Delivering the Truth (Quaker Midwife Mystery #1)

Delivering the Truth (Quaker Midwife Mystery #1)

by Edith Maxwell


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Quaker midwife Rose Carroll discovers dark secrets in 1888 Massachusetts

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738747521
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date: 04/08/2016
Series: Quaker Midwife Mystery Series , #1
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 260,023
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Edith Maxwell is President of the New England chapter of Sisters in Crime and a long-time member of the Society of Friends. She is the author of the Local Foods Mysteries and writes the Country Store Mysteries under the pseudonym Maddie Day.

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Delivering the Truth 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
Author Edith Maxwell is a masterful storyteller. Indeed, only this series can take me away from my reading material of choice, cozy mysteries. Ms. Maxwell has created a strong protagonist in Quaker midwife, Rose Carroll. Rose, is compassionate, and brilliant. She’s a woman who knows how to take care of things is an era when men dominated. This historical mystery was very hard to put down. Read in almost one full setting, I was enthralled with the mystery Maxwell created in CALLED TO JUSTICE. From the beginning of the story until all becomes known and things are solved, I was riveted to my chair. If you’re a fan of historical novels, the Quaker Midlife Mysteries are for you! Even if you’re not, I have a feeling these books will convert you!
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
Author Edith Maxwell is a masterful storyteller. Indeed, only this series can take me away from my reading material of choice, cozy mysteries. Ms. Maxwell has created a strong protagonist in Quaker midwife, Rose Carroll. Rose, is compassionate, and brilliant. She’s a woman who knows how to take care of things is an era when men dominated. This historical mystery was very hard to put down. Read in almost one full setting, I was enthralled with the mystery Maxwell created in CALLED TO JUSTICE. From the beginning of the story until all becomes known and things are solved, I was riveted to my chair. If you’re a fan of historical novels, the Quaker Midlife Mysteries are for you! Even if you’re not, I have a feeling these books will convert you!
mimosarose More than 1 year ago
Rose Carroll specializes in bringing new life into the world, but all around her, people are dying. While the local detective is investigating and assuring the community that he will find the killer and the arsonist, Rose feels compelled to give him a little help. She tells him that she is inquisitive. But we all know the saying, "curiosity killed the cat". Reading about the practice of midwifery in the 1880's was very informative and extremely interesting. Rose relies on her Quaker friend, who is also a poet and abolitionist, John Greenleaf Whittier, to advise and offer his wise counsel. There is a bit of romance between Rose and the good doctor in town, David. I feel that readers of historical fiction and mysteries will thoroughly enjoy this book as I did. I was not overly familiar with the Quaker faith, even though I had read a little bit about it. The characters in this story make the hard work of the times seem easy, but I'm sure they were not. The sanitary conditions of the streets shocked me. I didn't realize that lack of sanitation carried so far into our country's history. I rated this book 5 stars and can hardly wait for the next book in the series. This is my first book by Edith Maxwell and it won't be my last! I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
GHott More than 1 year ago
Though I’ve tried for quite some time, I just can’t seem to finish Delivering the Truth. The mystery is a good one. Someone started a fire that killed several and Rose is looking for the perpetrator. There is a sweet romance between Rose and the local doctor. They’re adorable if a bit awkward. I think one of my biggest issues with Delivering the Truth are that the thees and the thys in Minnie’s speech were difficult to get used to. Every time she spoke I had t ore-read it to make sure I was understanding correctly. I also felt that the story was very slow. I just kept wishing she’d get to the point. While Delivering the Truth wasn’t for me, I did buy a copy for a friend who loves cozies and she devoured and raved about it. More… Author: Edith Maxwell Source: NetGalley Publisher & Date: April 8th 2016 by Midnight Ink Genre: Historical Fiction, Cozy Mystery ISBN: 0738747521 (ISBN13: 9780738747521) Pages: 312 Grade: DNF Setting: Amesbury & Newburyport, Massachusetts 1888 Series: Quaker Midwife Mystery #1
Ginger_Smith More than 1 year ago
Veteran cozy author Edith Maxwell introduces readers to Rose Carroll, a young Quaker midwife, whose work brings her into contact with every level of society and every kind of intimate secret. Set in 1888 in Amesbury, Massachusetts, this mystery is compellingly written with interesting characters and fascinating narrative. Maxwell draws the reader into the story by mixing arson, domestic violence, and family intrigue with historical events such as a huge fire destroying carriage factories, historical figures such as Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier, and medical details such as the new attention to reducing germs through handwashing and cough protection. There are enough characters and threads to keep the reader guessing how they will weave together in the end, and there are lots of historical details and descriptions that enrich but do not overwhelm the story. Rose Carroll, who impatience and inquisitiveness are decidedly un-Quaker-like, is a very likable heroine whom readers will want to follow in future installments in this Quaker Midwife Mystery series. Highly recommended.
C_Fowler More than 1 year ago
Delivering the Truth is an engaging historical mystery which takes us to Amesbury, Massachusetts in 1888 and centers on the life of a Quaker Midwife, Rose Carroll. Edith Maxwell did excellent research for this book and gives wonderful insight into the lives of Quakers/Friends and their practices, and how they interact with other members of society. Poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier appears in this story to give Rose wise counsel on several matters, and is a very appealing part of this book. Rose is an excellent protagonist experiencing inner conflicts between being a Quaker and wanting to help the police in their investigation of the arson and murders that have taken place in Amesbury that have affected her family, friends and clients. This book was compelling and illuminating, and I recommend it without reservation.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts This is an excellent debut! The story takes place in Amesbury, Massachusetts in 1888. Rose Carroll is a midwife and she is also a Quaker. She has been taught from birth to see the best in people and let God’s light shine on everything she says and does and in times of turmoil. Turmoil comes in a fire, an arson, of a carriage factory and all the surrounding buildings. Several lives are lost. The turmoil continues when the owner of the carriage factory’s son is murdered. The weapon just happens to be one of Rose’s knitting needles. This means she knows the killer. When another death occurs, one of her patients, she knows she has to do all she can to uncover the truth and the murderer. I am so impressed with this author’s writing. The Quaker lifestyle is unique and it is portrayed so well in this story. She is writing about something she know personally and it shines. I appreciate the insight into their Meetings and their quiet form of worship, their views and beliefs on equality and passive resolution. As someone not too familiar with their way of life I really only knew about their manner of speech, their use of thee as an ordinary pronoun, and plain manner of dressing. So in addition to a fine mystery the story was educational as well. Her descriptions of Amesbury make the town come to life. Following Rose from place to place we have a clear bird’s eye view. I loved traveling back in time, no cars and only a few telephones. It was amusing to see Rose handling the new invention of the safety bicycle (both wheels the same size.) She also shows us the dark things of this period. Children working at a very young age and the poverty families faced. Most people worked so hard to provide so little. I love Rose. She has such a good heart and is an wonderful midwife. Amazing to think she was only paid $2 per child and when people could not afford to pay she worked things out in trade. Being a midwife and a Friend enabled her to get close to people to ask questions about the deaths. She also has a beau who is not a member of her faith. This makes for interesting times together like meeting his parents. Edith Maxwell has written a complicated mystery. She gives us plenty of suspects with different types of motive. It keeps a good pace and then ramps up at the end with an edge of you seat climax. If you are a fan of historical mysteries you will love this book. If you are looking for something fresh and new that takes you back in time this is the perfect book for you. For me this one goes on the keeper shelf and gets a paradise rating.
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
Rose Carroll is a new heroine and a breath of fresh air in the cozy mystery genre! ‘Delivering the Truth’ is the first in A Quaker Midwife Mystery series. As a midwife in 1880’s Amesbury, MA, Rose keeps her patients’ secrets. This skilled midwife and Quaker observes details critical to her patients’ well-being. As such, she noticed what not many would: a limping, cape-cloaked figure in the gloaming next to the fence at Parry Carriage Factory, the first in a line of several carriage makers that evening to fall prey to an arsonist whose actions also killed those working. If only she had seen a face! Few families were untouched by the fire. Rose’s oldest niece’s best friend lost her sweetheart to the flames. Rose’s sister had died months earlier; Rose was invited to move in with their family. She saw most patients there, lived there, and cared for her sister’s children when their dad worked late. As Rose cared for her patients, challenges arose as she saw and heard things that could lead to one of the suspects of the fire or some of the other things occurring in recent days. When more murders occurred, Rose began to search for answers, hoping to avert more fires or deaths. Rose is a three-dimensional woman of faith who has endured many heartaches. She is pragmatic about some things while feeling others deeply. She chooses to go against the norm when helping search for the murderer(s) and arsonist(s). She does not apologize for who she is. When she and Dr. David Dodge grow closer, meeting his parents brings one of the few moments of uncertainty and insecurity in the same way that meeting the upper-class family of a beau outside her faith might be for any young lady. Lending authenticity to the author’s historical research (and to the Dodges with Rose), John Greenleaf Whittier is an elder at the local Friends Meetinghouse. He is not only a poet well-known in his lifetime, he is an integral member of their faith, their community of Friends and the community at large. Almost all of the characters, even those with minor roles, are likable and afforded dignity and value. The plot was complex with seemingly unrelated acts of murder and arson. The author is adept in planning and executing the perfect set of mysteries and leading the reader through events with any required details for the reader solve the crimes. This reader couldn’t quite get to the full solution, even though in hindsight I could see the author was leading me with each clue, if I had read a little more closely. The historical period is one of my favorites; it was interesting to note that there were social mores written of that are still challenging to us more than a century later. Rose’s pragmatism is evidenced in her belief that she is with patients to facilitate healthy pregnancies and births, not judge others who live by a different standard. She befriends people in the same way, to the extent that the different standard does not include murder or other mayhem. I highly recommend ‘Delivering the Truth’ to those who enjoy a little more serious cozy mystery with fascinating historical details, living examples of Quaker beliefs, perplexing mysteries, a bit of romance, and a lot of heart. I am looking forward to the next book in the series and hope this series continues for a long time. With a grateful heart, I won a copy of this book from the author and was requested to provide an honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received.
CozyUpWithKathy More than 1 year ago
mystery as complex as its characters DELIVERING THE TRUTH by Edith Maxwell The First Quaker Midwife Mystery The year is 1888 and Amesbury, Massachusetts is a thriving town home to many carriage factories and other businesses. Rose Carroll is the town's respected midwife who visits women in their homes as well as her office, the front parlor of the house she shares with her brother in law and his five children. When a fire destroys most of the carriage factories, killing many workers trapped inside, the town is in shock. What's worse is that the fire is deemed to be arson! Who could have caused the blaze? When factory manager and son of the Perry Carriage Factory's owner is murdered shortly after the conflagration tensions rise higher. Who is the killer among them? Although Rose is a Quaker, patience is not one of her virtues, though seeking justice is. Keeping her eyes and ears open Rose tries to find the culprit even as she helps the town's new and soon to be mothers. Seeking counsel of Quaker elder and poet John Whittier and her friend and colleague Dr. David Dodge Rose begins to piece things together, but will she become a victim before she can identify the villain? Edith Maxwell knows her material. The historical detail in DELIVERING THE TRUTH is impeccable from the new safety bicycles to the treacle cake. These little details give the verisimilitude so necessary in a historical mystery. I admit to some difficulty getting into the book at the start. Rose, as well as many other characters, belongs to the Society of Friends and as such uses plain language. It took me a while to acclimatize to the "thees" and "thous" and I felt distanced from the flow of the story. Still in all, it was imperative that plain language be used, else the truth in the novel would go right out the window! By the end of the book I was simply swept away by the story. Although this is a historical novel, set in 1888, many modern societal issues can be found here including postpartum depression and bipolar disorder. Maxwell is able to shed light on these oft shunned subject. The mystery here is as complex as its characters; multilayered, multifaceted, written with both subtle nuances and broad brushstrokes. DELIVERING THE TRUTH requires a degree of diligence, but the rewards and satisfaction it gives readers is well worth any effort expended. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.
CozyMysteryBookReviews4U More than 1 year ago
WHAT A TREAT ! ! Here is a book that will truly take thee back in time. Edith Maxwell doesn't just write a book, she researches before she writes it. While reading Delivering the Truth thee will feel like thee is living in Amesbury Massachusetts in the 1800's. Thee may even learn a thing or two. I instantly fell in love with Rose the midwife. Her calling as a midwife takes her all over the town, she knows everyone and helps whoever needs it. As simple as her live is as a Quaker, it is eveything but boring. When one of the carriage factories is burned down with some towns people still inside and the factory owner's son is stabbed to death, Rose cannot help but ask questions to try to find out if both are related. And when policeman Kevin Donovan asks her to keep her eyes and ears opened, she takes it a bit further. As she continues to care for her clients, she gets deeper and deeper into the investigation getting herself into danger. It may take thee a little time to get use to the Quaker way of speaking. But once you get use to it, thee may not be able to stop. Whether it's Edith Maxwell, Trace Baker, or Maddie Day writing the book, thee can be guaranteed thee will get swept away into another time and place and meet lots of great characters. I don't know if I can wait until the next book in the Quaker Midwife series. I may have to try to invent a time machine ... but will I travel to the future and read the 2nd book or go back in time and take a ride in a carriage or ride a safety bicycle.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
We get a real look into Quaker life in this story set in Amesbury, Massachusetts, in 1888. We meet midwife Rose Carroll as she goes about her work of helping women with their births and the babies as they spend their first few weeks on earth. Rose has taken up residence with her deceased sister’s family, and uses their porch for her bedroom and office. Life seems rather routine until the lifeblood of the town goes up in smoke. There are three factories burned to the ground taking many lives with it, and it was arson. Now Rose is privy to a lot of the goings on in this community as she goes about her work, and she has her suspicions as to who would have committed such a heinous act. Things go from bad to worse as murders start happening, and Rose becomes involved again. There is also a bit of romance going on between Doctor David and Rose, but then there is also his mother and her want of an upper class woman for a wife for him, you will wonder how that will work out. In the end I was wondering who would end up surviving with all the evil going on, and what a surprise when you find out the perpetrator of these crimes. I enjoyed this quick interesting read, and once you pick it up you will want to read until the end, you need the answers. I received this book through Net Galley and the publisher Midnight Ink, and was not required to give a positive review.
Storytellermary More than 1 year ago
Delivering the Truth . . . delivers! Delivering the Truth by Edith Maxwell Rose Carroll, Quaker midwife, finds it hard to quiet her busy mind for the listening silence of Meeting. That’s not surprising with so much to do: babies and mothers to care for, nieces and nephews to help feed and keep house for, a handsome doctor beau with a difficult mother, and arson and murders to solve in normally quiet and safe Amesbury, Massachusetts. Hard for one with a passion for truth and justice to stay peaceable when surrounded by murder, mayhem, and kidnapping. In contrast with Rose’s competent busyness, I got nothing much done once I opened the book, such was the pull of this well-written narrative. Worth it! Finishing before bedtime is advisable for untroubled sleep. I loved the book, the characters, descriptions, and bits of history (like safety bicycles) and am looking forward to more books in this series. Wisdom from this book: “You cannot let a painful experience in your distant past govern your future. That would be giving it more power than it deserves.”
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Delivers Fun Series Debut I love American history, and I keep saying I want to read more historical mysteries. So when Edith Maxwell, an author I already know I like, started writing a new historical series, starting to read it was a no brainer for me. Delivering the Truth takes us to Massachusetts in 1888, and you’ll get lost in that world. Our guide for this trip is Rose Carroll, a Quaker midwife. She works in the small town of Amesbury, a town that is usually peaceful. However, that changes one night in early spring when a fire breaks out. By the time it is put out, several of the carriage factories in town have burned to the ground, killing a few of the workers who were trapped inside. As a midwife, Rose knows many of the people now out of work thanks to the fire, a fire that might be arson according to rumor. Thanks to her relationships with many in town, Rose begins to gain some insight into the crime. Then another tragedy strikes. Can Rose figure out what is happening in her formerly peaceful town? From the very first page we are transported to another place and time. It helps tremendously that Rose and her fellow Quakers use “Thee” and “Thy” in their speech, which reminds us right away that this is not a contemporary novel. It only took me a few pages to get used to this different speech pattern, however, and it was also an easy way to determine which of the characters was a Quaker and which wasn’t. There are plenty of other details that bring everyday life in 1888 to life for us. It really does make you appreciate all the modern things we tend to take for granted. Yet these details never get in the way of the story. The mystery started out well and continued to keep me turning pages until I reached the end. I did have one niggle with how things unfolded, but it’s a minor issue overall. I didn’t have things figured out when we reached the climax, but I liked the resolution. In fact, the final scene was creative and a nice twist on what we would normally expect at the end of a cozy. All the clues and red herrings were perfect to keep us guessing. I must admit I had a hard time keeping a few of the characters straight early in the book, but that quickly changed as I got into the story. The characters grew into well-developed people I came to care for, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens to them next. Fans of John Greenleaf Whittier will enjoy seeing him in this book, too. I must admit I’m not familiar with much beyond his name and his role in ending slavery, so it was nice to learn a bit more about him. I’m also not super familiar with the Quaker faith. Since Rose is a Quaker, we get to learn a bit more about it in this book. It was never overdone, but adds a richness to her character. It also appears to be setting up some conflicts for her in future books, and I’m curious how that will play out. Delivering the Truth transports us back in time to another way of life and entertains us along the way. Anyone looking for a good historical mystery will be glad they picked up this book.