A Prayer for the Night
An Ohio Amish Mystery

By P. L. Gaus

“Gaus usually writes quiet novels, but this one is harsher than his others, full of suspense, the immediacy of a hostage situation, and in-depth Amish funeral rites.”

Library Journal

“An engaging twist in this novel is that, unlike most mystery writers, Gaus spends relatively little time on the motives and personality of the chief ‘villain.’ Instead, he focuses on the reactions of the direct and indirect victims of the crime—the kids, their parents and extended family, and their developing view of the way the world should work…. (C)learly defined characters and a vivid sense of place.”

ForeWord Magazine

“Amish teenagers run wild during Rumschpringe, their time of testing in the outside ‘English’ world, in Gaus’s absorbing fifth entry in this powerful series.... Detailed Amish funeral and wedding rites conclude an otherwise taut tale, offering fascinating insights into this closed society’s struggle to maintain traditions amid a rapidly changing world.”

Publishers Weekly

“Sober and authentic, Gaus’s well-paced fifth takes a hard look at the risks the community must take and the compromises it makes to preserve itself in an ever-more-complex world.”

Kirkus Reviews

Amid a whirlwind of drugs, sex, and other temptations of the “English” world, a group of Amish teenagers on their Rumschpringe test the limits of their parents' religion to the breaking point. The murder of one and the abduction of another challenge Professor Michael Branden as he confronts the communal fear that the young people can never be brought home safely.

Along with Holmes County Sheriff Bruce Robertson and Pastor Cal Troyer, Professor Branden works against the clock to find a murderer and a kidnapper, and to break a drug ring operating in the county, determined, wherever the trail may lead him, to restore the shattered community. In his desperate search, Branden struggles with the reluctance of the Amish to trust the law to help them find the answers to their problems.

In A Prayer for the Night, his fifth Ohio Amish Mystery, P. L. Gaus deftly balances the pace and practices of Amish life in northern Ohio against the unfolding urgency of a hostage situation. As Gaus has proven before, the mystery gains from its exploration of the ever-widening chasm between the traditional life of the Amish people and their interaction with the outside world.

P. L. Gaus is the author of seven books in the Amish-Country Mystery series. He lives in Wooster, Ohio, an area that is close to the world’s largest settlement of Amish and Mennonite people. Gaus lectures widely about the lifestyles, culture, and religion of the Amish..

Visit his website at P. L. Gaus

Order a print copy

Hardcover · $21.56 · Add to Cart

Retail price: $26.95 · Save 20% ($21.56)

Find at a local bookstore


Download an electronic copy

Amazon Kindle Store Barnes & Noble NOOK Google Play iBooks Store

Availability and price vary according to vendor.

Share    Facebook icon  Email icon


Desk Copy Examination Copy Review Copy

Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center

Downloads & Links

External Link



Related Subjects

Mystery · Fiction



Retail price: $26.95, T.
Release date: Mar. 2006
184 pages · 5½ × 8½ in.
Rights: World


Release date: Mar. 2006
≅ 184 pages

Additional Praise for A Prayer for the Night

“Gaus is a sensitive storyteller who matches his cadences to the measured pace of Amish life, catching the tensions among the village’s religious factions.”

The New York Times

“The strength of this book and of all the others in this well-textured and lovingly tended series...is Gaus’s great skill in telling his tale of children and adults lost and saved, their various physical, mental, and spiritual crises....”

The Bloomsbury Review