Paul L. Gaus was born in Athens, Ohio, in 1949, and he has lived in Ohio for most of his life. He has lived in Wooster, Ohio, for the past forty-two years with his wife Madonna. Paul’s extensive knowledge of the culture and lifestyle of the Ohio Amish comes from over forty years of travel throughout Holmes and surrounding counties in Ohio, where the world’s largest Amish and Mennonite population sprawls out over the countryside near Millersburg, Wooster, and Sugarcreek.
Paul took an interest in writing fiction in 1993, and with the advice and encouragement of author Tony Hillerman, he began writing mystery novels set among the Amish in Holmes County, Ohio. The first of Gaus’s mysteries, Blood of the Prodigal, An Ohio Amish Mystery, was published by Ohio University Press in June of 1999, and a total of seven novels have appeared in this series: Broken English, 2000, Clouds without Rain, 2001, Cast a Blue Shadow, 2003, A Prayer for the Night, 2006, Separate from the World, 2008, Harmless as Doves, 2011, and The Names of Our Tears, 2103. Whiskers of The Lion was published in March, 2015. The Tenth Amish-Country Mystery, Stars for Lydia, was self-published by Paul as both an Amazon paperback and an electronic version for e-readers (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, etc.) worldwide.
Nine of Paul’s stories were republished by Plume (a division of Penguin Group USA) as The Amish-Country Mysteries, and these editions have been embraced by Christian retailers such as CBD.com, Family Christian Stores, and LifeWay. The publication date for Blood of the Prodigal, An Amish-Country Mystery was September 28, 2010, and the other novels in the series were republished by Plume approximately one a month for the next several months. The seventh hardcover novel Harmless as Doves was published in July of 2011 by Ohio University Press, and the trade paperback edition was published by Plume a year later. The eighth novel, The Names of Our Tears, was published by Plume in 2013, and the ninth novel, Whiskers of The Lion, was published by Plume on March 31, 2015. The tenth story, Stars for Lydia, is now available as a self-published book.
Paul and his wife Madonna still travel frequently in Holmes County. He lectures widely about Amish culture at libraries, bookstores, literary societies, and the like, and his books have been featured at Book Expo America and similar professional shows and book fairs around the country. Paul frequently attends writer’s conventions such as Malice Domestic and Bouchercon. Paul’s novels have been reviewed in prominent journals and newspapers, for instance, Kirkus Reviews, ForeWord Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, Ohioana Quarterly, and the New York Times Book Review.
Paul retired several years ago as the Benjamin S. Brown Professor of Chemistry at The College of Wooster, where he was Chairperson of the Chemistry Department. He was educated at Miami University (B.S.) and Duke University (Ph.D.), and he has held positions as Visiting Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois, Texas A&M University, University of Wisconsin (Madison), and The Ohio State University. In his academic career, he taught chemistry at the freshman, junior, and senior levels, and he is co-author of the best-selling senior text, Basic Inorganic Chemistry, published in its third edition in 1995, by John Wiley and Sons.