BOOK REVIEW: What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman

A fire blazes out of control in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, leaving an elderly Amish bachelor dead. Bishop Henry Lapp rushes to the scene, and he learns the fire was no accident. Someone intended to kill Vernon Frey. But who would want to kill Vernon? Well, practically everyone—Amish and Englisch alike.

When the police point the finger at a suspect Henry knows is innocent, the bishop must decide whether or not to use his mysterious, God-given gift—one he's tried desperately to ignore all these years—to try and set the record straight. His close friend and neighbor, Emma, encourages Henry to follow God's leading.

Could the clue to solving the case be locked somewhere deep in his memory? Will Henry find the courage to move forward in faith and put the right person behind bars? Is his friendship with Emma becoming something more?

What the Bishop Saw is a story of extraordinary talents, the bonds of love and friendship, and the unfailing grace of God.

Honestly, I'm not even sure where to begin.  It's no mystery that you can win my heart by giving me a mystery.  Given a choice I'll always go mystery, it's just my niche.  However I have other preferred (please, you know I'll read 'anything' except technical manuals people) genres and when you mix any other genre with a mystery it's going to be right up my alley. Add to that an author that creates characters and setting that embraces you like a best friend and it can't go wrong!  Henry Lapp suffered an accident as a child that resulted in a savant gift.  That gift, later in life, brought him into the English world in a way most English never get involved with.  After this encounter Lapp and many of his friends chose to relocate from their home to join a fledgling community in Colorado.  

There was so much to this story to like and I'm going to tell you about some of it, some you'll have to discover for yourself.  I'm gonna touch on a couple of things I struggled with though.  I have to admit though, I'm not certain it's a problem with the book so much as a problem with my reading schedule.  There are quite a few characters, I mean an entire community plus a couple of law enforcement and a few English as well.  Now follow along because I'm totally going off the beaten path here and share stuff that is completely irrelevant to the book but completely relevant to my reading experience.  I'm exhausted.  Sleep deficit exhausted.  Tired when I wake up and tired when I go to bed exhausted.  But reading.  Reading is how I relax, how I unwind and something that has been a part of my life as since before I have memories.  But exhaustion and reading are not the best of friends.  And reading with lots of characters when you are a person who only remembers their own name because they've had it so long when you are only able to read a few chapters at a time makes it hard to keep everyone straight and their relationships.  I mean good gravy, there was a character who was sorta important halfway through the book that I don't even remember having been there.  I felt lost..a lot.  

Now to the good stuff about the book, not me.  Bishop Lapp makes this book and I hope that future books are involved with him as well.  His faith in God, his patience for truth, and his willingness to use his gift (that has caused him problems in the past) to right a wrong are just part of what I love about him.  The mystery is intertwined to the story from the beginning and despite it being too obvious who actually did it the back and forth of the characters and the way it all played out do not stand as a deterrent for me.  Outside of the central story line and the level that Henry brings to the book I think the ending sealed the deal for me that I love this book.  

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley.  I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.

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What the Bishop Saw (The Amish Bishop Mysteries Book 1)
About Vannetta Chapman 
The first thing you need to know about me is that I write Fiction full of GRACE.  Every plot is different. The characters change. Some of my books are mysteries, others are novellas, and some are romances. But they all are stories of light, hope, and truth. Stories that at least for a moment touch the deepest places in our heart.
Tales that whisper hope. That speak of family and community. That remind us of God and His love.

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  1. Replies
    1. Ma was telling me the other day 'I read you review and I really want to read this one.' To which I reminded her that she had reserved it from the library! Gotta love hooking Ma in one book at a time~