by Eleanor Kuhns

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Review

An itinerant weaver during colonial times has developed a reputation for solving crimes. In this case, William Rees becomes involved in a murder at a Shaker community which allows readers to see the surface and underside of that particular life style. Throughout there is a contrast between insiders and outsiders, not just on the Shaker farm, but in the nearby town as well. William has his own struggles with his family and his attraction to one of the women who is attached to the Shaker farm as a beekeeper, but who is not a member, adding a bit of spice. The full gamut of human emotion is vividly portrayed even as the circumspect ideas of that time period keep sordid details swept under the rug.  There’s little information about the weaving or the religious beliefs that motivated the Shakers to form into their distinct communities. Kuhns’ brings an immediacy to a historical period not often the focus of genre fiction.

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