If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book next year, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our March author interviews: Karen Pullen (3/1), Lowcountry Crime authors: Tina Whittle, Polly Iyer, Jonathan M. Bryant, and James M. Jackson (3/8), Annette Dashofy (3/15), Maddie Day (3/22) and Barb Ross (3/29).

Saturday Guest Bloggers in March: Maris Soule (3/4), and Virginia Mackey (3/11). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 3/18--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 3/25--Kait Carson.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for pre-order.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Amish Books of Linda Castillo


Last July Amanda Flower, a writer of multiple cozy series at least one or more dealing with the Amish, and Hudson, Ohio Librarian, and member of our NeoSinc chapter, asked us  to come to hear an author named Linda Castillo who would be speaking so there would be a good turn-out. I hadn’t heard of her before, but to support Amanda, I went to hear this author and was fascinated by her talk about how she came to writing the books she writes and her path to writing, especially the Amish thrillers she writes.
Sugar Loaf Nursery the first one my sisters and I visit each spring.

Because I’ve lived within easy driving distance of the Amish for years, and shopped at their stores, garden centers, and had other contact with them, I’m interested in the Amish and like any books dealing with them. Also many Amish families have been moving into the township where I live. I’ve had Amish put a roof on my barn and my sun room, and one who takes care of my ponies’ hooves. I’ve had them bring hay to my barn and store it for me. He had to use a guy with a truck who wasn’t Amish, of course.

Linda originally came from the area where her Kate Burkholder series is set in Holmes County, and now lives in Texas with her husband, but she has retained her knowledge of the Amish in the county. She told us she returns every so often to the area to visit people she knows, and to refresh her memories of the Amish. I bought the first three books in her series, and was totally hooked and ended up ordering all the other ones, too, and can’t wait for her next one to come out this summer.


Castillo’s Kate Burkholder is a break-away Amish woman, who is now sheriff of the small fictional town of Painters Mill, in Holmes County. She deals with the English-Amish divide since she was banned because of walking away from her religion in her late teens. What helps her is that she still is able to speak Pennsylvania Dutch, and understands their reticence about reporting any crimes to the English. So even though they don’t want to tell her things that would help her solve murders and other crimes against the Amish, she can still sometimes get them to co-operate because of her background with them. I found it interesting that when Castillo writes dialogue using their language; it’s in italics with the English translation following in normal print. Also, there was one book where Kate and John traveled to a county in N.E. Ohio and drove on roads and through towns I know well.


Kate Burkholder is an interesting character with something in her background she keeps a secret.  Enter John Tomasetti, a BCI agent from Columbus, who has a dark background, too. He was sent to help Kate solve the crime in Painters Mill. There’s friction between them, but also an attraction, which builds in each of her following books. I like the officers who work under her, and the descriptions of an Amish area I can picture so well. Even though it takes place in a small town in a rural area, there is nothing cozy about Castillo’s books. They’re suspense/thrillers hard to put down. I lost a lot of sleep reading them.
Her latest book in the series until this summer

Linda Castillo’s first book in the series, is Sworn to Silence which won numerous awards and was on the Times Best Seller list for four weeks. Her following books in order are Pray for Silence, Breaking Silence, Gone Missing, Her Last Breath, The Dead Will Tell, After the Storm, and Among the Wicked. Her next one is supposed to come out this coming summer, and I can’t wait to read it.

Linda Castillo has written other books, too. According to her website, she’s written thirty books for three New York Publishing houses, and has won numerous awards for her books. The two I’ve read that are not Amish, take place in Texas the state she lives in now. I liked those, too, but they weren’t a series, and I really like mysteries with characters I’ve grown familiar with coming back.

Sworn to Silence was made into a two hour movie re-titled An Amish Murder. I’m not sure how to get it, but I might be able to find it on Amazon.


How familiar with the Amish culture are you?

Have you read any Amish mysteries?

6 comments:

Jim Jackson said...

I’m not sure I have read any “Amish” mysteries. I know something of the culture, although I know more of the Mennonites than the Amish.

~ Jim

Gloria Alden said...

Jim, we have Mennonites around here, too, but not so many close to where I live. They're mentioned in Castillo's books, too, but are looked down on by the old order Amish because they drive cars and are more English than Amish.

Shari Randall said...

Gloria, I love Linda Castillo's books. Like you said, I've lost a lot of sleep reading them. The Amish are fascinating. I wonder what they think of the rest of the world, how they vote, what it's like to live that way.... Now I want to go pick up another one of her books!

Gloria Alden said...

Shari, I'm glad to find someone else who loves her books, although I know there have to be thousands out there who enjoy them. I have been in one Amish home when I went to pick up my guy who trims my ponies' hooves and talked to his wife and daughter about one of them possibly doing some cleaning for me. The kitchen was huge and very, very clean. I think they have some form of having electricity maybe from solar panels. They dressed traditional, but I got the feeling they weren't as strict as some of the old order Amish. They did have horses and a buggy. I hired their 15 year old daughter and picked her up and took her home, but I haven't hired her again because she charged me $70.00 for three hours of work which was higher than
I've ever paid anyone else, although I very seldom have hired anyone to clean.

Margaret Turkevich said...

I like Linda Castillo's books very much. Great job, Gloria. I wish I could have heard her speak in Hudson.

Gloria Alden said...

You would have enjoyed it, Margaret. I hope someday she speaks some where near you.