Paul L. Gaus was born in Athens, Ohio, in 1949, and he has lived in Wooster, Ohio, for the past 35 years with his wife Madonna. Paul's extensive knowledge of the culture and lifestyle of the Ohio Amish comes from over thirty years of travel throughout Holmes and surrounding counties in Ohio, where the world's largest Amish and Mennonite population sprawls out over the countryside near Millersburg, Wooster, and Sugarcreek.
Paul took an interest in writing fiction in 1993, and with the advice and encouragement of author Tony Hillerman, he began writing mystery novels set among the Amish in Holmes County, Ohio. The first of Gaus's mysteries, Blood of the Prodigal, An Ohio Amish Mystery, was published by Ohio University Press in June of 1999, and a total of seven novels have appeared in this series: Broken English, 2000, Clouds without Rain, 2001, Cast a Blue Shadow, 2003, A Prayer for the Night, 2006, Separate from the World, 2008, and Harmless as Doves, 2011. Paul's first six stories have been republished recently by Plume (a division of Penguin Group U.S.A.) as The Amish-Country Mysteries. The seventh novel, Harmless As Doves, is scheduled to be released by Plume as a paperback edition in June of 2012, and the eighth novel, The Names of Our Tears, is under contract with Plume.
Paul and his wife Madonna still travel frequently in Holmes County. He lectures widely about Amish culture, and his books have been featured prominently at Book Expo America and similar professional shows around the country. Paul's novels have been reviewed frequently in journals and newspapers, for instance, Kirkus Reviews, ForeWord Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, Ohioana Quarterly, and the New York Times Book Review.