"A Simple Murder works as an intense historical but also a heartfelt story about families, especially the bonds between fathers and sons, and the grievances that can pull relatives apart. . .Kuhns' affinity for showing the complicated relationships that drive people shines in this strong debut.”
—Oline Cogdill, Kansas City Star
“Kuhns’ intimate voice and all-seeing eye make [the Shaker community] seem an exotic world indeed. But she also shows that greed, envy and materialistic values are nothing if not universal."
—Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
"Kuhns's closed-room mystery is refreshingly original, both for its setting and time period. In keeping with her protagonist's profession, Kuhns weaves together disparate threads into a beautiful finished piece."
—Library Journal (starred review, Debut of the Month)
“This outstanding debut won the 2011 Mystery Writers of America/Minotaur Books First Crime Novel Competition, and it’s as good an argument for continuing these contests as it gets. Kuhns, a career librarian, delivers a superbly researched and beautifully crafted historical mystery.”
—Toronto Globe & Mail
“Kuhns’s quiet, well-crafted debut. . .poignantly captures the Shaker ethos of the period.”
“A gripping historical mystery. . . With an ingenious story line (including a truly surprising conclusion), fascinating characters and a profound sense of time, place and culture, A Simple Murder marks a debut brimming with promise.”