Death of a Dyer
Review: Will Rees and Nate Bowditch were childhood friends. But then the Revolutionary War separated them, and in the 18 years since they haven't seen or spoken to each other, even though they both have inherited nearby farms in Maine and taken up related professions, Will a weaver, Nate a dyer. But now Nate is dead, murdered, and his attorney doesn't trust the authorities to find his killer, relying instead on Will to search for answers, in Death of a Dyer, the second mystery in this series by Eleanor Kuhns.
Nate's body had been found in his dyer's cottage, a place where he spent much of his time researching and crafting the dyes that would bind to cloth. Most suspect his son Richard of killing him; they had frequently quarreled and Richard disappearing soon thereafter seemed to confirm his guilt … at least in the mind of the local constable. But Nate doesn't want to jump to conclusions, even though all the evidence seems to point to Richard's having done the deed. Will soon discovers, however, that there are many secrets in this town he calls home, and one in particular that someone will kill — and kill again — to keep from being revealed.
There is a strong sense of time and place in Death of a Dyer, so much so that it's easy to overlook some of the shortcuts that the plot takes in moving from one point to another. Will Rees makes for an amiable amateur sleuth, a somewhat aloof individual who would rather be traveling about the countryside selling his weaves than staying at home working a farm and raising a family. He's a bit naive, constantly asking himself questions about the investigation and rehashing in his mind all he has learned, giving readers who pick up on the hints provided the answers to both whodunit and whydunit long before Will figures it out.
Though Death of a Dyer can be read as a stand-alone, there are several references to events that occurred in the previous (and first) book of this series, which suggest it probably should be read first. Indeed, though the present crime is solved here, this book ends on a something of a cliffhanger, giving the impression that the series is being written as a serial spanning several books.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Death of a Dyer for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Cradle to Grave
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), June 2014
ISBN-13: 9781250050007; ISBN-10: 1250050006
Location(s) referenced in Death of a Dyer: Maine
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Death of a Dyer by Eleanor Kuhns — A Will Rees Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: June 2013
List Price: $24.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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