Introducing Jabberwocky Books

Mar 24, 2021 | 2021 Articles, Books & Tales, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Edith Maxwell

This is the first in a new series where people can share about their favorite bookstore. Details at the end of this post on how to win an ebook copy of Edith’s latest book.

I’m delighted to share with you all my favorite place to buy books. I live in a lovely spot in the top right corner of Massachusetts a mile from the New Hampshire border and about ten miles in from the coast.

Sure, I could order books online. But why, when I have Jabberwocky in the next town? Sue Little has owned this store, nestled in an old tannery complex, for forty-nine years. For many years Sue has hosted book launch parties for all the local authors, including me, and sometimes visitors like Hank Phillippi Ryan and Deborah Crombie.

Sue Little, center, with the Wicked Authors on tour in 2019

There haven’t been any events in the last year, of course, but we’re all hoping for launch party resumption, perhaps in the fall. Sue hosted the launch of A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die, my first Local Foods mystery, back in 2013. Don’t I look happy signing?

In 2017, Sue indulged me in a two-book, two-name launch party, where I (Edith) interviewed my alter-ego (Maddie Day), because I had two books in different series under different names releasing the same month.

Launch party stuff

With Sue Little

Friends and author pals always show up in support.

Newburyport Writers

The store has a wide array of books and is always happy to special order for pickup in the store. I’ve ordered all my books online in the last year.

Jaberwocky inside

Jabberwocky has a wonderful children’s section upstairs. I have bought many a gift book for a special small friend or relative after browsing the shelves.

The store also provides the majority of the books sold during the annual Newburyport Literary Festival in the spring, which is a huge, hectic effort. Sue and team pull it off flawlessly.

During lockdown last year, the store offered free delivery to area towns. When long-time worker Paul Abruzzi would show up on my deck with my books, I wanted to kiss him. I didn’t, of course.

Paul Abruzzi is second from left

After things opened up a bit, the store reopened for masked, distanced shopping, and also provided curbside pickup.

I can’t imagine not having a fabulous indy bookstore nearby. The closest Barnes & Noble is half an hour away in New Hampshire, and the indy stores in Boston are an hour’s trip south.

Let’s hear it for keeping independent bookstores alive and healthy!

Readers: What’s been your favorite in-person author event at an indy bookstore? Have you attended virtual launches in the last year? I’ll gladly send one commenter an ebook version of A Changing Light. I’ll also send anyone a signed bookplate if you own an unsigned copy of any of my books. Write to me at edith@edithmaxwell[dot]com with your snail mail address and let me know which book or books you’d like a signature for.

Midwife Rose Carroll sees signs of progress and change everywhere. Her New England mill town presents its 1890 annual Spring Opening, when world-famous carriage manufacturers throw open their doors to visitors from all over the globe. This year’s festivities are tainted when a representative from a prominent Canadian carriage company is murdered and plans for a radical new horseless carriage go missing. Faced with the question of whether the two crimes are connected—and a list of suspects that includes some of Amesbury’s own residents and any number of foreign visitors—Rose delves into a case with implications for the future, even if the motive for murder is one of mankind’s oldest.

Please order a signed copy of A Changing Light from Jabberwocky Books, and add a comment about how you would like it endorsed. I will pop over with my purple pen. You’re invited to help me celebrate release day with a Facebook party. Historical mystery author Nancy Herriman and I will be chatting with readers and giving away goodies from 7-9 p.m. EDT April 13. I’d also love it if you join Hallie Ephron and me in an online Zoom chat about A Changing Light on April 22 at 7 p.m. EDT. There will be door prizes! Link to register is here.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode went up last week.

Agatha Award-winning author Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries, the Local Foods Mysteries, and short crime fiction. As Maddie Day she pens the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. Maxwell is a member of Mystery Writers of America and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. She lives with her beau and maniac cat north of Boston, where she writes, gardens, cooks, and wastes time on Facebook. She hopes you’ll find her at Edith M. Maxwell and Maddie Day Author.


  1. Edith, your generous spirit shines brightly in this homage to Jabberwocky. Reading this and seeing the wonderful photos make me want to visit in person–and spend the day browsing!

    Independent bookstores make areas better and you’ve shown wonderful examples of this. Thank you.

    • Thank you, Molly! Please come visit when it’s safe. We live in a beautiful corner of the world here.

  2. Good morning, Edith! I do love bookstores and I always leave with an armful. I’ve been a part of author events at several libraries. It’s so much fun to share about my books and writing adventures. Hugs, vb

    • We authors would be nowhere without bookstores, Vicki!

  3. Love using that great bookstore and seeing your books prominently displayed! Jabberwocky is such a great resource—for helpful travel books, animal and nature tomes, food and gardening shelves, great kids section, the classics, art books, unique greeting and notecards…Sue’s got them all!

    • Thanks, Deb! Sue is the best.

  4. Looks like an awesome bookstore! We only have B & N in my neighborhood, I really miss have an Indy bookstore in the area. During the pandemic I have ordered and pre-ordered books from Amazon.

  5. It is amazing, Dianne!

  6. Love your books! Love founding them in the bookstores and Libraries! Thank you for the giveaway and chance to win!!!

  7. We have a winner!


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