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A Circle of Dead Girls

(Will Rees Mysteries #8)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The circus arrives in Durham and the whole town is excited... until the body of a Shaker girl is found beaten.

The circus has arrived in Durham, Maine. Before weaver Will Rees is able to take in its spectacle, he spots Magistrate Hanson - the man he blames for his family's having to flee Dugard two years earlier.

On his journey home he encounters Shaker brothers searching fo
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Severn House Publishers (first published January 1st 2020)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  62 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Jenn Z at That's What She's Reading

There's nothing quite like jumping into a series with the eighth book! While I never felt as though I was missing anything in order to feel immersed within the story and its historical setting, I do feel that had I started from the beginning, I would better understand all of the nuance surrounding Rees and his decision-making. This is by no means a fault of the book, but definitely more of a personal preference. I'm sure that I had experienced his story from the first book, his motives and perso
Laura Chase
Aug 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I've read and enjoyed the previous 7 books in the series.
This one, I didn't find as much fun although, I did like how Kuhns wove in the tolerance or lack there of with the townspeople and outsiders (circus folk & Shakers). I liked how she wove Will's feelings and longings for traveling versus actual day to day farming.
Lelia Taylor
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: full-reviews
Will Rees is a conflicted man. Accused of murder, he and his family fled their town and ended up on a farm in a Shaker community near the town of Durham where they now live safely but Will detests farming. What he does enjoy is being a traveling weaver and, now that spring has come to Maine, he’ll be heading out soon. First, though, he’s attracted to Asher’s Circus and has gone to town to see it. While he does get to see a couple of amazing acts, he’s soon forced to head back home.

On the way, Wi
Sep 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Will Reese novel and I had some trouble liking him. He seemed to react too quickly and harshly, all based on his previous experiences. He didn't give the magistrate the time to explain himself before throwing him out, for example. He assumed facts based on his own reactions rather than careful observations. He is not my kind of likable amateur investigator. One of the Shakers, Reese admits, must see him as brash, opinionated, and habitually angry. He hurts the feelings of his wi ...more
Kerstin Gunia
I was disappointed with this continuation of the Will Rees series, the title did nothing to endear me to this mystery. I was really hoping that Will had finally met the man who would recognize his skills and offer him a job. Instead Will is again feeling trapped at the farm, hating the chores, wanting to weave the day away, and travel selling his fine fabrics. The tension between him and Lydia is the same as in the previous books. I thought that the accusations that have caused the the Rees fami ...more
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is book eight in this series. I haven't read the previous books. When the circus comes to town, so does mystery and murder. Women and girls aren't allowed to attend the circus. When Leah sneaks out and doesn't return the search leads to her dead body. This series is about a Weaver Will Reese who was forced out of town and now works on his farm. He married into a Shaker family and solves crimes. I enjoyed this and I'm looking forward to going back to book one reading this series from the sta ...more
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book will have you going in circles trying to figure out who killed all those girls. It certainly had Will Rees and the sheriff going in circles.

That circle primarily revolved around the circus and the Shakers. Maybe a townie or two.

Will’s investigation was also affecting his marriage and work. He admitted he was basically lazy when it came to working his farm.

Thank you, Ms Kuhns, for introducing me to Will Rees. I wish I had discovered him sooner.

***Book provided without charge by PICT.***
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It has been too long since I read #7 in this series, I have missed the characters. When a young teen girl is found dead in a farm field while the circus is in town there is no shortage of suspects, starting with some of the men in the circus but then there is a suspect among the Shakers too. It takes Will working together with his wife to solve the case.
Erika Gregory
Aug 31, 2020 rated it did not like it
This might be my first single star rating. Rees is not a character to be respected or endeared. Perhaps reading the previous books in the series would have helped? Finishing the book was excruciating.
Jane Pettitt
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A small community of Shakers , the circus comes into town but women are not allowed a young shaker girl sneaks away and found strangled . Who could of done it Shaker community, townspeople or the circus? Enjoy
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: personal
Good characters with an entertaining story
Marlene Glick
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent!! Love this series....all are well-written and interesting. They just keep getting better.
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Already anxious for next book!
I had an hour left on my library check out! Whew!!!
Catherine Davis
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Much, much better than the two preceding books.
LInda L
Mar 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
I usually like historical mysteries, but this was an exception. I think if I had read the first 7, I might feel differently, but -- too late. I either hated or heartily disliked most of the characters, with Lydia being an exception. I thought Will was a wuss who SO wanted someone to pay attention to him, and he totally lost interest in solving the murders once he met Bambola. Then his small brain took over. And where did the title come from? There was ONE girl and a boy that was mistaken for a g ...more
Nona Pepkowski
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My husband always jokes that I can figure out the "who done its" before he does! I had a feeling who the culprits(s) were in this story. It did not fail. Well done. ...more
Jane Irish Nelson
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, mystery
When the circus comes to Durham, Maine, it brings mystery and intrigue with it. In the late eighteenth century, only men and boys are allowed to attend performances, but despite this, two youngsters from the Shaker community, Leah and Shem, set out to see for themselves. Will Rees also goes, but leaves early. On his way home he encounters some of the Shakers, searching for Leah, who never returned. Her body is found in a field, and Will becomes once again determined to discover the culprit. The ...more
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very good historical mystery, well written and gripping.
I liked the well researched historical background, the solid mystery and the well thought cast of characters.
Can't wait to read the next instalment in this series.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Kathleen Gray
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you haven't read this series- try this intriguing mystery about a weaver in 18th Century Maine married into the Shaker community and solves murders. Will and his family are living in Durham, Maine. He's a little bored (not bored, exactly) so when the circus comes to town, it's as big a deal for him as it is for the kids. Then Leah, a young Shaker woman, is found dead in a field off the road leading to the circus. Will, of course, invesigates- and along the way we meet the various members of t ...more
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
I’m still captivated by the life and adventures of stubborn and principled former Revolutionary War soldier and now weaver and farmer, Will Rees. There’s interesting history, twisty mystery, family, friends and not friends, life in Maine and in this latest installment, a traveling circus! Read this series from the beginning to best appreciate how people and situations have evolved to become as they are.
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
The circus has arrived in Durham, Maine. Before weaver Will Rees is able to take in its spectacle, he spots Magistrate Hanson - the man he blames for his family's having to flee Dugard two years earlier.

On his journey home he encounters Shaker brothers searching for a girl from their Zion community. Despite women not being allowed inside the circus, Leah had snuck out to visit it. They quickly come across her lifeless body beaten and thrown into a farmer's field on the road leading to the circus
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
1790s. The circus has arrived in Durham topleasure of the inhabitants. Including Will Rees, but he notices that Magistrate Hanson is also there. A man he blames for his and his family's flight from Dugard two years earlier.
But soon Will is drawn into a murder investigation when a body of a young girl is discovered. Bored with his farm life he seeks out all opportunities to visit the circus, and one person in particular, using the excuse that he is asking them all questions. But will Will's stubb
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Again-would give it 4.5 stars if I only knew how!
Diane Egebrecht
rated it really liked it
May 10, 2021
rated it really liked it
Nov 13, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Jul 20, 2020
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Feb 22, 2021
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Apr 01, 2020
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May 26, 2020
Sharon Porter
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Dec 05, 2020
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Eleanor is a lifelong librarian. She wrote her first story at the age of ten and hasn't stopped since. She lives with her husband and dog in New York State. ...more

Other books in the series

Will Rees Mysteries (10 books)
  • A Simple Murder (Will Rees, #1)
  • Death of a Dyer (Will Rees, #2)
  • Cradle to Grave (Will Rees, #3)
  • Death in Salem (Will Rees, #4)
  • The Devil's Cold Dish (Will Rees, #5)
  • The Shaker Murders (Will Rees #6)
  • Simply Dead (Will Rees #7)
  • Death in the Great Dismal (Will Rees, #9)
  • Murder on Principle (Will Rees, #10)

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