by Kathleen Costa
This week we have a review of Murder on the Widow’s Walk by Christine Knapp along with an interesting interview with Christine. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the book, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
Murder on the Widow’s Walk: Modern Midwife Mysteries By Christine Knapp
Review by Kathleen Costa
Maeve O’Reilly Kensington is a midwife, a career often misunderstood in the modern world of medicine, but she and her colleagues are quite popular at Creighton Hospital in the seaside town of Langford, Massachusetts. Her husband Will Kensington decided to follow his culinary dreams instead of joining his family’s investment firm, but recently his business took a huge blow to its reputation after being connected to a murder. It is, however, recovering well. Life is busy for the couple, but they struggle to achieve the dream of having children of their own. They’re trying every available medical intervention along with all fingers crossed. There is Fenway, a rescue dachshund, of course, keeping them busy along with a close relationship with Maeve’s sister Meg, her teenaged nephew Henry, her mom who resides in the Hanville Grove Senior Residence, and her brother Deputy Police Chief Patrick O’Reilly. Angst is the watch word of the day for the Kensington family which includes Will’s parents that Maeve’s dubbed “Gomez and Morticia” and a few younger siblings and their spouses. Even though Maeve has a great career, close knit family, and a loving husband, she still finds herself in a few precarious situations.
Murder on the Widow’s Walk Earns 5/5 Baby Wishes…Clever & Engaging Gem!
Maeve is somewhat reserved in her thoughts about her in-laws, but when called upon, she’s there for whatever event or gathering. Tonight her in-laws, Lydia and William Kensington, are hosting a cocktail party to introduce Montgomery Livingstone and his wife Pippa to the Langford community. Dubbed the “Takeover King,” Monty relied on the glowing remarks from the Kensingtons to help expand his business into the New England area, and Maeve’s sister Meg, a successful real estate agent, had found them the perfect residence to buy…Oakhurst, a nineteenth century captain’s home with 360 degree views from a vintage widow’s walk.
The party’s a success, and Will’s food is a hit, but it’s marred by an unfortunate outburst by Tristan Mayweather, the owner of Langford Wooden Boat Company … “Weasel!” Originally the partnership between Livingstone and Mayweather was a win-win for both men: a great investment opportunity for Livingstone and expansion for Mayweather. But, as soon as the ink was dry on the contract, Livingstone instituted cost-cutting measures that significantly effected the quality of the business’s product. Sooo, is that the issue the police will focus on when Monty’s dead body is found having been flung from the widow’s walk? Or are there other conflicts plaguing the “Takeover King”?
It’s a Gem! Christine Knapp has brought into the world an engaging new drama with the second book in her Modern Midwife Mystery series. Clever. Informative. Engaging. Each chapter begins with a tidbit about fertility or the different stages of pregnancy or childbirth, a bit clinical, but it adds realism to the theme. She also includes the ups and downs of the obstetrics clinic, the different cases for which Maeve is responsible, and ins and outs of the adoption process along with food talk with Will, fashions with Meg, wrestling insights with Henry, and rowing memories with Maeve. There continues to be an air of discontent with Maeve’s in-laws, a christening to attend, and … did I forget to mention a murder to solve and peril to avoid? There is so much in the drama to hold any reader’s attention with investment debacles, business fiascos, contemporary issues with cryptocurrency, and plenty of scorned women, and with a shocking final conclusion, I literally couldn’t put it down!
Recipes! Try out these delicious easy to-follow recipes for the perfect holiday brunch: Mary Margaret Callahan O’Reilly’s Hot Fudge Sauce, Jordan Marsh’s Blueberry Muffins, Will’s Chicken Walnut Salad, Maeve’s Spinach Quiche, and Will’s Lobster Bisque.
Modern Midwife Mystery
Murder at the Wedding (2022) KRL Review HERE
Murder on the Widow’s Walk (2022)
Be a Big Fan of Christine Knapp!
For many years, Christine Knapp was herself a nurse-midwife, and now has taken that experience along with her passion for mysteries to write her first cozy mystery for Gemma Halliday Publishing. Website: thoughtfulmidwife.wordpress.com
Be a Big Fan of Gemma Halliday Publishing!
Website—Gemma Halliday Publishing
Interview with Christine Knapp:
KRL: How long have you been writing?
Christine: I’ve been writing off and on for a long time but became very committed to it about five years ago.
Christine: I write the Modern Midwife Mysteries. Book #1, Murder at the Wedding was released in June 2022. Maeve O’Reilly Kensington is a contemporary nurse midwife living in the coastal New England town of Langford. Her husband Will owns a local catering company, A Thyme for all Seasons. When the chief of obstetrics is murdered at his daughter’s extravagant wedding, which Will caters, Maeve’s world is turned upside down. Maeve, her outspoken sister Meg, and her quick-witted Boston Irish mother band together to help a family friend suspected of foul play. All this happens while Meg begins her fertility journey and provides care for her patients. The mystery contains many obstetrical vignettes and recipes!
KRL: When did your first novel come out, what was it called, and would you tell us a little about it?
KRL: Have you always written mysteries/suspense and if not, what else have you written?
Christine: I have written textbooks on midwifery in the past. I also am working on a few unpublished children’s books.
KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series?
Christine: I wanted readers to understand how a modern midwife practices so I intentionally decided on Maeve. What better setting than a coastal New England town? The ocean, the weather, the food but most of all the wonderful New England people.
KRL: Do you write to entertain or is there something more you want the readers to experience from your work?
Christine: I wanted to entertain but also to present a realistic portrayal of contemporary nurses and midwives. Often in fiction, in my opinion, they are not accurately portrayed. I wanted the reader to see the knowledge, compassion, and camaraderie of these professionals.
KRL: Do you have a schedule for your writing or just work whenever you can?
Christine: I try to keep to a schedule of writing every morning. The length of time varies, but do try to write as many days of the week as possible.
KRL: What is your ideal time to write?
Christine: I write in the morning. It just works best for me.
KRL: Do you outline? If not, do you have some other interesting way that you keep track of what’s going on, or what needs to happen in your book when you are writing it?
Christine: On my first book I did not outline and I know that I lost track of the storyline a few times. I learned my lesson. Going forward, I outline every book. I don’t always keep to the outline but it really helps me to keep the storyline in focus.
KRL: Did you find it difficult to get published in the beginning?
Christine: Yes! I sent many query letters and had quite a few rejections until I finally had a call from the woman who became my phenomenal agent. It was a thrilling day when she called me with a publishing offer. One book that really helped me during the entire process was Swallowed by a Whale How to Survive the Writing Life edited by Huw Lewis-Jones. It’s a new writer’s perfect companion. It’s packed with insight, ideas, and humor.
KRL: Do you have a great rejection/critique or acceptance story you’d like to share?
Christine: One of the agents who requested a full read of my manuscript sent back an email saying that there was something about my story…she couldn’t put her finger on it…but something just didn’t grab her. For two days, I read and reread my manuscript. Luckily, I remembered that aspiring writers posted their rejection letters on Query Tracker. I checked and quickly realized that the email she sent me was her form rejection letter! On to the next agent!
KRL: Most interesting book signing story-in a bookstore or other venue?
Christine: I had a wonderful book signing with some medical colleagues. They are an amazing group of women and we had lunch, lively conversation, and a book signing.
KRL: What are your future writing goals?
Christine: Book #2 of the Modern Midwife Mysteries, Murder on the Widow’s Walk was released this week. I just finished a first draft of Book 3 and have the plot for Book 4. I also have a few picture books I need to revisit.
KRL: Who are your writing heroes?
Christine: Well, Dame Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time and her work stands the test of time. Her mysteries and detectives are legendary. Walter Mosley, Margaret Atwood, and of course Stephen King are all on my list.
KRL: What kind of research do you do?
Christine: I read many books on poison! Often, I research cultures, poetry, or historical events to get to know a character’s background. I get books from my local library; use google or find people who are experts in areas I want to incorporate into the mystery.
KRL: What do you like to read?
Christine: I read everything, and I do mean everything. My fiction list is extensive and includes mysteries, science fiction, and graphic novels. For non-fiction, I enjoy history, memoirs, cookbooks, inspirational books, and even children’s books if I see something interesting. The New York Times Book Review section is my go-to every Sunday.
My favorite book is A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. It’s about love and compassion and the belief that life is miraculous.
“If you care about something, you have to protect it-If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.” A Prayer for Owen Meany
KRL: What are your favorite TV shoes or movies?
Christine: I love Call the Midwife, of course. Julia, starring the incomparable Sarah Lancashire is another favorite.
I rarely watch a movie twice, but I have watched The Shawshank Redemption numerous times. Based on a novella by the incomparable Stephen King, it’s a story of friendship and hope, but one that doesn’t sugarcoat the harsh realities of prison.
“I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.” The Shawshank Redemption
KRL: Have you any advice for aspiring or beginning writers?
Christine: Be persistent and don’t give up! The road is long but it all begins with the first step. Believe in yourself.
KRL: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Christine: I have dual citizenship. USA/Ireland.
KRL: Do you have any pets?
Christine: My beautiful Dachshund Dixie rescued me when she was five months old. I was lucky enough to be her mom for twelve years.
To enter to win an ebook copy of Murder on the Widow’s Walk, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “walk” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 31, 2022. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. 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 listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new Christmas episode went up this week.
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Sounds interesting! Count me in!
Something different, I don’t know anything about midwives. The recipes sound yummy!
We have a winner!