Friday, July 19, 2013

The Harmony Series by Nancy Mehl

I discovered Mehl a couple of years ago when I bought this book Cozy in Kansas on sale at a local store.  Such a fun, quirky cozy mystery.  A year later I read Mehl's Missing Mabel  -- another quirky cozy mystery.  So I had mixed feelings when I started hearing about her Harmony Series. There is a bit of mystery to them, but that is the only similarity to the earlier books. This trilogy is set in the Mennonite Town of Harmony, Kansas and while there are things that were "foreign" to me (since I am not a Mennonite), it is far from quirky.  But oh my, this is one of the best series I have ever read. I just loved them! You definitely want to read them in order, as they build on each other centering around the same focal character, Gracie, in each book.

Book 1 -- Simple Secrets -- finds Gracie living the life.. going for the gusto.. working as a Graphic Designer for a firm in Wichita and planning to move up the ladder to great success. And then, she learns that she has inherited a house from an uncle she has never met. She knew of him... her father's brother.  They had a falling out when her father left the Mennonite church and ways and moved with his bride, his parents following soon after.  All these years Gracie knew there was an Uncle Benjamin, but nothing more.

She sets out to look over the house... retrieve family treasures for her father.. and get the place ready to sell. What she never expects to is find a house full of secrets and mysteries and a town that seems so simple and backwards at first, but slowly become a refuge of peace and rest.

Book 2 -- Simple Deceits -- Gracie has grown to love Harmony and the people there and so she decides to work as a freelance designer, while making her life there in her "new" home.  Now that she has electricity and air conditioning, she can survive!

Things change when a baby is left at a local church and an anonymous note is sent saying Gracie is the mother.  The people who she thought loved her begin to look at her suspiciously.  Gracie has to find out who the real mother is and fast before she looses the most precious thing in life.. love.

Book 3 -- Simple Choices -- Gracie just wants to help Hannah. She never dreams by taking her for an art course in the city, she would be feeding into the girl's desires to leave her faith and community.  Hannah disappears shortly after their return and Gracie is blamed.  Certain she has run away, the police do little to look for Hannah. But Gracie knows better.. in her gut. Hannah wouldn't just leave.

And so she sets out again to solve the mystery and the day.  Only this time she gets a little to close and invites the danger home.

Excellent Series!

1 comment:

Nancy Mehl said...

Thank you so much, Barb.