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A Christmas Mourning

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Claire Weatherly has come to respect how the Amish of Heavenly, Pennsylvania, value tradition. But not all traditions are necessarily quaint. When a decades-old mystery threatens the well-being of local police detective Jakob Fisher, she’ll pit herself against a community rooted in the past so that he can get on with his future. When Claire decides to visit the one-room s Claire Weatherly has come to respect how the Amish of Heavenly, Pennsylvania, value tradition. But not all traditions are necessarily quaint. When a decades-old mystery threatens the well-being of local police detective Jakob Fisher, she’ll pit herself against a community rooted in the past so that he can get on with his future. When Claire decides to visit the one-room schoolhouse Jakob attended as a young Amish boy, she’s puzzled by his refusal to go along too. As Jakob tells his story, Claire is stunned and saddened by the heartbreaking tale of a childhood mistake that led to the mysterious disappearance of a precious family artifact—and signaled the first break between Jakob and his mother, made all the more painful now that he’s been shunned by the family and community he loves. Knowing there’s only one way to help heal the irreparable wound that continues to haunt Jakob, Claire sets off to follow the trail of the missing heirloom, never suspecting that it will lead her to Jakob’s oldest friend, a long-ago Christmas secret, and an enduring truth about family, love, and the power of forgiveness. Praise for the National Bestselling Amish Mysteries “The best cozy mystery debut I’ve read this year.” —#1 New York Times bestselling author Harlan Coben “Delightful . . . Well-portrayed characters and authentic Amish lore make this a memorable read.” —Publishers Weekly “A fascinating cozy that showcases the culture of the people.” —Gumshoe Review “Bradford’s characters are some of the best developed, most interesting ones I’ve come across in a cozy mystery.” —Lesa’s Book Critiques About the Author: Laura Bradford is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, the Tobi Tobias Mysteries, and the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey). Portrait of a Sister, her new women’s fiction novel, will be available in June. Laura is a former Agatha nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, and being an advocate for those living with multiple sclerosis. For more information and all the latest book news, visit her website at www.laurabradford.com.


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Claire Weatherly has come to respect how the Amish of Heavenly, Pennsylvania, value tradition. But not all traditions are necessarily quaint. When a decades-old mystery threatens the well-being of local police detective Jakob Fisher, she’ll pit herself against a community rooted in the past so that he can get on with his future. When Claire decides to visit the one-room s Claire Weatherly has come to respect how the Amish of Heavenly, Pennsylvania, value tradition. But not all traditions are necessarily quaint. When a decades-old mystery threatens the well-being of local police detective Jakob Fisher, she’ll pit herself against a community rooted in the past so that he can get on with his future. When Claire decides to visit the one-room schoolhouse Jakob attended as a young Amish boy, she’s puzzled by his refusal to go along too. As Jakob tells his story, Claire is stunned and saddened by the heartbreaking tale of a childhood mistake that led to the mysterious disappearance of a precious family artifact—and signaled the first break between Jakob and his mother, made all the more painful now that he’s been shunned by the family and community he loves. Knowing there’s only one way to help heal the irreparable wound that continues to haunt Jakob, Claire sets off to follow the trail of the missing heirloom, never suspecting that it will lead her to Jakob’s oldest friend, a long-ago Christmas secret, and an enduring truth about family, love, and the power of forgiveness. Praise for the National Bestselling Amish Mysteries “The best cozy mystery debut I’ve read this year.” —#1 New York Times bestselling author Harlan Coben “Delightful . . . Well-portrayed characters and authentic Amish lore make this a memorable read.” —Publishers Weekly “A fascinating cozy that showcases the culture of the people.” —Gumshoe Review “Bradford’s characters are some of the best developed, most interesting ones I’ve come across in a cozy mystery.” —Lesa’s Book Critiques About the Author: Laura Bradford is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, the Tobi Tobias Mysteries, and the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey). Portrait of a Sister, her new women’s fiction novel, will be available in June. Laura is a former Agatha nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, and being an advocate for those living with multiple sclerosis. For more information and all the latest book news, visit her website at www.laurabradford.com.

30 review for A Christmas Mourning

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    Claire Weatherly is going to enjoy a rare day off with her aunt Diane, and the two are going to play tourist, visiting the Amish sites that are open for tours. When Claire mentions this to Jakob Fisher, her new boyfriend, he tells her a story about a Christmas years ago. Raised by a local Amish family, Jakob actually attended school in the one room school house Claire and Diane will be visiting. The last year he was there, he took a fancy Christmas spoon his mother owned to show off to his frien Claire Weatherly is going to enjoy a rare day off with her aunt Diane, and the two are going to play tourist, visiting the Amish sites that are open for tours. When Claire mentions this to Jakob Fisher, her new boyfriend, he tells her a story about a Christmas years ago. Raised by a local Amish family, Jakob actually attended school in the one room school house Claire and Diane will be visiting. The last year he was there, he took a fancy Christmas spoon his mother owned to show off to his friends, and it got lost. Claire decides to see if she can figure out what happened to it. But can it be recovered all these years later? I’ve been meaning to read this short story at Christmas one year, and I’m glad I finally made the time. While the events of the past are set around Christmas, the contemporary part is not set during the season, which was a surprise that I got over quickly. The story was perfect for a short story; it kept me engaged without being overly complex. The ending made me tear up, but in a good way. We don’t see all of the characters, but it was wonderful to check in with those who were part of the story. It took me just under an hour to read, so if you want to read it this year, there is still time to slip it in before the holiday.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Ks Book Reviews

    The Amish Mystery series by author Laura Bradford has been one of my very favorite series since I started reading cozies. This wonderful short story is a perfect addition. A CHRISTMAS MOURNING, is a beautiful, heartwarming story. A light mystery dealing with the character Jacob. But we also get to see all our favorite characters from this fantastic series. Laura Bradford’s writing draws you into her stories and makes you feel a part of them. Every description transports you to the place she spea The Amish Mystery series by author Laura Bradford has been one of my very favorite series since I started reading cozies. This wonderful short story is a perfect addition. A CHRISTMAS MOURNING, is a beautiful, heartwarming story. A light mystery dealing with the character Jacob. But we also get to see all our favorite characters from this fantastic series. Laura Bradford’s writing draws you into her stories and makes you feel a part of them. Every description transports you to the place she speaks of. You are in Heavenly, Pennsylvania. You hear the sounds, smell the smells, see the sights. You live the story as you read it. Only an author of Ms. Bradford’s caliber can truly bring a story to life. A CHRISTMAS MOURNING is a must read for every reader of this series. If you haven’t read the Amish Mystery series, please, start them as soon as you can. They are truly magnificent. I’ve been looking forward to reading book 5 in this series, A CHURN FOR THE WORSE for some time now. After reading A CHRISTMAS MOURNING, I’m even more excited!

  3. 4 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts A perfect story for the season even though it takes place in the summer. Scratching your head, well let me explain. We all have Christmas traditions but way back when a young Jakob Fisher was in school something happened that changed one of his family’s Christmas traditions. All these years later Claire is trying to heal that hole that was created. I like this brief little visit to Heavenly. Claire’s love for Jakob just glows. She hates that he is shunned by his family and will Dollycas’s Thoughts A perfect story for the season even though it takes place in the summer. Scratching your head, well let me explain. We all have Christmas traditions but way back when a young Jakob Fisher was in school something happened that changed one of his family’s Christmas traditions. All these years later Claire is trying to heal that hole that was created. I like this brief little visit to Heavenly. Claire’s love for Jakob just glows. She hates that he is shunned by his family and will do anything to bring them closer. A heartwarming story that will stick with you. The story may be a short one but my emotions were all over the place. We only have to wait 2 months for out next visit as A Churn for the Worse releases March 1. I can’t wait!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Chapel

    For years former Amish man and now Police Detective Jakob Fisher has suffered from guilt for something he did when he was only nine years old. He had snook into his mothers special keep shakes and removed a family artifact. It was a sterling silver teaspoon with Christmas holly on the handle. He wanted to take it to school to show his friends and tell the story about the spoon. The class was busy rehearsing for the Christmas play the school would have later that day. Jakob had set the spoon asid For years former Amish man and now Police Detective Jakob Fisher has suffered from guilt for something he did when he was only nine years old. He had snook into his mothers special keep shakes and removed a family artifact. It was a sterling silver teaspoon with Christmas holly on the handle. He wanted to take it to school to show his friends and tell the story about the spoon. The class was busy rehearsing for the Christmas play the school would have later that day. Jakob had set the spoon aside and forgotten about it. Later when he remembered the spoon he went looking for it but the spoon was no where to be found. Jakob knew he had disappointed his mother even though she didn't get upset with him. You see the spoon had belonged to her parents and grandparents before them. Her mother and father had gifted her with the family heirloom when she and Mose had married. It was tradition for years that each Christmas the spoon would be used to stir peppermint hot chocolate for the children and Grace had carried on the tradition in her own family. Now that tradition had been broken. When Jakob told Claire Weatherly about the spoon and how guilty he still felt all these years later for hurting his mother, Claire decided that she would work to find the spoon . Jakob didn't know what she planned to do. Claire knew how all of this saddened Jakob and especially now that he was under a ban for leaving the Amish church after baptism. The story stems around Claire's search for the family artifact. It's a short story that I enjoyed very much. I found it to be very touching and heartwarming. Readers of Cozy Mysteries and Amish Fiction will enjoy this story. It's book 4.5 of Laura Bradford's An Amish Mystery series. I hope you will read it and enjoy it as much as I did. I downloaded a Kindle ebook from the Ohio Digital Library. A review was not requested. All opinions expressed here in this review are my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Twenty-six years ago Jacob lost his mother's treasured spoon on the day of a school Christmas program. Although he went back to the schoolhouse when he realized he left it there, the spoon was gone. When Claire's planned visit to the schoolhouse arouses that painful memory, she determines to find the spoon. This simple short story leaves the reader with a happy feeling. Twenty-six years ago Jacob lost his mother's treasured spoon on the day of a school Christmas program. Although he went back to the schoolhouse when he realized he left it there, the spoon was gone. When Claire's planned visit to the schoolhouse arouses that painful memory, she determines to find the spoon. This simple short story leaves the reader with a happy feeling.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    When Claire invites Jakob to visit an old one roomed Amish schoolhouse, now a museum, she learns the story of how he lost a special Christmas spoon which belonged to his mother, a link to her English past, which she brought out each Christmas morning. She would make peppermint hot chocolate for her children while she told the story of the first Christmas. Jakob has always felt guilty for losing something that brought such joy to her. A sweet short story with the expected happy ending.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Pam Pavkov

    Memories are a gift A Christmas Mourning is an amazing short story written by Laura Bradford in her An Amish Mystery series. I enjoyed the mystery surrounding the disappearance of s special spoon. Once again Claire shows her emotional side and sets out on a journey to bring joy to her special friend, Jacob. These two characters are amazing and work well together. The author has delivered a very emotional story. I was not given a complimentary copy of this story to read and review. I was not approa Memories are a gift A Christmas Mourning is an amazing short story written by Laura Bradford in her An Amish Mystery series. I enjoyed the mystery surrounding the disappearance of s special spoon. Once again Claire shows her emotional side and sets out on a journey to bring joy to her special friend, Jacob. These two characters are amazing and work well together. The author has delivered a very emotional story. I was not given a complimentary copy of this story to read and review. I was not approached by anyone to post a favorable review. I have rated this story with five stars for an exceptional story that I can highly recommend to all those who enjoy the Amish and mystery genres.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    This is a very heart warming Christmas short story. Years ago Jakob had lost an item of his mother's and Claire has decided to try and find out what happened to put his mind at ease. Ms. Bradford has a way of writing that places you right there with the characters, totally enjoyable read. I will definitely continue with this series. This is a very heart warming Christmas short story. Years ago Jakob had lost an item of his mother's and Claire has decided to try and find out what happened to put his mind at ease. Ms. Bradford has a way of writing that places you right there with the characters, totally enjoyable read. I will definitely continue with this series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    A new-to-me author and I will definitely be reading more of her books. Cute titles and attractive covers!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    When Jakob shares a bit of his childhood holiday memories with Claire, he reluctantly tells her of how decades ago during Christmas, he was responsible for losing an item dearly treasured by his mother and has felt guilt over it ever since. Claire is upset that she has brought anguish to Jakob and resolves to make it up to him. But how do you fix something that was broken all those years ago, especially now that Jakob cannot contact his family because of his excommunication in the eyes of the Am When Jakob shares a bit of his childhood holiday memories with Claire, he reluctantly tells her of how decades ago during Christmas, he was responsible for losing an item dearly treasured by his mother and has felt guilt over it ever since. Claire is upset that she has brought anguish to Jakob and resolves to make it up to him. But how do you fix something that was broken all those years ago, especially now that Jakob cannot contact his family because of his excommunication in the eyes of the Amish. Perhaps Claire can find a Christmas miracle! I love this series and this short story brought tears to my eyes in both sadness and joy.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chris Payne

    I don't do book reviews...... I don't do book reviews like you keep seeing, as I find that some give too much of the plot away and I personally hate that, as it makes the book not worth reading. I much prefer to take the authors back cover write up as a review as it can either intrigue you enough to read the book of provide you enough information to make you decide that the book is not for you. My review rules are: The more stars, the more I liked it. If there are too many typos or errors the less I don't do book reviews...... I don't do book reviews like you keep seeing, as I find that some give too much of the plot away and I personally hate that, as it makes the book not worth reading. I much prefer to take the authors back cover write up as a review as it can either intrigue you enough to read the book of provide you enough information to make you decide that the book is not for you. My review rules are: The more stars, the more I liked it. If there are too many typos or errors the less stars I give If the storyline or plot is poor or contains too many errors, the characters are too weak, the ending lacking something, then the less stars I give. Simple, uncomplicated and to the point without giving anything away. Some of the books I read have been given to me by the author as a pre-release copy and this does not bias my reviews in any way

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shirley

    Following Jakob's decision to leave his Amish faith after baptism, he was excommunicated and banned from all contact with his family. He relies on his memories, both good and bad. When Claire learns of Jakob's lingering guilt over loosing a precious heirloom handed down to his mother, she tries to rectify the situation. But some twenty-six years have passed, and the gift she bestows upon Jakob and his maam goes far beyond material things. I love this series. This was a delightful story with endea Following Jakob's decision to leave his Amish faith after baptism, he was excommunicated and banned from all contact with his family. He relies on his memories, both good and bad. When Claire learns of Jakob's lingering guilt over loosing a precious heirloom handed down to his mother, she tries to rectify the situation. But some twenty-six years have passed, and the gift she bestows upon Jakob and his maam goes far beyond material things. I love this series. This was a delightful story with endearing characters. Far too short, leaving me wanting more.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Doreen

    Jakob, as a 9 year old, wanted to show his classmates an heirloom spoon that was the only reminder his mother had of her English roots. In the excitement of the Christmas play, Jakob lost track of the spoon and it's loss haunted him into adulthood. Claire, seeing his distress, tried to locate the spoon. The story shows how love is more powerful than societal rules and how children perceive the meaning of objects differently than adults do. Jakob, as a 9 year old, wanted to show his classmates an heirloom spoon that was the only reminder his mother had of her English roots. In the excitement of the Christmas play, Jakob lost track of the spoon and it's loss haunted him into adulthood. Claire, seeing his distress, tried to locate the spoon. The story shows how love is more powerful than societal rules and how children perceive the meaning of objects differently than adults do.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Linda Smatzny

    This is a short novella that I read on my kindle. It is about Jakob and his childhood memory of Christmas and his losing a spoon that belonged to his mother. The spoon had been given to his mother by her grandmother and was used only at Christmas. Claire decides to see if she can find it for him. It was a very quick read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I enjoy these books about the Amish. The main characters in this one are Claire and Jakob. Jakob tells Claire about a special Christmas spoon of his mother's that he lost 20 spme years ago and how bad he still felt. Claire decides to she if she can find it so that Jabok can have some peace. Loved this story. I enjoy these books about the Amish. The main characters in this one are Claire and Jakob. Jakob tells Claire about a special Christmas spoon of his mother's that he lost 20 spme years ago and how bad he still felt. Claire decides to she if she can find it so that Jabok can have some peace. Loved this story.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Drummond

    This short story was heart braking and a tear kind a book. You had to feel for Claire and her feelings for Jacob . But what Claire really wants to do is to find a Special Christmas Spoon that was his Momma's she used just for Christmas Morning to make a special hot coco for her family. It will leave you with a warm feeling and a love for Christmas Traditions. This short story was heart braking and a tear kind a book. You had to feel for Claire and her feelings for Jacob . But what Claire really wants to do is to find a Special Christmas Spoon that was his Momma's she used just for Christmas Morning to make a special hot coco for her family. It will leave you with a warm feeling and a love for Christmas Traditions.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Janet Miller

    This is the first book I've read by this author. It was a short story. The characters were interesting and believable. It dealt with an Amish family whose son had been excommunicated for leaving to become a detective. It was well written and I recommend it. This is the first book I've read by this author. It was a short story. The characters were interesting and believable. It dealt with an Amish family whose son had been excommunicated for leaving to become a detective. It was well written and I recommend it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Ryan

    Love the story I do not think I have read a bad story written by Ms Bradford. This completes all of her books in this series for me. Yesterday, I found out she writes more cozies under a different name. I am going to read that series next.

  19. 4 out of 5

    LaVonne Stenfors

    A beautiful gift... This was heart wrenching story having read all the books in this series and yet a heart warming story for a mother & son especially given the circumstances.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Short but sweet A fun little Christmas story that includes more of Jakob’s past A bit of a mystery and a heartwarming Christmas miracle.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This was a wholesome short story.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Deann Doolittle

    Good little story

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Great Christmas story Imagine losing something that belonged to your mother and not forgiving yourself. Sometimes miracles do happen and brings joy back to two people.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Patricia A.

    As usual Laura Bradford does not disappoint you. This was a great story and I loved reading every minute of it. The characters are great and I can’t wait for the next book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    This review is from: A Christmas Mourning: An Amish Mystery Short Story (Kindle Edition) I am not a big fan of short stories; but when one comes along within the year long wait for a favorite series, I snatch it up. I am so glad I did with CHRISTMAS MOURNING, an entry in Laura Bradford's Amish Mystery series. It was a real treat! While the current story takes place in June, the mystery plot centers around an event that happened to Jakob at Christmastime when he was a young Amish boy. After sharing This review is from: A Christmas Mourning: An Amish Mystery Short Story (Kindle Edition) I am not a big fan of short stories; but when one comes along within the year long wait for a favorite series, I snatch it up. I am so glad I did with CHRISTMAS MOURNING, an entry in Laura Bradford's Amish Mystery series. It was a real treat! While the current story takes place in June, the mystery plot centers around an event that happened to Jakob at Christmastime when he was a young Amish boy. After sharing the memory of losing a cherished heirloom of his mother's, Claire goes in search of finding the item in the hopes of relieving Jakob of the sadness and guilt he still feels. CHRISTMAS MOURNING is a story, that despite being short, takes the reader through a series of emotions. I am anxiously waiting for book no. 5 in this series, A Churn for the Worse, which is scheduled for release on March 1, 2016. I cannot recommend enough this entire series to fans of both Amish fiction and cozy mysteries.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Peggy R

    I absolutely love this series so when I saw the short Christmas Story novella, I scooped it right up. It is filled with everything that I love about the series. The characters in this story are wonderful. They have depth and emotion. These are characters that you can easily picture as real. Ms. Bradford's description of the town of Heavenly Pennsylvania draws you in and makes you want to set out on a road trip to visit. One word that I would use to describe this series and this short story is he I absolutely love this series so when I saw the short Christmas Story novella, I scooped it right up. It is filled with everything that I love about the series. The characters in this story are wonderful. They have depth and emotion. These are characters that you can easily picture as real. Ms. Bradford's description of the town of Heavenly Pennsylvania draws you in and makes you want to set out on a road trip to visit. One word that I would use to describe this series and this short story is heartwarming. One of this author's greatest talents (in my opinion)to write her stories in such a way that the reader feels as if they have been transported and were part of the story as opposed to just reading the story. If you are a fan of this series, don't miss this short story. It is truly heartwarming and filled with a lot of emotion and wonderful characters.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dharia Scarab

    Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books... 1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future. 2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author. 3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up. 4 sta Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books... 1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future. 2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author. 3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up. 4 stars... I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be on the look out to pick up more from the series/author. 5 stars... I loved this book! It has earned a permanent home in my collection and I'll be picking up the rest of the series and other books from the author ASAP.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sandie

    Touching!! This is a short story that is long on love. Not on purpose, Jakob Fisher lost something dear to his Amish mother's heart 26 years ago. Jakob, who was shunned by his Amish community, tells his girlfriend, Claire, about the loss of the item and how much he is still hurting. Claire, who is "English" and is in love with Jakob, sets her cap to finding it. Not an easy task after 26 years. Can she find it?? And will finding it bring up hurt feelings for someone else?? This story by the talente Touching!! This is a short story that is long on love. Not on purpose, Jakob Fisher lost something dear to his Amish mother's heart 26 years ago. Jakob, who was shunned by his Amish community, tells his girlfriend, Claire, about the loss of the item and how much he is still hurting. Claire, who is "English" and is in love with Jakob, sets her cap to finding it. Not an easy task after 26 years. Can she find it?? And will finding it bring up hurt feelings for someone else?? This story by the talented and lovely Laura Bradford, is very touching and shows a mother's unconditional love for her child. Of that, I understand quite well.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Warm Holiday Cozy I love reading about the Amish Culture and traditions and holiday stories This was a charming mixture of both. It tells about a precious holiday object that was lost years ago and was found 26 years later

  30. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Almada

    I love this series, and this little picture of Jakob's Amish childhood. It is great that Claire was able to give Jakob a gift that ended up allowing him to know that his mother still thought of him and loved him!!!!!! I love this series, and this little picture of Jakob's Amish childhood. It is great that Claire was able to give Jakob a gift that ended up allowing him to know that his mother still thought of him and loved him!!!!!!

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