be many more books in this potential series.

A Boy’s Amish Christmas is more typical of a Patricia Johns novel. The story has friendships, surprising revelations, and heartwarming scenes. 

The plot begins when Brett Rockwell, his young nephew, Damian, and journalist/blogger Emaline Piper become stuck in a snowstorm and end up having to spend a couple of days in an Amish Bed and Breakfast. When Emaline learns that Brett is from the famous political family of the Rockwells, she begins to see a possible step to further her future as a journalist. As they become closer friends, she is sure there are secrets that he is hiding and starts to delve into finding out what these are, which she soon learns also includes his young nephew.  

The other segment of the plot brings back Eeyore the escape artist donkey, Eli, and Belinda. These senior citizens are also trying to navigate their relationship. 

Both these books are fabulous reads.  Per usual the characters have heartwarming backstories, and the plots are gripping.

Elise Cooper: Why someone on the spectrum?

Patricia Johns:  A Boy’s Amish Christmas is the last book in the series. I knew I wanted to bring together the two old folks at the end.  My own son was never tested to see if he is on the spectrum, but he is a very sensitive little boy.  When he had started school, he would cry constantly, hated going because he had no friends.  It broke my heart when he said no one likes him. The boy in the story is on the spectrum.  It was not a direct comparison but a little based on my son.

EC:  How would you describe Damian, the little boy?

PJ:  Sensitive, likes avoiding people, tender, germophobic, and vulnerable.  He does not know how to respond to others’ emotions.

EC:  Why make Emaline an influencer?

PJ:  I started writing her as a journalist. But my editor wanted me to change it. 

EC:  How would you describe her?

PJ: Dislikes those who abuse power. Protective, observant, articulate, and smart.  She sees how Damian is really struggling and empathizes with him.

EC:  How would you describe Brett?

PJ:  He was a drinker and playboy but is now a rancher.  He comes from privilege.  At the beginning of the book, he is very much under his family’s thumb. He fulfills a role for his family. They do not want him to change because they saw him as a bit of a loser with a personal life in shambles. He has now matured. 

EC:  What about the relationship between her and Brett?

PJ:  Emaline is very curious about him. He does not rise to her expectations. This is a point of connection between them. They are concerned that Damian is floundering. They also connected because each had family drama.  She could appreciate his family drama because of hers. He was attracted that Emaline is a regular person. They both do not want their secrets exposed to the world. 

EC:  What about Eli and Belinda’s relationship?

PJ:  I enjoy them as a couple.  Eli can be a pain in the neck but does love her dearly. I am glad they received a happily ever after. I wish I could have explored their relationship more in depth but due to space I couldn’t. 

EC:  What about the other book, Murder of an Amish Bridegroom?

PJ:  This is my first cozy mystery. It was nominated for an Edgar Award. I am not sure if there will be more coming out, depending on sales. I like writing both romance and a mystery.  One genre, I marry them off, the other I kill them off. I really would enjoy going back and forth.

EC:  Why did you make the Amish woman, Petunia, an assistant to the police detective?

PJ:  She is my sleuth. If there was a murder the police would be called in. She oversteps sometimes.  She is a modern woman in an Amish world.  She is not supposed to question men. She fails to do it because she is logical. She is too nosy.  She cannot let go of something when something does not make sense.

EC:  What about Asher?

PJ:  It will come out if there are future books that he has an Amish heritage and wants to understand the Amish world. He is direct, and a man of secrets.

EC:  Asher and Petunia-will they have a relationship?

PJ:  I would like to work it out that they will get together in the end.  This is the romance writer in me. It will take a few books to do it. He feels tender and protective toward Petunia. They believe in right and wrong.

EC:  Next book?

PJ:  It is stand-alone. It is titled, An Amish Country Reunion. It comes out in late June. It is about a Pennsylvania State Trooper who is sent to the puppy school.  Her old partner is the Sergeant there.  They used to be on the same level and now she must call him sir. There will be a cozy mystery, a missing antique watch. 




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About the Author

Elise Cooper

Elise writes book reviews that always include a short author interview.