Separate from the World — 2008

An Ohio Amish Mystery

By P. L. Gaus

“In Gaus’s excellent sixth Ohio Amish mystery … a convincing plot and credible, sympathetic characters make another winner in this fine regional series.”

Starred Review — Publishers Weekly

“The pro-medicine/anti-medicine debate that splits the Amish community literally pits brother against brother and the clash of cultures, and of ideals within a culture, adds complex depth to Gaus’ story.”

Mystery Scene Magazine

“Two unexplained deaths bring home to history professor Michael Branden (A Prayer for the Night, 2006, etc.) the powers and limitations of modern science.… A perceptive look at problems that have no easy solutions.”

Starred Review — Kirkus Reviews

Show all quotes

As another college year draws to an end, Professor Michael Branden is weary after nearly thirty years of teaching. Sitting in his office on a warm spring day, he receives an unexpected visit from an Amish man who claims his brother, a dwarf like himself, has been murdered. Their discussion of the odd details of the case is interrupted by a commotion on campus, which turns out to be the apparent suicide of a young woman, who, it seems, has leapt to her death from the college bell tower.

The investigations of these two deaths become intertwined as Professor Branden again teams up with his colleagues Pastor Cal Troyer and Sheriff Bruce Robertson to seek explanations for these bizarre events.

Separate from the World is a story of a rift between two Amish factions, one that favors the use of medicine and that participates in a college study of genetic traits particular to the Amish community, and the other that rejects any outside influence.

Once more, P. L. Gaus takes us inside a separate culture and, in a manner both gentle and grim, highlights the complex relationship of the Amish and the “English” as they live inside or outside each other’s orbits.


Picture of P. L. Gaus

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