Judge Thee Not (Quaker Midwife Mysteries)
Historical Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Beyond the Page Publishing (September 10, 2019)
Paperback: 238 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07T494SHJ
Quaker midwife Rose Carroll must fight bias and blind assumptions to clear the name of a friend when a murderer strikes in nineteenth-century Massachusetts . . .
No stranger to judgmental attitudes in her small town of Amesbury, Quaker midwife Rose Carroll is nonetheless stunned when society matron Mayme Settle publicly snubs her good friend Bertie for her nontraditional lifestyle. When Mrs. Settle is later found murdered—and a supposed witness insists Bertie was spotted near the scene of the crime—the police have no choice but to set their sights on the slighted woman as their main suspect.
Rose is certain her friend is innocent of the heinous deed, and when Rose isn’t busy tending to her duties as midwife, she enlists the help of a blind pregnant client—who’s endured her own share of prejudice—to help her sift through the clues. As the two uncover a slew of suspects tied to financial intrigues, illicit love, and an age-old grudge over perceived wrongs, Rose knows she’ll have to bring all her formidable intelligence to bear on solving the crime. Because circumstantial evidence can loom large in small minds, and she fears her friend will soon become the victim of a grave injustice . . .
I am so happy this series found a new home so quickly. I love these characters!
Again, Ms. Maxwell takes on a hot topic in 1889 and still a hot topic for some today. As a midwife, she willing discusses everything with her patients, from diet, birth control, and even rape. Rose Carroll is a Quaker and like most members has a very open mind. They treat everyone as equals regardless of class or standing. She is truly taken by surprise when society matron Mayme Settle makes her feelings known publically about postmistress and Rose’s friend Bertie’s nontraditional lifestyle, – a “Boston marriage” to attorney and partner Sophie. Soon after Mayme Settle makes her declarations she is murdered and a witness places Bertie near the scene of the crime. Rose is positive her friend had nothing to do with the death and she is going to do everything she can to prove it and pass along all the information she can to her friend police detective Kevin Donovan.
In addition to the characters we have met over the course of this series, the author also introduces us to two of Rose’s patients that really captured my heart. First, Jeanette Papka, a tall woman “with long dark hair and a delightful smile.” Sadly a childhood illness has left her blind. Amazingly it doesn’t hold her back. Jeanette speaks several languages fluently and works at the Second District Court in Amesbury as a translator. We also meet Sissy Barkley, the young wife of banker Irvin Barkley. He prefers his wife see a medical doctor but Sissy insists on seeing midwife Rose. She is nervous that her husband will send her back to her family is she doesn’t fulfill his wish to be a father. She evolves within these pages.
On Rose’s homefront, her relationship with David is moving along as is Frederick’s relationship with Winnie. The children are growing and one loves to cook and bake. I really enjoy the way Ms. Maxwell blends a terrific mystery with normal daily life including Rose’s prenatal and postnatal visits while giving readers a bird’s eye view of interesting things from that time, from medical discoveries to fashion and more. With each story, I also learn more of the Quaker faith.
There is so much packed into this story, and I enjoyed every step of the journey. The mystery was very well-plotted and the pace was comfortable. The title fits the story perfectly. I always try to slow y reading speed down because for me my visits to Amesbury always end way too soon.
I am waiting with bated breath for the next book in this series!
As always, I recommend reading this series in order for maximum enjoyment.
About the Author
Agatha-nominated and Amazon best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries and the Local Foods Mysteries, the Country Store Mysteries (as Maddie Day), and the Lauren Rousseau Mysteries (as Tace Baker), as well as award-winning short crime fiction. Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats, and blogs with the other Wicked Cozy Authors. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and at www.edithmaxwell.com.
As Tace Baker
As Maddie Day
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.”