Murder on Principle
by Eleanor Kuhns

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 . . .


A complex mystery that focuses on the institutional racism still sadly ingrained in the nation’s psyche

Kirkus Reviews

This sobering look at the cultural divide over slavery in the early days of the Republic deserves a wide audience

Publishers Weekly

This continuation of the story of Will Rees and his family stands on its own, probing issues of race relations and religion in our early republic


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

Booklist on Death in the Great Dismal

“A fascinating look at the Great Dismal Swamp and the enslaved who fled there trying to find freedom. The murder mystery is multi-faceted, with many red herrings and plot twists”

Historical Novel Society on Death in the Great Dismal

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

Booklist on A Circle of Dead Girls

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.

View author page


Murder on Principle by Eleanor Kuhns is available in the following formats

Hardback97807278500723rd August 2021145 X 225mm224$28.99
Hardback978072785007227th May 2021145 X 225mm224£20.99
Hardback97807278500723rd August 2021145 X 225mm224$28.99
Ebook97814483053601st July 2021N/A224$25.99
Ebook97814483053601st July 2021N/A224£18.99
Ebook97814483053601st July 2021N/A224$25.99
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