After the first blizzard of an early winter, a Mennonite college girl with a troubled past appears curled up and bloodied outside the office of her childhood psychiatrist. Mute for many years as a child, Martha Lehman is again not talking.
That same morning, the wealthy mother of Martha’s boyfriend is found murdered in her mansion in the Amish country west of Millersburg, Ohio. Professor Michael Branden and Sheriff Bruce Robertson begin an investigation that, in the space of a single weekend, implicates Martha, threatens to tear apart the fabric of Millersburg College, pits one professor against another, and brings Branden’s wife Caroline near to a breaking point over the girl she once tried so fervently to help and who now seems determined to let no one help her at all.
As Martha struggles to understand her enigmatic past, and as Professor Branden wrestles with the murder of the college’s leading benefactor, the real story of Martha Lehman emerges – born Amish, converted to Mennonite, and drawn to the English world for the worst of reasons.
In Cast a Blue Shadow, his fourth Ohio Amish Mystery, P. L. Gaus continues to explore the thresholds of culture and faith among the Amish sects and their English neighbors of northern Ohio. Through interwoven plots, Gaus portrays these ways of life at odds with one another despite their seeming harmony. Coupling these clashes with the petty and desperate scufflings of academic politics, Gaus spins a suspenseful tale of power, pride, and tested faith.
With Cast a Blue Shadow, Professors Branden and Gaus have done it again.
Excerpts from Reviews of Cast a Blue Shadow
Wooster (Ohio) Daily Record
“A colorful storyteller, Gaus relates much of the mystery of the Amish sect as he gives the reader insight into life in a small town in Holmes County, Ohio.”
“Gaus’s eye for detail gives depth and power to a simple tale about complicated people.”
“The author portrays the conflicts among the various Amish sects, whose varying degrees of strictness in some instances cause them to shun each other. Eschewing any academic pedantry, Gaus manages to expertly enlighten as well as entertain.”
“A fascinating look into the unique and complex worlds of the Amish and academia.”
“ . . . weaves a suspenseful tale around the clashes between the Amish sects of Northern Ohio and their ‘English’ neighbors.”