Welcome! Give the Devil His Due by Steve Hockensmith and Called to Justice by Edith Maxwell are out today. Appetite for Innocence by Lucinda Berry and Murder is For Keeps by Elizabeth J. Duncan will be out on Tuesday, April 11. I am amazed at the number of books that are being released this spring. I am adding so many to my TBR list (it will take me years to get through it).
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. The first book in A Quaker Midwife Mystery series is Delivering the Truth (which is currently $1.99 on Amazon).
I hope you have a satisfying Saturday. I am hoping to relax, read and watch some television (it will not happen, but a girl can dream). I will return tomorrow to review Cat Got Your Cash by Julie Chase. Until then, take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader