A Prayer for the Night

Sara Yoder’s Rumspringe has turned tragic, as she and her Amish friends become hopelessly entangled with a drug dealer, who is operating in the heart of Ohio’s Amish country.

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Amid a whirlwind of drugs, sex, and other temptations of the “English” world, a group of Amish teenagers on the Rumschpringe test the limits of their parent’s religion to the breaking point. The murder of one teenager and the abduction of another challenge Professor Michael Branden as he confronts the communal fear that the young people can never be brought home safely.

Along with Holmes County Sheriff Bruce Robertson and Pastor Cal Troyer, Professor Branden works against the clock to find a murderer and a kidnapper, and to break a drug ring operating in the county, determined, wherever the trail may lead him, to restore the shattered community.

In A Prayer for the Night, his fifth Ohio Amish Mystery, P. L. Gaus deftly balances the pace and practices of Amish life in northern Ohio against the unfolding urgency of a hostage situation. As Gaus has proven before, the mystery gains from its exploration of the ever-widening chasm between the traditional life of the Amish people and their interaction with the outside world.

Excerpts from Reviews of A Prayer for the Night

Publishers Weekly

“Detailed Amish funeral and wedding rites conclude an otherwise taut tale, offering fascinating insights into this closed society’s struggle to maintain traditions amid a rapidly changing world.”

The Budget (Sugarcreek, Ohio)

“The author treats his Amish characters with respect, explaining customs, tradition and belief with crystal clarity and deep understanding. There are no stereotypes here, and the plot is simple, yet well constructed, so readers of various ages can enjoy the book.”

ForeWord Magazine

“. . . by taking the readers into the farms, homes and front porches of the understandably suspicious Amish, he brings alive a complex society that is generally depicted in picture-book stereotypes.”


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about the author

P.L. Gaus

Paul has lived in Wooster, Ohio, with his wife Madonna since 1977. His 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'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.