Expected publication: September 4th 2012 by Zondervan
In Material Witness, Vannetta Chapman reunites her Amish characters, Deborah, Melinda and Esther with their Englishcher friend, Callie, owner of Daisy's quilt shop. Once again, the four friends have a mystery to solve during the Fall Festival, one of Shipshewana's busiest weekends.
Wheelchair-bound Aaron, Melinda's son, along with Callie's dog, Max, witness a murder just before dusk right outside the quilt shop. Unfortunately, the murderer sees Aaron and Max watching him. The four friends, Aaron and his siblings and Callie's romantic interest, investigator Shane Black, try to figure out who the murderer is and if indeed the murderer got his target or was it a case of mistaken identity. Callie may have been the intended victim. It takes a lot of doing but the kids are the ultimate catalyst in solving the mystery.
In her latest, Chapman continues the subplot of romance between Callie and investigator Shane Black. Both Shane and Callie have had some real hurt in their lives but have finally opened up their hearts to love again. The mystery takes center stage in the story but the friendship of the four women and the romance thread adds to the dimension of the story.
Several things I really like about Chapman's writing; the reader can truly feel a sense of place and the characters are well fleshed out with an authentic voice. I like the respect the Amish and the Englischers have for each other in this series. Chapman handles the disabled Aaron's storyline with much sensitivity. The friendship between the four women feels very real to me as do the relationships between husband and wife and parents and children.
Material Witness can easily be read as a stand-alone as the author fills in enough backstory so that the reader is not left missing anything. I did happen to read the first book in the series, truly enjoyed it and look forward to the next one!
Vannetta Chapman can be found at her website and at her facebook page.
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided byNetgalley/Zondervan in exchange for my honest opinion.