The Names of Our Tears

Ruth Zook returns from Sarasota’s Pinecraft Amish vacation colony carrying a heavy suitcase and an even heavier heart. Her murder leads Sheriff Bruce Robertson to investigate a drug ring that reaches all the way to Florida.

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The eighth Amish-Country Mystery, The Names of Our Tears, has now been published by Plume, a Division of Penguin Group USA. This is the first Plume paperback original in the series.

As in the other novels, Sergeant Ricky Niell, Sheriff Bruce Robertson, Medical Examiner Melissa Taggert, and Pastor Cal Troyer play important roles in Holmes County, Ohio, where most of the story is set. But Professor Mike Branden and his wife Caroline, who are vacationing on Longboat Key west of Sarasota, join the action in the normally tranquil Pinecraft Amish community. In addition to the Plume soft-cover first edition, there are electronic versions and large print editions now available, and audio editions will be forthcoming.

When Ruth Zook returned home to Holmes County, Ohio, she was carrying a heavy suitcase and a heavier burden. Coerced into transporting drugs on the bus, Ruth retaliated by destroying her illicit burden, and she paid for it with her life. When Fannie Helmuth learns of Ruth’s murder, she goes immediately to Sheriff Bruce Robertson to confess that she was similarly coerced while working in a restaurant in Sarasota. Robertson realizes that the drug dealer’s operations reach all the way to Florida, and he quickly moves the investigation South, where more innocent lives are in jeopardy. The theme of the story is taken from Psalms 34:17-18.


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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.