When a baby-only hours old-is discovered on the Amish bishop's front porch in Painter's Mill, Ohio, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called in to investigate. The newborn is swaddled in an Amish crib quilt, and the only other item found with the child is a hand-carved wood rattle, which Kate also recognizes as Amish.
The little girl seems healthy and whole; but who would abandon her and why? Though the quilt and rattle could be purchased, Kate suspects the mother is Amish, possibly young and unmarried, both of which would be powerful motives for such a desperate act. With the rattle and the baby quilt as the only clues, Kate must call upon her own Amish roots, and with the help of state agent John Tomasetti, search the Amish and "English" communities of Painters Mill for clues to unravel the poignant, puzzling mystery.