by Kathleen Costa
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of Judge Thee Not, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
“For all those who are wrongly judged.” —Dedication Judge Thee Not by Edith Maxwell
Amesbury, Massachusetts. It’s 1889 with all the constraints, class division, societal prejudices, and an abyss between the haves and have-nots. There is no female empowerment, real opportunities for women outside marriage and motherhood, and serious consequences await those who stray from the strict dictates society places on every facet of life. Even the appearance of such lapses can cause gossip to ruin one’s reputation or lead to murder. In the middle of all this is a very bright spot, Miss Rose Carroll, a young Quaker midwife whose compassion, strength, and resolve provides reassurance to the women she serves, bringing into the world their children, and often keeping their confidences and championing their wishes. She cares for her nieces and nephews and has a marvelous professional and personal relationship with her fiancé Dr. David Dodge. However, she has also found herself too often embroiled in several murders that, although far removed from the present, often highlight issues with a contemporary sting: working conditions, reproductive rights, violence against women, and prejudices against those who “march to a different drum.” As serious as life can be, Rose is well grounded in her sense of justice, her ideals of fairness, and her faith in God. Rose Carroll is a delight for any era!
A Quaker Midwife Mystery
Delivering the Truth (2016)
Called to Justice (2017)
Turning the Tide (2018)
Charity’s Burden (April] KRL Issue 4/27/19 Charity’s Burden & Interview
Judge Thee Not (September)
Judge Thee Not earns 5/5 Judgments & Justice…Engaging and Entertaining!
“I’d like to be helped by your assistant.” Rose is shocked witnessing the rude and dismissive treatment of her friend Bertie. Society matron Mayme Settle has only recently learned of Bertie’s “inclinations” and loudly protests that she is “a danger to all proper ladies.” Bertie Winslow is the local postmistress, and although it is not flaunted, it is known that she “cohabitates” with the young lawyer Sophie Ribeiro. These types of active prejudices are foreign to Rose who holds strongly to the “live and let live” ideals of her Quaker faith, especially since she has such a wide range of clientele, but it seems Mrs. Settle makes it a daily habit of complaining about others and passing judgement on those who are different…including the less fortunate, physically-challenged, and immigrants. This, of course, is important to Detective Donovan when Mrs. Settle is found murdered. But, despite Mrs. Settle having several victims to her verbal attacks, a witness has come forward placing Bertie near the crime scene casting doubt on her not being involved. The fact the witness may themself have less than honorable intentions, Bertie is a prime suspect. Of course, Rose disagrees and sets out to prove it.
Another absorbing tale! Hard to put down! Edith Maxwell has penned a compelling fifth book in her Quaker Midwife Mystery series shining a light on prejudice and ill-advised judgments with a clever murder mystery, well-defined characters, and a surprise, yet satisfying, conclusion that validates Karma’s intervention. She depicts nineteenth century life with such realism incorporating historical references, description of fashions and style, discussions on medical issues, and her portrayal of the role of women and issues with childbirth are a testament to her level of research. Beyond the entertainment value of her work, I always learn something fascinating: Quaker culture and basics in their belief system, the midwife techniques, and medical practices. But, it is also how easily her story translates to the present with the contemporary topics she tackles: the LGBTQ community, misjudging the capabilities of the blind, and the role of immigrants. Edith’s writing style is very entertaining with descriptive language and dialogue that illustrates well the tone, emotion, and different personalities. Each book is a stand-alone making it easy for newbies to start here, but I highly recommend this series…all of it!
MORE ROSE…Quaker Midwife Mysteries Don’t miss Edith Maxwell’s website that includes so much more about her series. Rose Carroll is also prominent in several short stories included in some mystery collections currently on Amazon, and two short stories are currently free to read at Kings River Life.
The Mayor and the Midwife appeared in Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology 2016 edited by Greg Herren (Down & Out Books). Currently on Amazon, the story was nominated for 2016 Agatha Award for Best Short Story.
The Tragic Death of Mrs. Edna Fogg, published in Malice Domestic 12: Murder Most Historic (Wildside Press, 2017), is currently on Amazon. Midwife Rose tracks down the murderer of a local woman suffragist.
A Questionable Death, a short story featuring Rose and her friend Bertie Winslow, was nominated for a 2015 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. It first appeared in History and Mystery, Oh My! (Mystery and Horror, LLC, January 2015). It’s now available for a free read over at Kings River Life Magazine. The story follows Rose and Bertie in 1888 Amesbury, Massachusetts, as they unravel a tale of abuse and deceit.
Adam and Eva, another Rose and Bertie story, is up for a free read on Kings River Life Magazine.
Breaking the Silence appeared in Best New England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold (Level Best Books, November 2013) and won an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Al Blanchard Short Crime Fiction contest. Edith has reissued it as “A Fire in Carriagetown.”
Be a Big Fan!
Macavity and Agatha-nominated author Edith Maxwell also writes the popular five-book Local Foods Mysteries series set on an organic farm, as well as Agatha-nominated and award-winning short crime fiction. As Maddie Day, Edith writes the wildly popular six-book Country Store Mysteries and the new foodie mystery Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. She also wrote two under the name Tace Baker—Lauren Rousseau Mysteries: Bluffing is Murder and Speaking of Murder.
To enter to win an ebook copy of Judge Thee Not, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, with the subject line “judge,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 5, 2019. Only US entries. If entering via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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. Also check our our new mystery podcast! A new episode went up this week featuring a mystery short story told by a black cat-perfect for Halloween season. An episode in 2020 will feature a first chapter by Edith Maxwell.
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