Shelley Shepard Gray has written the first in her "Secrets of Crittenden County" series, "Missing." (Avon Inspire, 245 pages)
Set among the Amish of Crittenden County, Kentucky, "Missing" is a serial mystery centered on the murder of Perry Borntrager, a young man who had strayed from his strict Amish upbringing.
Before he mysteriously disappeared, Perry was thought to have been using and dealing drugs and stealing from his employer.
In reality, Perry had "disappeared" from society long before his murder. His wicked ways had led him to be shunned from the straight-laced community. On the very last day he was seen alive, his best friends turned their backs on him.
Much of the plot is generated by the investigation into Perry's murder as suspicion grips the small community. In the midst of this drama, many secrets are uncovered.
Perry's ex-girlfriend, Lydia Plank, discovers that she was adopted and may not be Amish. As Lydia struggles to find her identity, she is drawn to a college man, an Englischer, Luke Walker.
Shelley Shepard Gray's book is much more of a drama about Amish life than a traditional mystery. One suspects some of the details on Amish life to be a bit off as in the description of an Amish vegetable garden which seems much too small to supply produce for a largely self-sufficient couple.
Nit-picking aside, this is a serial drama about the deadly effects of secrets in small religious community.
For the romance/mystery reader who may need a diversion from the hectic pace of life, one may wish to take a trip to the Amish community of Crittenden County, Kentucky, and try to unravel the mystery of Perry Borntrager's murder.