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 . . .
Praise for the Quaker Midwife Mysteries:
“Through Quaker Rose Carroll’s resourceful sleuthing—and her midwifery—we are immediately immersed in the fascinating peculiarities, tensions and secrets of small-town life in late-19th-century Amesbury.” —Susanna Calkins, author of the award-winning Lucy Campion Mysteries and the Speakeasy Mysteries
“Edith Maxwell’s latest Quaker midwife mystery teems with authentic period detail that fascinates as it transports the reader back to a not-so-simple time. A complex, subtle, and finely told tale, Judge Thee Not ’s sensitive portraits and vivid descriptions, along with Rose Carroll’s humanity, intelligence, and—yes—snooping, make this a sparkling addition to a wonderful series. A sublimely delightful read.”
—James W. Ziskin, author of the award-winning Ellie Stone Mysteries
“The historical setting is redolent and delicious, the townspeople engaging, and the plot a proper puzzle, but it’s Rose Carroll—midwife, Quaker, sleuth—who captivates in this irresistible series . . .”
—Catriona McPherson, Agatha-, Anthony- and Macavity-winning author of the Dandy Gilver series
“Not only is it a well-plotted, intelligent mystery, it also shines light on how women were treated—and, in many cases, mistreated—by people they trusted for help in desperate situations. Highly recommended.” —Suspense Magazine
“Clever and stimulating novel . . . masterfully weaves a complex mystery.” —Open Book Society
“Riveting historical mystery . . . [a] fascinating look at nineteenth-century American faith, culture, and small-town life.”
—William Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Cape Cod and The Lincoln Letter
Agatha- and Macavity-nominated author Edith Maxwell writes the Amesbury-based Quaker Midwife historical mysteries, the Local Foods Mysteries, and award-winning short crime fiction. As Maddie Day she writes the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. A long-time Quaker and former doula, Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau, two elderly cats, and an impressive array of garden statuary. She blogs at WickedAuthors.com and KillerCharacters.com. Read about all her personalities and her work at edithmaxwell.com.
Jack Mabie claims to be the meanest man in Alaska, yet the old sourdough seems to be just one of the crusty geezers in every roadhouse bewildered by how his lawless frontier life has morphed into the pastel 1950s world of martini cocktail bars up and down Fairbanks' Second Avenue.
Sonia Petrievich, an editor at The Gold, her father Hank's weekly pro-statehood paper, learns through the mukluk telegraph about Jack's gleeful account of murders and robberies and shell games during the gold rush days. Her breezy March 1957 profile lets Jack revel in newfound notoriety.
Edna Ferber, not completely satisfied with her forthcoming novel Ice Palace, has just returned for further research and is fascinated by Jack and his wild tales. Plus the previous summer, young Athabascan lawyer Noah West, a war hero and Sonia's lover, bent on bettering the lives of Alaskan Natives, had sharpened Edna's sense of a corner of the territory she'd ignored: "I felt I'd lost sight of the real Alaska, the heartless icebox in the North, the blank-eyed old-timers still haunted by gold... I'd forgotten Alaska is still frontier...a violent, mysterious world below the glossy skin I'd written about."
When Jack is found beaten to death, Noah becomes a suspect. Two violent deaths follow. Edna, Noah's advocate, decides she needs to clear his name, believing the murders are connected. As debates over potential statehood rage, Edna begins unearthing scandals and sordid stories hidden in Fairbanks but also dating back to village life in Fort Yukon and down into the Lower 48.
What horrible secrets carried from the Arctic Circle have led to so many murders? And what novelist could stand aside from this story?
What better opportunity for a beautiful young widow than to join a prestigious trade delegation bound for Gaul? There was the fanfare as the procession left Rome, the breathtaking journey through lush Alpine meadows. And let's not forget the promise of riches for delivering a certain pouch, sealed with the sign of the black salamander.
Except things are never that simple when Claudia Seferius is involved. There's a rockfall, for a start, which leaves the party stranded, as well as five men dead—and one death is not accidental.
All Claudia wants to do now is to get out of the valley they are trapped in and hand over the pouch. But there are those who will go to any lengths to stop her.
And suddenly Claudia finds herself plunged into a deadly game of high treason, in a land where warriors still hunt human heads and where wicker-man sacrifices are far from rare...
Sadly, the exiled English Court at St Germain is far from the den of iniquity the Countess and her maidservant Alpiew were hoping for. Worse, any hopes of enjoying fine French cuisine are dashed when a fellow guest is poisoned.
Once more the Countess and Alpiew are plunged into a dangerous investigation. In addition to unravelling plots against three kings and negotiating the culinary eccentricities of the Court of Versailles, our sleuths encounter the Bastille's most mysterious prisoner, and discover - among other depravities - why Lord Whippingham is paying young women to munch in his house of disrepute.
For Quaker midwife Rose Carroll, life in Amesbury, Massachusetts, provides equal measures of joy and tribulation. She delights in attending to the needs of mothers and newborns even as she mourns the recent death of her sister. Likewise, Rose enjoys the giddy feelings that come from being courted by a handsome doctor, but a suspicious fire and two murders leave her fearing for the well-being of her loved ones.
Driven by her desire for safety and justice, Rose Carroll begins asking questions related to the crimes. Consulting with her friends and neighbors—including the famous Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier—Rose draws on her strengths as a counselor and problem solver in trying to bring the perpetrators to light.
A 2016 Agatha Award Finalist for Best Historical Novel
A 2017 IPPY Award Silver Medalist for Mystery/Cozy/Noir
"[A] smart new series from the prolific Maxwell."—Booklist
"First of hopefully many more to come, I believe that everyone will definitely enjoy this stand-out book."—Suspense Magazine
"Maxwell...introduces a series heroine whose struggles with the tenets of her Quaker faith make her strong and appealing. The author also imparts authentic historical detail to depict life in a 19th century New England factory town."—Library Journal
"A highly competent mystery."—Kirkus Reviews
"Rose Carroll is a richly crafted and appealing sleuth. A terrific historical read."—Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author
"The historical setting is redolent and delicious, the townspeople engaging, and the plot a proper puzzle, but it's Rose Carroll—midwife, Quaker, sleuth—who captivates in this irresistible series debut."—Catriona McPherson, award-winning author of the Dandy Gilver series
"Maxwell introduces a fascinating new heroine with her Quaker midwife Rose Carroll."—Victoria Thompson, bestselling author of Murder on St. Nicolas Ave
"[Rose's] strong personality combined with the author's distinctive voice and vivid writing style transported me instantly to another time and place."—Kathy Lynn Emerson, Malice Domestic 2014 Guest of Honor and author of How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries, Murder in the Queen's Wardrobe, and the Diana Spaulding 1888 Mysteries