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 . . . (Summary via Goodreads)
Even though Murder on Principle by Eleanor Kuhns is about murder, it has a relaxed feel to it when you are reading it. It could be because the main character, Will Rees, is a very relaxed person or it could be because the story is set in the 1800's and things are done at a much slower pace, or it could be that things in the 1800's are done completely different from modern days due to lack of technology and such. Regardless when I was reading this tenth book in the Will Rees Mystery series, I felt more at ease reading about the murder and how it was investigated.
In Murder on Principle there is a lot going on..... first there is a dead body discovered on the land near the Rees' home and the local constable, Rouge, looks to Rees for assistance. When it is learned that the deceased is an out of town slaveholder looking for a woman slave and her baby and Rees and his wife Lydia know the whereabouts of the two, Rees helps the woman and child out of town to safety. Unfortunately the sister of the deceased comes to town with some slave takers and demands that the girl and her child be returned to her. When Rouse ends up very sick he asks Rees to step in and take control of the investigation and find the murderer.
While Rees looks into the case, one of the slave takers is found dead on the opposite side of town as the other body and that piles on a bunch of new questions. Also it is discovered that smallpox has been brought into the area and that is what Rouse is battling as well as others in town. So not only is a murderer on the loose in town feared but also a deadly disease......
The Will Rees Mystery series being set in the 1800's allows readers a chance to step away from stories with a lot of technology based crimes and the way they are solved to a much simplier way of living. And seeing how things are handled will make readers wonder about that simplier time a little bit. Readers will love Rees and his wife and family and how he assists Rouse in the investigations, you cannot help but admire him and the way he goes about things. This series will not only entertain the reader but it also educates you on the way things were back in the day.......
Review by Missi M.
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