Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Eleanor Kuhns

Eleanor Kuhns is the 2011 winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel competition. She lives in New York, received her master’s in Library Science from Columbia University, and is currently the Assistant Director at the Goshen Public Library in Orange County, New York.

Kuhns's new novel is Death in Salem.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
I just finished a mystery titled Run You Down by Julia Dahl. This is the second (after Invisible City) and they are both great. Rebekah is the daughter of an Ultra-Orthodox woman who leaves the Orthodox community but finds she has real difficulty in adjusting to the outside world. One of the lines I most appreciated came from a young Jew who was contemplating leaving but couldn’t figure out, without the severe rules of his culture, how he would know what was right and wrong. Since I live within miles of Kyrias Joel, a Satmar Hasidic community, and have had numerous interactions with members, I find this culture both alien and fascinating. And the quote I just paraphrased resonated with me. For those of us in popular culture, navigating in a world of moral gray is something we’ve grown up within so we are more comfortable, mostly, without absolutes.

This is a culture locked in fear, willing to turn a blind eye to child abuse rather than accuse another member of a crime that might bring shame upon them. In the context of a mystery, it also explores the complexity of leaving this kind of restrictive faith.

Both wonderful books.

Since I usually read a nonfiction book at the same time, I am also reading “The Forgotten Plague” about Tuberculosis. Although written in the 90’s – so I’m sure some of the current information is dated, this a pretty terrifying book. The author says several times that everyone is at risk since everyone breathes. TB is also an opportunistic infection, and has played a large part in HIV deaths.
Visit Eleanor Kuhns's blog and Facebook page.

Coffee with a Canine: Eleanor Kuhns & Shelby.

The Page 69 Test: Death in Salem.

--Marshal Zeringue