Simply Dead
by Eleanor Kuhns

A midwife disappears after attending the birth of a child in another community, leading to an investigation that uncovers innumerable lies and secrets.

1790s, Maine. In the depths of winter Hortense, a midwife, disappears after attending a birth in the woodlands. During the search Will Rees finds her struggling through the snow and woods without shoes or a coat.

After two young men begin stalking the community in search of her – including targeting Rees’s own family – she is questioned further and claims she was kidnapped . . . but Rees and his wife Lydia are suspicious. It is agreed Hortense’s presence is endangering everyone’s safety and she needs to leave. As the arrangements are made she is hidden in Zion, the local Shaker community, only while there a Shaker Sister is murdered. Witnesses describe a man fitting Josiah Wooten’s description, a ferocious man living in the woods with two young sons.

What is the truth behind Hortense’s disappearance, and who is responsible for the death of the Shaker Sister?


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

Kirkus Reviews

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


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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Simply Dead by Eleanor Kuhns is available in the following formats

Paperback978178029604331st January 2020136 X 216mm224£13.99
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