A new year brings about a renewed interest in the USA Fiction Challenge.
The next stop is the state of Ohio.
Cast A Blue Shadow
An Ohio Amish Mystery
by P.L. Gaus
What is the relationship between history and fiction in a place with a contentious past? And of what concern is gender in the telling of stories about that past?
After the first blizzard of an early winter, a Mennonite college girl with a troubled past appears curled up and bloodied outside the office of her childhood psychiatrist. Mute for many years as a child, Martha Lehman is again not talking. That same morning, the wealthy mother of Martha's boyfriend is found murdered in her mansion in the country west of Millersburg, Ohio. Professor Michael Branden and Sheriff Bruce Robertson begin an investigation that, in the space of a single weekend, implicates Martha, threatens to tear apart the fabric of Millersburg College, pits one professor against another, and brings Caroline Branden near to a breaking point over the girl she once tried so fervently to help and who now seems determined to let no one help her at all. As Martha struggles to understand her enigmatic past and as Professor Branden wrestles with the murder of the college's leading benefactor, the real story of Martha Lehman emerges, born Amish, converted to Mennonite, and drawn to the English world for the worst of reasons.
Written by Paul L Gaus (1949- )
Ohio University Press