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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Audible Book Review: Death of a Dyer by Eleanor Kuhns

This is a good mystery with interesting history. Unfortunately I think the narration could have been better.
by Eleanor Kuhns
Reader: Richard Waterhouse
Running Time: 11hrs 34min
Number of CDs: 9
Release Date: 6/18/13
D/L ISBN: 9781482100822 
CD ISBN: 9781482100815
Genre: Historical, Mystery
My Rating 4.0 of 5.0

Will Rees feels at home. It's been a long time since he last felt this way--not since before his wife died more than five years ago and he took to the road as a traveling weaver. Now Rees is back on his farm, living with his teenaged son, David, and his housekeeper, Lydia--whose presence contributes more towards his happiness than he's ready to admit. But his domestic bliss is shattered the morning a visitor brings news of an old friend's murder. Nate Bowditch and Rees hadn't spoken in many long years, but as children they were closer than brothers, and Rees feels his loss acutely. Asked to look into the circumstances surrounding Nate's death, Rees simply can't refuse. At the Bowditch farmstead, Rees quickly discovers that everyone--from Nate's frosty wife to his missing son to the shy serving girl--is hiding something. But are any of them actually capable of murder? Or does the answer lie elsewhere, behind stones no one even knew needed un-turning? Death of a Dyer once again proves Eleanor Kuhns' remarkable ability to spin a captivating story and capture the light and darker sides of human nature on the page.

Will Rees is a traveling weaver. He owns a farm but spends most of his time traveling to sell his wares, then returning home now and again to bring the proceeds to help support the farm. Now he is home at the farm with his teenaged son who has grown up working and loving the land his father disdains. Will has also brought Lydia, a strong independent widow and a Shaker who was put out of her community. She lives in a cottage on the farm and serves as housekeeper although she hopes to become more to Will as time goes by and when he is ready.

Will's wife, Dolly, died a few years ago from a bug he brought back from his travels. He still feels guilty but is also reluctant to risk moving to a different relationship with Lydia because he doesn't know if he can remain in town or if he will seek the road again.

Right now he is tied to his home by the request of the widow of a murdered friend to prove that their son did not kill his father. Nate and Will had been good friends as boys but Will has been away many years. As he meets Nate's wife and nearly 19 year-old son, Richard, Will begins to realize that he does not know the man that Nate became in his absence. Nate had become obsessed with his sturdy of colors as a dyer, always seeking a better, richer color. He apparently had developed friendships with other boys that they grew up with and the relationships are surprising to Will. Will worns Nate's wife, Molly, his close, devoted servant, Mason, and other boyhood friends that his investigations may lead to secrets that will make others unhappy. It won't be enough for Will to clear Richard as the prime suspect. Will won't give up the search until he has found and exposed Nate's killer.

I enjoyed the mystery that had some red herrings and twists to keep me guessing. The pacing is different as it is set in the 1780 Colonial time period and seems to plod a bit just as things might in those days. There is some wonderful history of weavers, dyers, slaves and bounty hunters seeking runaway slaves. But the history extends into the human aspects of land acquisition and any era human characteristics of pride, greed, snobbery and loyalty.

Audio Notes: I am sorry to say that this is not an audio version I would recommend. I found the narration very dry with little emotion and character given through the reading. This made the story drag for a good portion until the last quarter when the narrator surprisingly found expression.

I received this book for review for AudioGo through Audiobook Jukebox.

1 comment:

  1. I love a good mystery. I think I will give this story a try. Thanks for sharing this review with us.


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