Material Witness by Vannetta Chapman is set in the small Amish community if Shipshewana, Iowa. It is the third book in the Shipshewana Amish Mystery Collection although it is the only book in the collection I have read. I found the book to be worthy as a stand alone novel and had no trouble getting to know the characters. I’m sure reading the first two books in the series would, no doubt, have added more depth to the characters but Mrs. Chapman did a wonderful job of weaving details of the characters back stories to ensure her readers get a clear picture of her characters and the reasons behind their reactions to events in the book.
I read a lot of Amish literature and I found this particular book unique from any other I have read. It was a refreshing change and the author had me guessing until the end. Where most Amish literature focus around the family and life on the farm, this book focused on the work environment, friendships and mystery. Of course there was a romance involved but it was just a small part in the overall story. I appreciated the fact that one of the young Amish boys was born with a genetic condition which required him to use a wheelchair. My own son is very close in age to this character and he also uses a wheelchair due to a disability. I could relate to the child’s mother in feeling the need to protect her son because he is medically fragile yet knowing he must be allowed to have real life experiences and responsibilities.
The double meaning of the title was a cleaver choice by Ms. Chapman. I suppose there was more than one mystery to be solved in this book. : )
This book gets 4 out of five stars. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries, Amish literature, or Christian romance. You won’t regret spending the time to read this book.
This review is also posted on Goodbooks and Librarything.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the ebook from Zondervan through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give an honest review and the expressed opinions are my own.