Judge Thee Not

Judge Thee Not

by Edith Maxwell


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"Elegant and well-crafted, rich in period detail, Edith Maxwell's latest foray is a stunner!" —Susanna Calkins, author of the award-winning Lucy Campion Mysteries and the Speakeasy Mysteries

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781950461134
Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing
Publication date: 09/10/2019
Series: Quaker Midwife Mysteries , #5
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 95,312
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

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.

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Judge Thee Not 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Dollycas 29 days ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts I am so happy this series found a new home so quickly. I love these characters! Again, Ms. Maxwell takes on a hot topic in 1889 and still a hot topic for some today. As a midwife, she willing discusses everything with her patients, from diet, birth control, and even rape. Rose Carroll is a Quaker and like most members has a very open mind. They treat everyone as equals regardless of class or standing. She is truly taken by surprise when society matron Mayme Settle makes her feelings known publically about postmistress and Rose’s friend Bertie’s nontraditional lifestyle, – a “Boston marriage” to attorney and partner Sophie. Soon after Mayme Settle makes her declarations she is murdered and a witness places Bertie near the scene of the crime. Rose is positive her friend had nothing to do with the death and she is going to do everything she can to prove it and pass along all the information she can to her friend police detective Kevin Donovan. In addition to the characters we have met over the course of this series, the author also introduces us to two of Rose’s patients that really captured my heart. First, Jeanette Papka, a tall woman “with long dark hair and a delightful smile.” Sadly a childhood illness has left her blind. Amazingly it doesn’t hold her back. Jeanette speaks several languages fluently and works at the Second District Court in Amesbury as a translator. We also meet Sissy Barkley, the young wife of banker Irvin Barkley. He prefers his wife see a medical doctor but Sissy insists on seeing midwife Rose. She is nervous that her husband will send her back to her family is she doesn’t fulfill his wish to be a father. She evolves within these pages. On Rose’s homefront, her relationship with David is moving along as is Frederick’s relationship with Winnie. The children are growing and one loves to cook and bake. I really enjoy the way Ms. Maxwell blends a terrific mystery with normal daily life including Rose’s prenatal and postnatal visits while giving readers a bird’s eye view of interesting things from that time, from medical discoveries to fashion and more. With each story, I also learn more of the Quaker faith. There is so much packed into this story, and I enjoyed every step of the journey. The mystery was very well-plotted and the pace was comfortable. The title fits the story perfectly. I always try to slow y reading speed down because for me my visits to Amesbury always end way too soon. I am waiting with bated breath for the next book in this series! As always, I recommend reading this series in order for maximum enjoyment.
Anonymous 3 months ago
but NOT as usual, the editing seems a bit off. At least three incidents occurred out of nowhere. It seemed to me that at least a paragraph was missing each time. For example, Rose begins looking for witnesses to the theft of her bike, when there was nothing at all in the text indicating that her bike had been stolen. I won't spoil anything by mentioning the other similar occasions. Other than these oddities, the story and characters are interesting as always.
Carstairs38 3 months ago
Midwife Rose Carroll is surprised to step into the Amesbury, Mass., post office one June afternoon and find Mayme Settle complaining loudly about postmistress Bertie Winslow. The problem isn’t poor service but Bertie’s untraditional lifestyle, specifically that she lives with another woman. Mrs. Settle doesn’t feel this is proper, and is making her feelings known. While Rose is upset for her friend, Bertie is more than willing to let the slight go. However, one morning Mrs. Settle is found dead in her bed, and the police are quick to rule it murder. Unfortunately, they are just as quick to focus on Bertie as their prime suspect. Can Rose help the police find the truth? The mystery is good with several viable suspects; however, I felt the pacing was off. It was a bit too slow in the beginning and a bit rushed at the end. While it wraps everything up, we get a lot of information thrown at us rather quickly to do so. It is always fun to spend time with Rose, and I love her friends. There were some interesting developments with her family in this book, which I enjoyed. The suspects were strong, but I felt the victim was a bit of a cliché, needing more time alive to become more real to me. My feelings on the victim also plays into my issues with the theme. As the title suggests, we get a few passages that look at how humans judge others. The problem was I felt these were too modern for a book set in the 1880’s. Mind you, I haven’t done the research, so maybe I’m the one judging too harshly. Other viewpoints were certainly not shown as anything other than wrong, and Rose comes off as almost judging others a few times herself. The title comes from a version in Matthew 7 in the Bible, and is taken out of context, as it usually is. These issues pulled me out of the book (and certainly bothered me) when they popped up, but the focus of the book was mostly on the mystery. Those who have enjoyed previous books will want to pick up this book and judge it for themselves. Most will probably be glad they did.
chefdt 3 months ago
Judge Thee Not is the fifth book in the Quaker Midwife Mystery series. I love this series and was so happy when I learned that it had found a new home. It is one of my favorite historical mystery series. One can learn a little of life was in the late 1800s and the opportunity to learn about the Quaker religion and midwifery. The story starts with Rose Carroll stopping by the post office where she sees her friend and postmistress, Bertie, being snubbed by Mrs. Settle. Mrs. Settle doesn’t approve of Bertie lifestyle. The next morning the lifeless body of Mrs. Settle is found. When a credible witness volunteers that Bertie was seen walking by Settle house that evening. Kevin Donovan police detective has little choice but to consider Bertie the prime suspect. Rose is determined to clear Bertie’s name and proceeds to help Kevin with his investigation. Rose Carroll has two new expectant ladies in this book. Sissy Barclay. Sissy is expecting twins and Rose is worried about her pregnancy. Her other patient is Jeannette Papka. Jeannette is blind and works as an interpreter for the local court. We learn about some of the misunderstandings that people have about people who are blind. But Jeannette’s blindness works to Rose’s advantage as Jeannette can gather the information that proves very valuable to Rose’s investigation. Once again Edith Maxwell provides the reader with a well-written and plotted story with believable and well-developed characters. I’m anxiously awaiting the next book in this very interesting series.
Mama_Cat 3 months ago
I enjoyed this novel very much! The mystery and its solution is intriguing, the underlying premise a challenge the world has faced since the Garden of Eden, that of judging – or better, not judging – others. The characters are beautifully three-dimensional; Carrie and her friends, old and new, and family are engaging and likable. The historical details of 1889 New England reflect many advances we have seen in just 130 years! Most of us tend to judge people who are different from us. Mayme Settle is a vociferous example, first by her refusal to let Bertie, the postmistress, serve her at the Post Office, her reaction to Jeanette, a brilliant blind woman, and the unwed mothers at Alms Farm. Rose Carroll, the delightful young midwife who has helped the local police solve several murders, even witnesses how rude Mayme can be to her husband when he interrupted the Ladies’ Circle at her home. Rose was stunned the following day to hear that Mayme was found dead in her bed by her poor maid that morning. Unfortunately, Kevin Donovan, the police detective who has become, with his wife and genius son, Rose’s friend, is questioning her friend Bertie. Bertie, as postmistress in Amesbury, has been the subject of several people’s dislike because of her “Boston marriage” to attorney and partner Sophie. It was only the day before that Mayme publicly aired her disgust at Bertie’s living arrangements. Later that evening the banker, Irvin Barclay, claims to have seen Bertie at the Settle’s home during the time frame that she could have been murdered. Barclay brings his young wife, Sissy, to Rose’s home that day to oversee her pregnancy. An opinionated man, he doesn’t understand why Sissy would see a midwife instead of a doctor. Sissy is less than half his age, but is very clear that she wants a midwife, not a male doctor. The sweet young woman is pregnant with twins and afraid of being sent back to her family should she lose them. His first wife was unable to bear children and died mysteriously. Barclay is as opinionated as Mayme, attested to by Jeanette, another client of Rose’s. Jeanette is blind, fluent in English, French, and Polish, and works at the court as a verbal interpreter for immigrants who have yet to learn English. It seems that everyone Rose meets knows something about Mayme Settle; she has aggravated many with her opinions and judgements. Some, like Jeanette, take her words with a grain of salt while others have much bigger heartaches. When trying to understand who would benefit from her death, there are some who could sate their desire for revenge, and at least one who might benefit financially. I was captivated by this novel from the start. Learning more about real historical people such as John Whittier, a bit about being blind in those years, the knowledge Rose has as a midwife, and fashions that make life more accessible, such as the split skirt, is interesting. Studying the clues, especially of those judged harshly, and trying to arrive at who the real killer was a true challenge! I was quite surprised at the ending and satisfied with the resolution! I highly recommend this to fans of the author and Quaker Midwife series and those who like well-written historical cozy mysteries. And those who might want to challenge themselves to Judge Thee Not! From a thankful heart: I received a copy of this from the publisher through NetGalley, and this is my honest review.
GraceJReviewerlady 3 months ago
A fantastic fifth mystery in this superb series, full of period details and so very enjoyable! As a friend, Rose Carroll has a fine moral compass; she believes in accepting everyone as they come so when disparaging comments are made about her friends she finds it quite offensive, and regards the accusers with disdain. Going about her normal midwifery duties, it's not long before she hears of another murder in the small town of Amesbury and despite trying to avoid being sucked in, soon finds herself pondering on who and why . . . I love this series! The details are limitless and reflect the impeccable research which the author obviously undertakes. Perfect for the period it's set in, I never fail to be mesmerised with life in the 19th century and Rose's forward thinking Quaker ways. I'm rather fascinated with the religious details, and love learning more about the faith. As well as a murder to solve and the continuation of Rose's midwife practice, we are also privy to how her relationship with her betrothed, David, is progressing and it all adds up to a very exciting and interesting read! A fine addition to the Quaker Midwife Series, and I do hope there are more to come; I feel as if I know Rose, her family and friends rather well now and would like to extend my acquaintance! I also follow this author's writing as Maddie Day, and can highly recommend all her novels. This is a fabulous five star read!