ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Under the name Shelley Shepard Gray, Shelley writes Amish romances for HarperCollins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire. Her recent novel, The Protector, the final book in her “Families of Honor” series, hit the New York Times List, and her previous novel in the same series, The Survivor, appeared on the USA Today bestseller list. Shelley has won the prestigious Holt Medallion for her books, Forgiven and Grace, and her novels have been chosen as Alternate Selections for the Doubleday/Literary Guild Book Club. Her first novel with Avon Inspire, Hidden, was an Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist.
Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two children in college, and is an active member of her church. She serves on committees, volunteers in the church office, and currently leads a Bible study group, and she looks forward to the opportunity to continue to write novels that showcase her Christian ideals.
When she’s not writing, Shelley often attends conferences and reader retreats in order to give workshops and publicize her work. She’s attended RWA’s national conference six times, the ACFW conference and Romantic Times Magazine’s annual conference as well as traveled to New Jersey, Birmingham, and Tennessee to attend local conferences.
Check out Shelley's Facebook Fan page
ABOUT THE BOOK
Perry Borntrager had been missing from the quiet Amish community of Crittenden, Kentucky, for months when his body was discovered at the bottom of an abandoned well. Everyone had assumed Perry left Crittenden on his own, seduced by the wider world he discovered during his rumspringa, but now the truth has thrown this once-peaceful town into chaos. The first death from mysterious circumstances in Crittenden in more than two decades has invited the scrutiny of the outside world: a police detective arrives to help their local sheriff with the investigation. His questioning begins with Lydia Plank, Perry’s former girlfriend, and Perry’s best friend, the Englisher Walker Anderson.
Lydia and Walker know they didn’t have anything to do with Perry’s death, but they both hold secrets about his final days. Do they dare to open up about the kind of man Perry had become? In the oppressive shadow of these dark times, they discover strength in a most unlikely companionship that offers solace, understanding, and the promise of something more.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Missing, go HERE.
With characters that are multifaceted, flawed, and intriguing, along with smooth writing and unique chapter starters, Missing held my attention. But something does feel "missing," as this book is only the beginning of a series and doesn't quite stand on its own as a completely satisfying story. So it appears that, in order to get the full scoop, this is a series to be followed and read in its entirety.
Missing has a bit of mystery, a slight echo of a part of The Shunning (by Beverly Lewis) plot, a hint of forbidden romance, and a lot of emphasis on self-discovery. In the story a murder investigation shakes up the people of Crittenden County - both Amish and Englisch alike - and lots of questions are raised. But the answers aren't quick in coming as they must be released from those who have a difficult time letting go of their secrets. Thus, the pace is rather slow. Yet it's not hard to keep turning the pages as the character development is interesting and insightful. So if you enjoy gentle suspense with a glimpse of hidden depth, then you might want to give this book a try and be on the lookout for the continuation of "The Secrets of Crittenden County" series.
*With thanks to HarperCollins Publishers through CFBA for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*
The series continues later this year: