Writing Amish Mysteries

Apr 13, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Amy Lillard

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to a copy of This Little Piggy by Amy Lillard, and links to purchase it from Amazon.

Amish mystery. Does the term have you scratching your head? At first it did me the same way. But so many books later and I can’t imagine my world without them.

Truthfully, I sort of fell backward into writing mystery novels. (Full-disclosure: I fell face-first into writing about the Amish, but that is another story for another day.) Mysteries. Yes. That’s what we were talking about. So I have always adored romance novels. Always. And, of course, that was where I started my writing career. Hence the web address: www.amywritesromance.com. Well, that and the fact that another Amy Lillard took Amy Lillard dot com. (Yes, there are more than one of us! But again, another story.) So how did mysteries get added in?

Not long into my career as a published romance author, I was contacted by a mystery subscription publisher about writing a book in one of their series. They wanted to have a suspect who was Amish, and they wanted an author who already knew something about the Amish to write it. I explained that I knew the Amish but not mystery. They told me that part I could learn. They would teach me. And another tentacle of my career began to grow. Since that time I have written nine other mysteries involving Amish characters and Amish communities and have several more contracted. That’s not even counting the non-Amish mysteries I’ve penned along the way. I’m still reeling at the expansion. Remember: Amy Writes Romance dot com?

But mysteries are fun to write. Starting off with the crime and working backward to find the killer is an entertaining way for me to plot out a mystery. But what about the Amish parts?

Having Amish characters and a crime that happens in an Amish community adds a different flavor to the mix. Yes, bad things occur even in the peaceful countryside where most Amish reside. It’s the handling of the crime and the different way of thinking that adds something new to the story. The key is not writing everything you wanted to know about the Amish but were afraid to ask. The secret is the balance between culture and mystery.

Amy Lillard

Kishacoquillas Valley in Pennsylvania is the perfect place to showcase this balance. Kish Valley is the setting for my Kappy King Mystery Series. Kappy’s latest adventure, This Little Piggy, released at the end of February. The valley is miles from the more touristy backdrop of Lancaster County. The area is home to twelve different sects of Amish and Mennonites, and the valley is the only place where you can see three different colors of buggies on the roadways: black, yellow, and white. Yes, yellow. Each one signifies a different set of beliefs with different rules and regulations for that community. This unique aspect and the varied population of Plain people located in such a small area are what makes this place truly special. I’ve been to the valley three times and want to go back again so bad I can taste it! It’s beautiful there, inspiring and all around lovely.

Most of all, it’s rich in farming, cottage businesses, and a wonderful sense of community. I wish everyone could go to Big Valley, as it is called, but I know that’s not possible. Just another reason to set a series there. If you pick up one of my Kappy King books, some of the places that you’ll visit as you read are places that I’ve been to myself—the bait shop where Jimmy works that also sells honey, the Mennonite lady who makes birdhouses, the green phone shanty at the end of the lane, and the Amish and Mennonite cemetery that sits deep in the valley.

That’s what makes it so special there, the culture and the people. And every time I sit down to write a “Kappy book” I get to return to the valley, if only in my imagination. But I hope my books take you to the valley as well; it’s a wonderful place to spend some time.

To enter to win a copy of This Little Piggy, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “piggy,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 23, 2022. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. BE SURE TO STATE WHICH ONE YOU PREFER. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode goes up next week.

You can use this link to order a copy of the book or click here. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the Amazon link:


Amy Lillard is the award-winning, best-selling author of over sixty books and novellas in a variety of genres. A transplanted Southern belle, Amy was born and raised in Mississippi and now lives in Oklahoma with her husband of a billion years. They have one (almost) adult son whom they are embarrassingly proud of. These days their ‘empty nest’ is rounded out with two spoiled cats who always seem to want to be fed when she’s hit her writing stride for the day. But such is life with felines.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.

13 Comments

  1. oooh i would love to read this! sounds really good! i love it

    Reply
  2. I enjoy Amish mysteries. There lives are so much
    different than mine – it is interesting to learn about
    their culture. thanks for the offer of a book.
    txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Reply
  3. Sounds like a great read! I have read several amish romance books including some of uour, following along on facebook as well.

    Reply
  4. I confess I haven’t read any Amish mysteries, or even romances, but my mother loves both. I watched an episode of PA Books on PCN, it’s been a while, and I can’t remember the name of the book, but the author talked about the differences between sects, including the buggies. I was fascinated. I think I would like this series.

    Reply
  5. I always enjoy Amy’s books but I’ve only had a chance to read one Happy King mystery. I would love to win a print copy of This Little Piggy.
    Thank you & Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

    Reply
  6. Witness started it all! Count me in!

    Reply
  7. I would love to win a print copy of This Little Piggy, I’ve got the other books in the series & enjoyed them!

    Reply
  8. Amish books always remind me how love and kindness of others can carry us through life’s most difficult moments. I’m a big fan of Amish books.

    Reply
  9. I enjoy reading Amish fiction. I would really like to read.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

    Reply
  10. I would love to read this. I enjoy reading Amish themed fiction. I would love a print copy.

    Reply
  11. Living in Ohio, driving down to Amish country is always a fun excursion. I have read some Amish mysteries but somehow missed yours. I would love to win a print copy and check out this incredible Amish setting and learn more about the different sects. suemngirl(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Reply
  12. We have a winner!

    Reply

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