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Will Rees is back home on his farm in 1796 Maine with his teenage son, his pregnant wife, their five adopted children, and endless farm work under the blistering summer sun. But for all that, Rees is happy to have returned to Dugard, Maine, the town where he was born and raised, and where he's always felt at home. Until now. When a man is found dead - murdered - after getting into a public dispute with Rees, Rees starts to realize someone is intentionally trying to pin the murder on him. Then, his farm is attacked, his wife is accused of witchcraft, and a second body is found that points to the Rees family. Rees can feel the town of Dugard turning against him, and he knows that he and his family won't be safe there unless he can find the murderer and reveal the truth...before the murderer gets to him first.
It's 1796, and traveling weaver Will Rees is visiting Salem, Massachusetts. He's in town to buy a luxurious gift for his pregnant wife, a few yards of well-made fabric from the traders at the famed Salem harbor. While traveling through Salem, however, Rees comes upon a funeral procession for the deceased Mrs. Antiss Boothe. When Rees happens upon Twig, a friend who fought alongside him in the war, he learns that Mrs. Boothe had been very ill, and her death had not come as a surprise. But the next morning, the town is abuzz with the news that Mr. Boothe has also died--and this time it is clearly murder. When the woman that Twig loves falls under suspicion, Twig persuades Rees to stay in Salem, despite the family waiting for him back home in Maine, and help solve the murder.
Rees is quickly pulled into the murky politics of both Salem and the Boothe family, who have long been involved in the robust shipping and trading industry on the Salem harbor. Everyone Rees meets seems to be keeping some kind of secret, but could any of them actually have committed murder?
Will Rees returns in Death in Salem, the next delightful historical mystery from MB/MWA First Novel Competition winner Eleanor Kuhns.