Delivering the Truth
(A Quaker Midwife Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Midnight Ink (April 8, 2016)
Paperback: 312 pages
E-Book ASIN: B019KKTWX6
Quaker midwife Rose Carroll hears secrets and keeps confidences as she attends births of the rich and poor alike in an 1888 Massachusetts mill town. When the town’s world-famed carriage industry is threatened by the work of an arsonist, and a carriage factory owner’s adult son is stabbed to death with Rose’s own knitting needle, she is drawn into solving the mystery. Things get dicey after the same owner’s mistress is also murdered, leaving her one-week-old baby without a mother. The Quaker poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier helps Rose by lending words of advice and support. While struggling with being less than the perfect Friend, Rose draws on her strengths as a counselor and problem solver to bring two murderers to justice before they destroy the town’s carriage industry and the people who run it.
This is an excellent debut!
The story takes place in Amesbury, Massachusetts in 1888. Rose Carroll is a midwife and she is also a Quaker. She has been taught from birth to see the best in people and let God’s light shine on everything she says and does and in times of turmoil. Turmoil comes in a fire, an arson, of a carriage factory and all the surrounding buildings. Several lives are lost. The turmoil continues when the owner of the carriage factory’s son is murdered. The weapon just happens to be one of Rose’s knitting needles. This means she knows the killer. When another death occurs, one of her patients, she knows she has to do all she can to uncover the truth and the murderer.
I am so impressed with this author’s writing. The Quaker lifestyle is unique and it is portrayed so well in this story. She is writing about something she know personally and it shines. I appreciate the insight into their Meetings and their quiet form of worship, their views and beliefs on equality and passive resolution. As someone not too familiar with their way of life I really only knew about their manner of speech, their use of thee as an ordinary pronoun, and plain manner of dressing. So in addition to a fine mystery the story was educational as well.
Her descriptions of Amesbury make the town come to life. Following Rose from place to place we have a clear bird’s eye view. I loved traveling back in time, no cars and only a few telephones. It was amusing to see Rose handling the new invention of the safety bicycle (both wheels the same size.) She also shows us the dark things of this period. Children working at a very young age and the poverty families faced. Most people worked so hard to provide so little.
I love Rose. She has such a good heart and is an wonderful midwife. Amazing to think she was only paid $2 per child and when people could not afford to pay she worked things out in trade. Being a midwife and a Friend enabled her to get close to people to ask questions about the deaths. She also has a beau who is not a member of her faith. This makes for interesting times together like meeting his parents.
Edith Maxwell has written a complicated mystery. She gives us plenty of suspects with different types of motive. It keeps a good pace and then ramps up at the end with an edge of you seat climax.
If you are a fan of historical mysteries you will love this book. If you are looking for something fresh and new that takes you back in time this is the perfect book for you. For me this one goes on the keeper shelf and gets a paradise rating.
About This Author
Edith Maxwell is an Agatha-nominated mystery author. MURDER MOST FOWL, book four in her Local Foods Mystery series, releases in 2016. Edith once owned and operated the smallest certified-organic farm in Essex County, Massachusetts.
Edith also writes the historical Quaker Midwife Mysteries. DELIVERING THE TRUTH, featuring a Quaker midwife sleuth in 1888, just released. Edith is Clerk of Amesbury Friends Meeting. Her story, “A Questionable Death,” is nominated for an Agath Award for Best Short Story.
BLUFFING IS MURDER, the second in Edith’s Lauren Rousseau mystery series (written as Tace Baker), features a Quaker linguistics professor. Edith holds a PhD in linguistics.
Edith, a fourth-generation Californian, has two grown sons and lives in an antique house north of Boston with her beau, their three cats, a small organic garden, and some impressive garden statuary. She worked as a software technical writer for almost two decades but now writes fiction full time.
Edith is touring Delivering the Truth right now with Great Escapes. You can go to the Tour Page HERE to check out the stops and enter the giveaway.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”