Clouds without Rain

College benefactor Juliet Favor is murdered the night before she was to sign a new will. Martha Lehman, the Mennonite girlfriend of Juliet’s son, is suspected. But Martha, who is found covered in blood the morning after the murder, is mute again, just as she was as a child.

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Following on the critical and popular success of his first two mysteries, P. L. Gaus again brings us the moral and legal dilemmas that confront Professor Michael Branden, Pastor Caleb Troyer, and Sheriff Bruce Robertson as they attempt to uncover the truth that seems so elusive in their otherwise quiet corner of the world.

Set authentically among the Old Order Amish sects in Holmes County, Ohio – the largest Amish and Mennonite settlements in the world – these mysteries capture the fascinating interaction between the Amish and the mainstream cultures they call “English”.

Clouds without Rain begins with a fatal accident involving an Amish buggy and an eighteen-wheeler. Professor Branden grows suspicious about the true nature of the crash, especially when the trustee for the dead Amish man’s estate disappears a few days later. Branden sets out to find a link between the crash and a spate of other disturbing events: Amish teenagers robbing buggies on dusty lanes, land swindles involving out-of-town developers, and a bank official gone missing.

Once again, P. L. Gaus provides compelling intrigue along with insights into a culture making its way side by side with contemporary American life.

Excerpts from Reviews of Clouds without Rain

Kirkus Reviews
“. . Gaus, a chemist by training, combines drama and bewilderment in just the right proportions.”

Publishers Weekly
“Gaus has structured his novel Dragnet style, relating events day-to-day, moment-to-moment, while the plot unfolds with deceptive simplicity from the initial gruesome accident.”

“Gaus portrays vividly the clash of the traditional Amish values with forces of land development and greed. The author knows his setting and characters intimately.”


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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.