Guest review by my mystery-loving wife Marian:
Relationships are at the heart of the newest Eleanor Kuhns mystery starring Will Rees, The Shaker Murders. As a new reader of this series, I was introduced to the close relationship between Will and his wife Lydia, and waited along with these characters for the birth of their baby. Another set of relationships shown in the book is between the couple’s adopted children. And there are other family connections that affect what Will and Lydia do during the course of this sixth book in the series.
Equally intriguing were the relationships between our main characters and members of the Shaker community where Will and Lydia come to stay for two weeks, as their new baby’s birth approaches. Readers learn more about the community and the Elders as we see their reactions to sudden deaths that Will believes are murders. We also get a glimpse into the complex emotional issues some characters face as they decide whether to become or remain a Shaker.
Will is a loving husband and father, determined to find a good home for his growing family, despite the dangers and obstacles. This is the overarching theme as the book progresses. However, his frequent angry outbursts complicate these efforts. This makes him human, but it can also be frustrating to readers like me, who wonder why Will seems to be on the edge of boiling over time after time. Still, the mystery comes to a satisfying end, with relationships the key to solving the murders in the Shaker community.