A Circle of Dead Girls
by Eleanor Kuhns

A circus arrives in Durham in the 1790s and the whole town is excited… until the body of a Shaker girl is found beaten.

1790s. The circus has arrived in Durham, Maine. Before weaver Will Rees is able to take in its spectacle, he spots Magistrate Hanson – the man he blames for his family’s having to flee Dugard two years earlier.

On his journey home he encounters Shaker brothers searching for a girl from their Zion community. Despite women not being allowed inside the circus, Leah had snuck out to visit it. They quickly come across her lifeless body beaten and thrown into a farmer’s field on the road leading to the circus.

Bored of his household chores, Rees begins investigating at the expense of his home life. He becomes entranced by the lives of the circus performers, including the charismatic horse rider and tightrope walker. Is his longing for his old journeyman’s life causing him to take his eye off the case, and can he stay out of Hanson’s way and keep his family safe?


The setting and historical detail remain sharp, with strong, descriptive prose


Credible period detail

Publishers Weekly

A fine mystery with satisfying characters that powerfully evokes the privations of the period

Kirkus Reviews on Simply Dead

The plot twists rank among the author’s most clever. Historical fiction fans will be pleased

Publishers Weekly on Simply Dead

Kuhns makes the most of the cloistered Shaker community setting in this top-notch outing

Publishers Weekly on The Shaker Murders

An absorbing look at the early Shaker communities

Kirkus Reviews on The Shaker Murders

Eleanor Kuhns

Eleanor Kuhns is a previous winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel competition for A Simple Murder. The author of seven previous Will Rees mysteries, she is now a full-time writer after a successful career as the Assistant Director at the Goshen Public Library in Orange County, New York.

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A Circle of Dead Girls by Eleanor Kuhns is available in the following formats

Hardback97807278900853rd March 2020145 X 224mm240$28.99
Hardback978072789008529th November 2019145 X 224mm240£21.99
Ebook97814483036561st January 2020N/A240$6.99
Ebook97814483036561st January 2020N/A240£4.99
Paperback978178029667823rd February 2021140 X 220mm240$17.95
Paperback978178029667831st December 2020140 X 220mm240£12.99
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