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Customer Reviews for Secrets of Harmony Grove - eBook
Review 1 for Secrets of Harmony Grove - eBook
Well worth reading!
Date:December 2, 2013
Just finished this one and as always with Mindy's books, well worth the read!! Read the whole thing during a one day to visit family for Thanksgiving. I got hooked on the Million Dollar series...wonderful...and have enjoyed every one I've read since then.
I liked Mindy Clark's million dollar series and thought this one would be right up there with a well written plot. I was sadly disappointed as Ms Clark incorporates too many plot elements that do not flow together well and distract the reader. Her main character, Sienna, comes off as worldly, self centered and materialistic, though at the end she does come out of that mode to take over the Bed and Breakfast.
Halfway through the book I was ready to give up as the plot rambled from a B & B with no guests, to the treatment of the Jews in WWII, to murder and animal fighting. Entirely too much plot for a story that takes place in the simple Amish countryside. I really wouldn't recommend purchasing this book as I was extremely disappointed in it.
The owner of a bed and breakfast, having, amish anestors a couple generations ago decides to listen to her former boyfriends' advise of hiring a manager she doesn't even know to manage her bed and breakfast in Amish territory. But then she temporairly fired at her job and an investigation is happening- something she doesn't understand at all- untill she goes to her bed and breakfast to find things are not being done lawfully...
I had recently purchased and read The Amish Midwife and The Amish Nanny co-written by Mindy Starns Clark and I thought they were quite well done. I'm a huge fan of the Amish so add mystery to that and I'm there! I decided to try 4 of her stand-alone books including this one and WOW! They were just fantastic! I found them easy to read, and yet the storylines were unique and mysterious. The books had enough substance that it made me want to keep reading even if it was late at night :) Highly recommend all 4 of Mindy's stand-alone books (Whispers of the Bayou, Shadows of Lancaster County, Under the Cajun Moon and Secrets of Harmony Grove). She starts with a climax in the first few chapters and keeps the intensity there throughout the rest of the book! Next on my list to buy is her Million Dollar Mystery series and I can't wait!
This book was very hard "to get into". It did not include the Amish people like I had anticipated. It was a little far fetched with the "birds" and the outfit to ward off the birds. By far not a favorite. Would not reccomend it to anyone.
I have read a number of Mindy Starnes books and liked them very much, but this one was not real good. I had a hard time following story line, it was hard to hold my interest and I just felt it was a little on the boring side. I thought as I got farther into it it would peak my curosity to the point I could not put it down, it did not, but was determined to finish it and now I have and I am so glad I am thru with it.
Readers familiar with Mindy Starns Clark know that she is an incredible writer that can weave an intricate story together in a phenomenal way. Her plots are always complex and her characters believable. It is also very difficult to put down one of her novels because the action is always non-stop.
That said, Secrets of Harmony Grove was a rather complicated story. The plot, while interesting from the word "go," had way too many twists and turns. It was a mystery within a mystery, with a few other mysteries served on the side. With all of the subplots, it was not a surprising experience to find several lagging portions in the book.
Knowing that Clark has written another Amish/mystery story, it was a given that the two books were easy to compare against each other. While neither book was overtly Amish, each book featured parts of the Amish lifestyle that are not commonly mentioned in strictly Amish novels. For example, this novel dealt with mental illness and Amish ancestry, while her other novel explained the intricacies of DNA research and diseases among the Amish.
Readers who enjoy lighthearted stories may wish to bypass this particular novel. Clark is a very talented mystery author, but this novel, in particular, had a few scenes that were darker than her usual fare. It will be interesting to see how she has used this novel, as well as her previous Amish/mystery novel, as she branches out with co-writing Amish novels.
If you like a good mystery then this book is for you. As always Mindy weaves an interesting story and keep you guessing untill the end.
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Review 10 for Secrets of Harmony Grove - eBook
It was a great book.
Date:February 21, 2011
E books make it very easy to read in bed, that is a good thing, but when you can't put the story down and you have to get up the next morning to play for church services, then you have a problem. That is what happened to me. There's just enough mystery in this book to make it interesting but not scarey and it was a very good read.
Synopsis: Sienna Collins, owner of the Harmony Grove Bed & Breakfast in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, learns that she is under investigation by the federal government for crimes she knows nothing about. A few hours later she finds her ex-boyfriend, Troy, dead, and her life and livelihood begin to spin wildly out of control. She begins to doubt everyone around her, even the handsome detective assigned to the case.
As Sienna tries to clear her name, she is forced to depend on her faith, the wisdom of the Amish, and the insight of the man she has recently begun dating. She’ll need all the help she can get, because the secrets she uncovers in Harmony Grove end up threatening not just her bed-and-breakfast, but also her credibility, her beliefs, and ultimately her life.
Sienna's Grandfather had been brought up Amish, but her Dad and his family had not. The setting for her Inn is an Amish Community. She does have a lot of Amish family who live around her inn and help her.
The spin on this story will take you from a serene Amish community to Nazi Germany and the Concentration Camps. There is a lot twist and turns in the story, including Mob involvement. There is also her Grandfather's PTSD from the War. Just when you think you know what is going on...something else happens. It becomes a real page turner...keep them coming Mindy!
I really enjoyed this mystery set in an Amish settlement in PA. I've never read anything from Mindy Starns Clark before but I have enjoyed some Amish romantic suspense from Marta Perry. I'd have to say that I probably prefer Marta as her style is a bit lighter. But Mindy's mystery was incredibly complex. I could not guess who was behind everything, which is unusual for someone who devoured Nancy Drew and Famous Five mysteries as a child! For me, a good mystery is always one that I can't solve before the characters.
But this book was more than just your standard mystery novel. Sienna, the heroine, was trying to simultaneously figure out who had murdered her ex-boyfriend and where her grandfather's diamonds were buried. This brought an entirely different aspect into the story, where Sienna uncovered her family secrets and learned the truth about her grandfather and his first wife. These secrets laid roots in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany and Mindy very delicately revealed some of the horrors of the Holocaust and how these had touched on Sienna's grandfather (an Amish man turned soldier) and his first wife (a German Jew). Sienna's grandfather planted a grove in memory of his deceased wife and it was fascinating to read about the history of it. This aspect of the story was woven through it very well and didn't overshadow the rest of it. Even for someone who is very well educated on the history of the Holocaust, I still felt that Mindy dealt with it in an incredibly touching and enlightening manner.
While I did enjoy the complexity of the mystery, it did seem a bit far-fetched in places. Yes, it was exciting and made me keep turning the pages, but on a couple of occasions I did wonder about how plausible situations were. I know I don't always look to fiction for realism but so many other aspects of the novel were believable that they made others feel a bit out of place. My only other complaint would have to be that while I found Sienna to be an interesting character, I never really connected with her. I could sympathise in places, but the way that a grown woman dealt with relationships kind of baffled me! However, I did enjoy the outcome of her romantic sub-plot; it wasn't predictable in the slightest.
All in all, I did enjoy my first Amish romantic suspense from this author. It was a refreshing departure from my usual romances and historical novels, and definitely a compelling read. While I didn't completely connect with the characters and found the plot unrealistic in places, I wouldn't hold that against this book and would probably read more from this author in the future.
I’ve enjoyed other suspense novels by this author so I looked forward to reading Secrets of Harmony Grove. It didn’t disappoint. New twists in a mystery are always a delight. Sienna Collins is an intriguing character. I felt her struggles as she dealt with deaths and deception and decisions. Who would have thought such danger lurked in quiet Amish country? It isn’t until the end of the story that the final secret is revealed.
The excitement starts in the first couple of pages and continues throughout the entire book. It brings in facts about the Jews in WWII and the lifestyle of the Amish in Lancaster, PA. Just grab a cup of coffee or tea, put your feet up and enjoy a great book!!
In Secrets of Harmony Grove, popular author Mindy Starns Clark takes readers on an exciting adventure in the peaceful Amish setting of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Sienna Collins, absentee owner of the Harmony Grove Bed and Breakfast, finds herself caught in a web of mystery and danger when she discovers her former boyfriend murdered and the inn’s manager unconscious. Struggling to clear herself and learn the truth, Sienna must call on all her strength and faith just to survive. Highly recommended! Marta Perry, author of Murder in Plain Sight
This author has a knack for creating unusual stories and injecting them with suspense. It is so refreshing to be intrigued, curious, and caught up in a story that is clean and morally sound. I had a hard time putting this one down. I highly recommend it for those who enjoy Amish fiction. And if you like suspense, this is a great introduction to the Amish genre!
I first met Mindy Starns Clark with A Penny for Your Thoughts (which looks like it’s being released in April 2011). Mindy’s writing cemented my love for Christian Fiction. I loved Callie Webber and the story line through this amazing series. Mindy followed the Million Dollar series by introducing us to Jo Tulip in the Smart Chick trilogy. I didn’t relate as deeply with Jo as I had with Callie, but again a great series of books.
Secrets of Harmony Grove is now the fourth standalone novel and her second trip to Amish country. I’ve not felt drawn to the Amish fiction that seems to be so popular these days. But I am drawn to Mindy’s writing so here we are with Sienna Collins.
Sienna to say the least is an adrenaline junkie. She begins the story on top of the world a great new job, fancy new car and an expensive new car. She quickly finds it all crashing down around her. It’s kind of a 0 to 60 mph to brick wall effect. At times I wanted to shake her or slap her to tell her to get a grip. Yet, much of who Sienna is in this story is a product of past events.
The supporting cast in this story include three men who add a new dimension to the story, everything from recklessness to strong stability. The interactions with them ultimately lead Sienna to the person she is at the end of the story. Being based in Amish Country there are, of course, who Amish extended family. They not only add wisdom to Sienna’s life but there are a few things that you won’t expect if you’ve read other Amish stories.
There is much more I could say about the characters but won’t, it will be more fun for you to discover them yourself. This is a good story. Although, I didn’t find myself relating with Sienna I enjoyed watching her struggle through the miry clay of her situation. There were a couple of times early on when I thought I had it all figured out only to find out I was totally wrong. So I gave up and enjoyed the story.
This book is suspenseful, but not like a Brandilyn Collins or Steven James. (Sorry only one dead body in this one!)
I would like to thank the publisher for providing this book for my review, however, please know the opinions are my own.
Secrets of Harmony Grove is a truly excellent suspense novel: broadly researched to provide historical depth, intricately plotted to keep the reader interested and guessing, and well-ended with all questions answered. Mindy's best by far.