Quaker Midwife Mysteries

NEWS: Delivering the Truth is nominated for a Macavity Award, for the Sue Feder Award for Best Historical Novel! Winners are announced at the Bouchercon opening ceremonies in Toronto in October.

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The historical Quaker Midwife Mysteries feature unconventional Quaker midwife Rose Carroll in late 1880s Amesbury, Massachusetts. The Quaker poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier is a character in the series. I was the featured author in the Quaker Books column in July, 2017.

Turning the TideTurning the Tidethe third book in the series, will be out in 2018, and is available for preorder wherever books are sold. 

Excitement runs high during Presidential election week in 1888. The Woman Suffrage Association plans a demonstration and Quaker midwife Rose Carroll resolves to join the protest. When she finds the body of the association’s leader the next morning, she’s drawn into delivering more than babies. Rose’s own life is threatened more than once as she sorts out killer from innocent.

Called to Justice

Called to Justice released in April, 2017. Rose Carroll is enjoying the 1888 Independence Day evening fireworks with her beau when a teenaged Quaker mill girl is found shot dead. After a former slave and fellow Quaker is accused of the murder, Rose delves into the crime, convinced of the man’s innocence. An ill-mannered mill manager, an Irish immigrant, and the victim’s young boyfriend come under suspicion even as Rose’s future with her handsome doctor suitor becomes unsure. Kirkus Reviews says, “An intriguing look at life in 19th-century New England, a heroine whose goodness guides all her decisions, and a mystery that surprises.”

Delivering the TruthCoverIn Agatha- and Macavity-nominated Delivering the Truth (Midnight Ink, 2016), which also won the IPPY Silver Medal for mystery, Rose becomes a suspect and then a sleuth in two cases of murder. Can Rose’s strengths as a counselor and problem solver help bring the murderers to justice before they destroy the town’s carriage industry and the people who run it? The book was named Amesbury, MA’s 2016 All-Community Read.

I’ve had some fabulous launch parties, including a historical walking tour of the town where the book is set. You can take the tour on YouTube. I was also filmed talking about my research and reading a scene at a local historical society – watch it here. The Whittier Home Museum staged a very successful reading of the scenes from Delivering the Truth featuring costumed actors portraying Rose and Whittier. Watch the video from Amesbury Community Televison here. See my guest post on Suzanne Adair’s Relevant History blog about the series, and my earlier interview with Meryl Goldsmith.


“The Mayor and the Midwife” appeared in Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology 2016 edited by Greg Herren (Down & Out Books). The story was nominated for a 2016 Agatha Award for Best Short Story.

In “The Tragic Death of Mrs. Edna Fogg,” published in Malice Domestic 12: Murder Most Historical (Wildside Press, 2017), 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 BoEMAFICAmazonSmashwordsoks, November 2013) and won an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Al Blanchard Short Crime Fiction contest. It received a great review, too, and I have reissued it as “A Fire in Carriagetown.”


Called to Justice…engaging murder mystery with likable characters, a page-turning plot and a vivid historical setting.” –Historical Novel Society

Called to Justice…a real page turner…if you are looking for a trip back in time, there is no better guide than Rose,” –Carstairs Considers

“A wonderful gift …Called to Justice…riveting historical mystery…refreshingly different kind of heroine…a page turner…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

“The book is an intelligent, well-researched story with compelling characters and a fast-moving plot. Excellent!” –Suspense Magazine

“…presents Quaker characters and their practices with refreshing authenticity…a clever twist that adds dramatic tension and opportunities for thoughtful insights.” – Friends Journal

“The rules of the Friends, the well-researched midwifery details, and Rose’s intrepid loving ways combine to form a fascinating frame for a story that, though well steeped in the 1880s, will appeal to readers of contemporary cozies.” -Booklist

A “strong and appealing heroine … authentic historical detail … Readers who appreciate the works of Margaret Lawrence and Eleanor Kuhns will relish as well.” – Library Journal

“First of hopefully many more to come, I believe that everyone will definitely enjoy this standout book.” – Suspense Magazine

“A highly competent mystery…” -Kirkus Reviews

“Edith Maxwell makes 1880s New England come alive through her own familiarity with the Quaker life and her home town. Rose Carroll is a richly crafted and appealing sleuth. A terrific historical read.” -Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author of the Molly Murphy and Royal Spyness historical mystery series.

“Maxwell introduces a fascinating new heroine with her Quaker midwife Rose Carroll. Rose’s simple faith and thirst for justice make her the perfect champion for those falsely accused. Thee will enjoy learning about Rose’s unique Society of Friends.” – Victoria Thompson, bestselling author of Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue

“Sleuthing midwife Rose Carroll’s calm good sense permeates the atmosphere of this historical mystery. Her strong personality combined with the author’s distinctive voice and vivid writing style transported me instantly to another time and place.” – Kathy Lynn Emerson, author of How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries and Murder in the Queen’s Wardrobe

“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.

A “tale well told … an honest portrayal of Quaker faith and life in the 19th century … just your cup of Friendly fiction.” – Brent Bill, bestselling Quaker author of Finding God in the Verbs.

Quaker author Chuck Fager asked me some interesting questions in this interview. And Meryl Goldsmith interviewed me for the “Around Amesbury” TV show, too.

“Successfully blends mystery and history in a fascinating complex story of lies and family and society.”  – Lesa Holstine

[Rose Carrol has] “the calm and unyielding focus of, say, Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, but with more personal cost and risk”  – Kingdom Books

“Transports us back in time to another way of life and entertains us along the way.” – Carstairs Considers

“This one goes on the keeper shelf and gets a paradise rating.” – Escape with Dollycas

“Ms. Maxwell weaves a sturdy cloth from the stories of the various characters in Delivering the Truth.” ~Back Porchervations

“I enjoyed every minute of this book…”  ~Shelley’s Book Case

“This was a very entertaining read. I really enjoy reading Edith Maxwell’s writing as it flows so well.”  ~Melina’s Book Blog

“…a different type of historical cozy…I enjoyed reading a book where the protagonist is a midwife and of the Quaker faith…”  ~Storeybook Reviews

“I hope this series will continue for a VERY long time!” – BookBabble