cover image Murder, Sweet Murder

Murder, Sweet Murder

Eleanor Kuhns. Severn, $28.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-5009-6

In Kuhns’s superior 11th mystery featuring Maine weaver Will Rees (after 2021’s Murder on Principle), Will and his wife, Lydia, set out for Boston in 1801 in response to a distress letter from Lydia’s sister, Cordelia. Cordelia, who’s aware of Will’s reputation as an amateur sleuth, wants him to prove Marcus Farrell, the owner of a sugar plantation in the West Indies and her and Lydia’s father, is not a murderer. Rumors have circulated that Marcus shot Roark Bustamonte, a poor West Indian immigrant, after a quarrel. But after the couple arrive in Boston, Marcus asks them not to pursue the matter, since in his view the killing will remain unsolved, given the lack of any witnesses and his having bribed the sheriff to eliminate him from suspicion, and be rapidly forgotten. This argument doesn’t dissuade Will and Lydia, who, uncertain of Marcus’s guilt, determine to discover who else might have had a motive for killing Bustamonte. A second murder connected to the Farrell family raises the stakes. Kuhns makes the most of having her lead operate in an unfamiliar setting en route to the satisfactory reveal. This series shows no sign of running out of steam. Agent: Mitchell S. Waters, Brandt & Hochman Agency. (Feb.)