When Hannah Breed confides to midwife Rose Carroll that she's pregnant out of wedlock, Rose promises to help her through the pregnancy and figure out a way to break the news to her family. But that night, amid the noise and revelry of the Independence Day fireworks, Hannah 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. Rose continues to deliver babies and listen to secrets, finally focusing in on the culprit only to be threatened herself.
"An intriguing look at life in 19th-century New England, a heroine whose goodness guides all her decisions, and a mystery that surprises."—Kirkus Reviews
"The book is an intelligent, well-researched story with compelling characters and a fast-moving plot. Excellent!"—Suspense Magazine
"Maxwell has given readers a wonderful gift with Called to Justice. It's a riveting historical mystery featuring a refreshingly different kind of heroine, a Quaker midwife who also solves crimes with wit, intelligence, and gentle grace. It's a page turner. It's a fascinating look at nineteenth-century American faith, culture, and small-town life. And best of all, it's the second of what is sure to be a long and beloved series."—William Martin,New York Times bestselling author of Cape Cod and The Lincoln Letter
Early in Maxwell's engaging second Quaker Midwife mystery (after 2016's Delivering the Truth), midwife Rose Carroll and her beau, David Dodge, enjoy the 1888 Independence Day fireworks at a farm outside Amesbury, Mass. Only later do they discover that the explosions masked the gunshots that took the life of 17-year-old mill worker Hannah Breed, who earlier in the day confessed to Rose that she was pregnant. Mill supervisor Lester Colby is all too eager to pin the blame on African-born Akwasi Ayensu, a Society of Friends member who owns a local furniture-making and carpentry shop, but Rose sets out to prove her friend Akwasi's innocence and does so in between checking on her pregnant patients and delivering their babies. And just when she's on the verge of identifying the killer, she finds herself at the wrong end of a gun barrel.
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Called to Justice
Another well written novel which reminds the reader of the importance of life, love, and the spiritual oneness in each of us.
Second book in series!
Called to Justice by Edith Maxwell is the second book in A Quaker Midwife Mystery series. Rose Carroll is a Quaker midwife in Amesbury, Massachusetts. Rose is watching the Fourth of July parade when she is approached by Hannah Breed, a seventeen-year-old mill worker. Hannah confides in Rose that she is pregnant, but she is unwilling to reveal the identity of the father. Rose agrees to help the young woman. Later that evening, Rose is enjoying the fireworks display with her beau, Dr. David Dodge. There are men shooting off guns nearby and soon screams ring out. David and Rose run over to find Hannah on the ground (someone took advantage of the chaos). When the police arrive, the manager of the Hamilton Mill, Lester Colby, makes sure to point fingers at Akwasi Ayensu, an African-American Quaker and local businessman. Rose is astounded that anyone would accuse Akwasi and is further incensed when he is arrested for the crime. Rose knows that Akwasi would not harm a soul and sets out to find the true culprit of the crime. In the meantime, Rose approaches John Whittier to hire counsel for Akwasi. Rose has to work in a little sleuthing in between her midwifery duties. Rose’s relationship with David is going along splendidly until his mother decides to interfere (she does not approve of Rose). This causes a rift between the pair that hopefully can be repaired. With Akwasi soon going to trial, Rose needs to step up her game if she is to find the real killer. The villain will not go easily, and Rose soon finds her life in peril.
Called to Justice is an interesting historical mystery novel. I liked the time period, the lovely setting, and the Rose’s occupation. I do wish, though, that the story had been written in the third person to make it easier to read. With the story being written in the first person, I found it harder to read the Quaker dialogue. I thought that the dialogue was stilted and old fashioned which suits the novel, but it hard to get through (in the beginning). The book is well-written, and I liked the mention of historical figures like Louisa May Alcott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony. There are also some appealing details that help set the time. Mail is delivered twice a day which aided communication between people living in different towns as well as businesses. Also, the telephone was just starting to be installed in homes. I give Called to Justice 4 out of 5 stars. While Called to Justice is the second book in A Quaker Midwife Mystery series, it can be read alone. The author provides all the necessary background details on Rose, her family, friends, and life. The mystery was intriguing but not overly complex. Most readers will be able to discern the identity of the killer before the reveal. The relationship between Rose and David did not dominate the book. It was nice, light and romantic which I appreciated. I will be looking for more of Edith Maxwell’s novels to read.