Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Today I'm joining Berkley Mystery
in hosting author
Laura Bradford
and her new release
Book 6 in the Amish Mysteries

Claire Weatherly and her beau, police detective Jakob Fisher, learn that when it comes to murder, evil can hide in plain sight in this all-new addition to the national bestselling Amish Mysteries.

Jakob and Claire have been enjoying more time together in lovely Heavenly, PA. With Claire's help, the detective is making slow progress reconnecting with the members of his Amish family who shunned him when he left to pursue a career in law enforcement. Jakob's mentor, Russ Granger, the long-retired police chief who inspired him to become a cop, is back in town. Claire has always wanted to meet the man who changed the course of Jakob's life. But not long after he arrives in Heavenly, Russ is murdered. 

Jakob can only imagine that his old friend must have been killed by someone outside of the Amish community. He and Claire soon find that things are not as they seem--and that Russ may have stumbled into something sinister before he was killed. The answers they uncover are closer to home and more shocking than they ever expected.


1 lucky reader will win a print copy of


USA only

Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post


It’s All About the People
By Laura Bradford, author of Just Plain Murder

Not too long ago, I put up a poll on a popular reader site on Facebook that asked readers to reveal their most favorite aspect of a cozy mystery.  Four choices were given: the small town backdrop, the faithful friend/posse of friends, everyday person solves the crime, and good overcomes evil in the end.

I posed the question out of sheer curiosity. I wanted to see if the same thing that drew me to books was the same thing that drew others to books as well. My answer to that poll is the faithful friend/posse of friends. And, not surprisingly, nearly 60 percent who took the poll felt the same way.

While I can’t begin to explain the reasoning behind every member of that nearly 60 percent, I can certainly speak to mine. Human interaction makes everything real. It brings depth, it brings emotion, it brings moments we can feel. It doesn’t matter if that emotion or that feeling is born on joy, laughter, pain, or anger. Because really, once a story comes alive in a person’s heart, there’s no turning back.  

When I set out to write my Amish Mysteries (Hearse and Buggy, book # 1, debuted in 2012), I knew the bond my main character, Claire Weatherly, would have with the Amish in her town would be crucial in making the whole series work. Since she was my main, I knew I’d spend the most time with her as the series progressed—that I’d get to know her like no other in the book. But there was something about her that drew all of the characters around her into the spotlight, too, endearing so many of them to my heart and the hearts of so many of my readers.

So when it came time to write the sixth book in the series, Just Plain Murder, selecting a murder victim that was close to Detective Jakob Fisher (one of the regulars) just fit. It allowed me to really showcase pain, but also frustration and second guessing—emotions we can all relate to in one way or another—while really grabbing at the readers’ heartstrings. Suddenly, this pain seems more real, more identifiable because Jakob is real to my readers.

Taking it out to the next level, the simple fact that Jakob is such a pivotal part of my main character’s world, makes his pain, her pain…his frustration, her frustration. And so the ripple of emotion spreads outward, tapping more people, more characters on the shoulder until just about everyone is affected—both character and reader, alike.

As a writer, that’s my favorite part of writing: creating people who are real—people you feel as if you know.  And based on my little poll and the letters I get from readers on an almost daily basis, it’s the same part that keeps them coming back to their favorite books again and again.

Here’s to relationships. They really do make the world (both real and fictional) go ’round, don’t they?

Laura Bradford is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries, as well as the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, and the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (the latter written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey). Earlier this year, Laura debuted her first women’s fiction novel, Portrait of a Sister. The book landed several impressive book club picks including Delilah (of radio Delilah) and Southern Lady Magazine. Her next women’s fiction novel, A Daughter’s Truth, will release in 2019. To learn more about Laura and her books, visit her website: .  On Facebook? So is Laura:


I never get quite excited as I do when a new book in the Amish Mysteries is released. One of my top favorite cozy mystery series since it first came out, getting to read a new installment is like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one.

I truly enjoyed, JUST PLAIN MURDER. It was nice learning about Russ Granger, the cop that inspired Jakob Fisher to want to become a police officer. Using Granger as the murder victim in this tale, was a great way for author Laura Bradford to bring a lot of emotion into the story.

The investigation into the murder doesn’t turn up a lot of information as to who would have wanted the victim dead. Right up until the not-so-action-packed end (which actually made for a realistic change), it really could have been anyone. The reveal was a huge shock to me. I never saw it coming. That may be in part to the author keeping me distracted with a newborn baby, a new love match, and a Rumspringa gone wrong. Way to divert attention, Ms. Bradford!

A well done addition to this wonderful series, JUST PLAIN MURDER is a plain good read.


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  1. Hi Lisa! I need to do some catching up! I have yet to read her first in this series (shamefully hanging my head). I loved Elizabeth/Laura's Southern Sewing Circle series which I absolutely hated to see come to an end! Thanks for the chance to win.