If you switched Agatha Christie over a century and placed her in the middle of Amish country you would have “Separate from the World”, it is that type of a cozy.
Here you have Professor Michael Branden, teacher at a small town college and a native of the area, who has been best friends with the local sheriff, Bruce Robertson, since grade school. Along with another grade school buddy, Caleb Troyer, the local pastor, the trio becomes this group of investigators in a series of books that Gaus gives us, solving mysteries that involve the complexity of the Amish.
In “Separate from the World”, we meet the Erb family, and it’s descendants, that through apparent cross breeding with the families, has developed an unusual number of dwarf’s in the gene pool. The study of the genetics, blood studies and inbreeding becomes a study subject for a number of the students at neighboring at Millersburg College, and surprisingly the Erb family provides them with family history until the split in the Amish way of life is discovered and the elder forbids any further discussion with the students.
At the same time an apparent suicide of a female student opens an investigation into improprieties from another professor which opens the lead for Gaus to link her death with the controversial genetics study into the Erb family. He leads us a circuitous route, unraveling clues until the very last moment, leading to a very satisfying ending.