Delivering the Truth by Edith Maxwell

Delivering the Truth is the first in a series of books which will feature Rose Carroll, a midwife in a Massachusetts town in the late 1800s. In this book, we are introduced to Rose as she tends the expectant mothers of the town and assists them in giving birth. As a respected member of the community, she has access to all levels of society and is trusted by all the ladies in her care. When a suspicious fire destroys a carriage factory, quickly followed by two murders, Rose follows her instinct and curiosity to assist the police in their enquiries.

I was rather expecting a 19th century version of Call the Midwife but this book was more of a mystery story than about midwifery. That said, I very much enjoyed it. Rose is a very likeable character and I felt that the author captured Quaker way of speaking and thinking very convincingly. I didn’t know a lot about Quakers so it was an interesting glimpse into their way of life. I liked the way Rose tried to live up to the Quaker principles of justice and equality at a time when the world was changing. Her romance with David, the town doctor, was very sweet as she wonders how she can stay true to her beliefs but have a relationship with someone who is not a Friend (as Quakers are called). I expect this storyline will develop in the next few books and it will be interesting to see how Rose deals with David’s mother who definitely doesn’t think she is suitable for her precious son!

This book is a good start to a series I would keen to read more of. There is much detail about the town, the way of life and the characters which gives a good feel for the time the story is set. If you like a gentle mystery with romance and strong lead characters, I’m sure you will enjoy this book.

Thanks to the publishers Midnight Ink for allowing me to read a copy of this book via Netgalley. Delivering the Truth will be published as an ebook on 8th April and in paperback on 1st May 2016 and you can order a copy here: Delivering the Truth

From the back of the book

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll hears secrets and keeps confidences as she attends births of the rich and poor alike in an 1888 Massachusetts mill town. When the town’s world-famed carriage industry is threatened by the work of an arsonist, and a carriage factory owner’s adult son is stabbed to death with Rose’s own knitting needle, she is drawn into solving the mystery. Things get dicey after the same owner’s mistress is also murdered, leaving her one-week-old baby without a mother. The Quaker poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier helps Rose by lending words of advice and support. While struggling with being less than the perfect Friend, Rose draws on her strengths as a counselor and problem solver to bring two murderers to justice before they destroy the town’s carriage industry and the people who run it.

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