Friday, July 26, 2013


P. L. Gaus’ The Names of Our Tears begins April 4 and ends April 12.

In that short time, Holmes County, Ohio, Sheriff Bruce Robertson and his staff investigate the murder of a young Amish woman. They work with the Drug Enforcement Administration to try to break up a drug ring carrying suitcases of cocaine into Holmes County. And they become enmeshed in a federal Environmental Protection Agency investigation.

In a sense, this story is Pastor Cal Troyer’s story. Troyer counsels an orphaned Amish child who has now lost her only friend to murder. His words are moving, and finally, his ministry is effective.

The English (non-Amish) world impinges on the Old Order world. One Amish family leaves their farm and moves away. Another family almost loses their farm to the bungling of the federal government. The old Amish widower who originally found the body begins and ends the story courting over candy.

Without a hard rain and an expected flood, this story would have been sadder yet.

If you can’t tell, I liked this story. It moved rapidly along across those eight days or so. It ended without Robertson being able to tie up all the loose ends. And it had strong feeling in it.

This is one of my favorites among the P.L. Gaus Amish Country Mysteries.


A NOTABLE QUOTATION FROM The Names of our Tears 

“God honors all our tears, Emma. He even knows the names of our tears. Every one of them. God names them all to honor our pain.”

With a voice as frail and tragic as a plea for mercy, Emma asked, “How do you know?”

“Because I pray, Emma. And I have learned that, in our prayers, God tells us the names of our tears.”

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