Books I Love! Murder on Principle – Drop Everything and Read Eleanor Kuhns Latest Will Reed Mystery

This is the tenth in Eleanor Kuhn’s Will Rees mystery series. I love these books! They’re original and unexpected. This one’s got an interesting plot twist: smallpox. How timely. Read it when you’ve got nothing else to do after you pick it up.

About the Book

Will Rees faces a moral dilemma when a slaveholder is murdered while attempting to recapture a former slave: should he pursue lawful justice or should he let the killer go free?

November 1800, Maine. After helping their long-time friend Tobias escort his wife, along with a liberated slave and her child, from the Great Dismal back to Durham, Will and Lydia Rees’s lives are interrupted when a dead body is found near their home.

The body is that of Mr Gilbert, a slaveholder from the Great Dismal. Was he murdered in pursuit of the former slaves?

When it’s discovered Gilbert was infected with smallpox, and Gilbert’s sister arrives demanding justice and the return of her absconded slaves, Will is torn. Finding the killer could lead to the recapture of the former slaves. Letting them go free could result in a false arrest and endanger the Durham community. Will must make a choice . . .

My Take

It’s easy to get lost in Eleanor Kuhn’s world of 1800’s Maine. The series is painstakingly researched and the characters are written so well. You’ll think you’re in the mystery alongside Will and Lydia, feel the fear of the escaped slaves, and despise the elegant southern plantation mistress who comes to take them back to Virginia. The issue of race is deep in this story as abolitionists and sympathizers with the slave owners do battle. The smallpox outbreak – and the doctor’s ingenious way to offer a vaccination – is taken right out of today’s headlines. I couldn’t stop reading and spent a delightful Saturday afternoon trying to figure out the killer. Kuhns gave us several good options, but the ending came as a surprise. Highly recommended for those who enjoy historical fiction and cozy mysteries.

About the Author

ELEANOR KUHNS is the 2011 winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel competition. She lives in New York, received her master’s in Library Science from Columbia University, and is currently the Assistant Director at the Goshen Public Library in Orange County, New York.

Connect with Eleanor Kuhns

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