Delivering the Truth by Edith Maxwell
Quaker Midwife Mystery #1
Setting: 1888, Massachusetts mill town
Narrator: Michael Page
Rose Carroll is the Quaker midwife and I really enjoyed reading about her. The life of a midwife in that era is fascinating as is reading about Quaker life in this town. I think she is something of an anomaly since she’s a midwife and unmarried at 26, but she sticks to her beliefs without being obnoxious. Rose boards with her brother-in-law and family. Her sister died not too long before the book starts and Rose helps with cooking and cleaning when she can as do the oldest children. She also wants to help her sister’s children. She’s also able to have office space in the house to meet with her pregnant women clients.
She and a local doctor like each other and I can see that could be a problem for her. The doctor comes from a well-to-do family and his mother is not at all happy about Rose. Plus I think her Quaker faith and belief in a simple life will become a problem. So that is a set-up for problems for them in the future!
I am busy working on my family history this year and I have several ancestors who were Quakers so I found this book very interesting since I don’t know a lot about the Quakers as a group. I am reading more so I can know my family’s social history as well as genealogy. Even though this is fiction much of the Quaker lifestyle feels authentic.
Ms. Maxwell does a good job with the mystery. I found it interesting and thought Rose’s involvement with it made sense. There is a fire in a carriage factory and one of the people who dies in the fire is a fellow Quaker. Because Rose is so involved in both the Quaker and non-Quaker communities she hears a lot as she helps women from all parts of society when they’re pregnant and giving birth. Then the son of a carriage maker is murdered and one of Rose’s knitting needles is the murder weapon. Now she’s definitely involved!
I listened to the audiobook version of this (on Audible) and really enjoyed it. Michael Page did a very good job narrating.
I found this book interesting with a very good mystery!
Narrator rating: B+
A Question of Inheritance by Elizabeth Edmondson
A Very English Mystery #2
Setting: England, 1953
I read the first book in this series in 2015 and really enjoyed it so I finally got this one read it was great, too! Hugo Hawksworth was an intelligence officer who worked in the field until he was badly injured during a mission. Now he’s on desk duty which he doesn’t enjoy very much. Hugo’s latest assignment is to find out about missing artwork and the possible involvement of a British officer in the aftermath of WWII.
Hugo and his 13-year-old sister Georgia have managed to board in Selchester Castle which has been pretty much empty since the Earl disappeared during a snowstorm seven years earlier (read book 1!). Georgia and Hugo still live at the castle, but a new Earl (an American!) is arriving with his two daughters so Georgia and Hugo are looking for a new place to live. Right now they’re still at the castle and will probably get to stay until after Christmas.
The Earl and his two daughters arrive as well as Lady Sonia (the new Earl’s half-sister who isn’t happy she’s been disinherited). Lady Sonia brings a couple of guests for Christmas. Freya who was the former Earl’s niece (and was a prominent character in the first book) is also present as is the cook and housekeeper–Mrs. Partridge. There’s a lot of tension in the castle and then a death occurs. Hugo and Freya (and Georgia) work to figure out what’s going on.
I enjoyed the mystery a lot. These books are cozy mysteries as well as historical mysteries. I’m really looking forward to the third book which comes out in October 2017.
Have you read either of these books? Do you like historical mysteries? If you do I think you might like one of these!