Death in the Great Dismal
by Eleanor Kuhns

Finding themselves in a slave community hidden within the Great Dismal Swamp, Will Rees and his wife Lydia get caught up in a dangerous murder case where no one trusts them.

September 1800, Maine. Will Rees is beseeched by Tobias, an old friend abducted by slave catchers years before, to travel south to Virginia to help transport his pregnant wife, Ruth, back north. Though he’s reluctant, Will’s wife Lydia convinces him to go . . . on the condition she accompanies them.

Upon arriving in a small community of absconded slaves hiding within the Great Dismal Swamp, Will and Lydia are met with distrust. Tensions are high and a fight breaks out between Tobias and Scipio, a philanderer with a bounty on his head known for conning men out of money. The following day Scipio is found dead – shot in the back.

Stuck within the hostile Great Dismal and with slave catchers on the prowl, Will and Lydia find themselves caught up in their most dangerous case yet.


The story shines for its historical backbone and atmospheric details. Those factors make it perfect for readers of Margaret Lawrence's Hannah Trevor novels and Eliot Pattison's Bone Rattler series


A fine mystery that powerfully evokes the privations of the period

Kirkus Reviews on Simply Dead

An indefatigable, principled main character and an immersive early-republic setting, nicely delineating the life and times of the era, distinguish this historical mystery

Booklist on Simply Dead

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

Publishers Weekly on Simply Dead

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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Death in the Great Dismal by Eleanor Kuhns is available in the following formats

Paperback978178029722430th June 2021138 X 216mm224£13.99
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