Judge Thee Not (A Quaker Midwife Mysteries #5) by Edith Maxwell

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Pages: 327

Publisher: Beyond the Page

Published: September 10, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

NetGalley:

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll must fight bias and blind assumptions to clear the name of a friend when a murderer strikes in nineteenth-century Massachusetts . . .

No stranger to judgmental attitudes in her small town of Amesbury, Quaker midwife Rose Carroll is nonetheless stunned when society matron Mayme Settle publicly snubs her good friend Bertie for her nontraditional lifestyle. When Mrs. Settle is later found murdered—and a supposed witness insists Bertie was spotted near the scene of the crime—the police have no choice but to set their sights on the slighted woman as their main suspect.
Rose is certain her friend is innocent of the heinous deed, and when Rose isn’t busy tending to her duties as a midwife, she enlists the help of a blind pregnant client—who’s endured her own share of prejudice—to help her sift through the clues. As the two uncover a slew of suspects tied to financial intrigues, illicit love, and an age-old grudge over perceived wrongs, Rose knows she’ll have to bring all her formidable intelligence to bear on solving the crime. Because circumstantial evidence can loom large in small minds, and she fears her friend will soon become the victim of a grave injustice . . .

My Review:

This is the second book I have read in the series and I really need/want to read the ones I have missed. Rose is a spitfire whose escapades I enjoy.

I find I not only learn about midwifery and how people lived in the 19th century but I also learn about the Quaker faith. The Quakers are very interesting and I have high respect for how they stood up to others to stay true to their faith.

Maxwell is not afraid to touch on themes such as lesbianism and rape. She handles them with such poise. I like how she includes them but does not feel the need to make it the focal point.

The Quaker Midwife series is a noteworthy addition to the genre of cozy mysteries.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Beyond the Page, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Charity’s Burden (A Quaker Midwife Mystery #4) by Edith Maxwell

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Pages: 288

Publisher: Midnight Ink

Published: April 8, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

NetGalley:
Quaker midwife Rose Carroll seeks the true cause of a young mother’s death
The winter of 1889 is harsh in Amesbury, Massachusetts, but it doesn’t stop Quaker midwife Rose Carroll from making the rounds to her pregnant and postpartum mothers. When Charity Skells dies from an apparent early miscarriage, Rose wonders about the symptoms that don’t match the diagnosis. She learns that Charity’s husband may be up to no good with a young woman whose mother appears to offer illegal abortions. A disgraced physician in town does the same, and Charity’s cousin seems to have a nefarious agenda. With several suspects emerging, each with their own possible motives, Rose and police detective Kevin Donovan race against time to solve the case before another innocent life is taken.

My review:
Charity’s Burden is not your typical cozy mystery or Christian Quaker read. It has a definite bite. Where should I start? I’ll start with this is not be viewed as a Christian fiction or cozy mystery. Yes, it centers around the Quakers in Massachusettes in 1889 but there are no mentions of bible verses or faith-based sermons you usually find in a Christian book. There is one romance scene that while it does not go into detail you understand there are inappropriate relations between two unmarried characters, one of them being the Quaker midwife.

This book discusses in detail the pros and cons of different abortion and safe sex practices in 1889. I found it very educational for the curious researcher in me. If you are fiercely against abortion I would say this is not the book for you. As I was reading I did not feel as if this was a political platform, it just shared how such things were thought of during the time. The Comstock laws were mentioned several times during the book and I would suggest you take a moment to look those up if you are unfamiliar with them.

I am definitely interested in reading the first three books in the series and have in fact already requested the first book from my local library.

Please do not use this review for ANY POLITICAL platform as this is not the place for them!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Midnight Ink through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

PS: Edith Maxwell is also Maddie Day of the Country Store series.

The Light Before Day (Nantucket Legacy #3) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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Pages: 368

Publisher: Revell

Published: October 2, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Henry and Hitty have inherited their grandmother’s vast fortune with a few hitches. They must live in her monstrosity of a house and marry a Quaker in good standing within six years. If they do not meet these requests conniving Tristam Macy will inherit all with no conditions. How will Henry and Hitty handle their grandmother’s request and what will they learn of themselves in the process?

I have absolutely loved this series. I found my love of Nantucket through a couple of other writers and it is on my bucket list to visit someday. I jumped at the chance to learn about the early days of Nantucket. Suzanne has taken the time to research and include true occurrences in this trilogy. My favorite is the third book. I know some readers felt the author rushed the ending and left a few things unfinished but isn’t that how life is? Not everything is tied up in a neat little bow. I also want to dream that she might have left it open to revisiting someday.

The trilogy is written in old English with “thee” and “thy” used very frequently. Once you get used to that you will find yourself falling into the story and not realizing the language difference. For this alone, I would say it is more appropriate for a mature audience. There is no sex or obscene language in the books.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Revell through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Minding the Light (Nantucket Legacy #2) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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Pages: 336 (eBook)

Publisher: Revell

Published: July 10, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Once again we visit the Quaker Island of Nantucket and the world of whaling. Captain “Ren” Macy has been away whaling for six years when he returns to Nantucket to an ailing wife and six year old twins. He is extremely grateful for his wife’s sister, Daphne, when it comes to acclimating back in to the world of family. It is an unspoken agreement that Daphne will marry Tristam, Ren’s cousin and business partner but as she spends time with Ren she finds her feelings changing.

I have been anticipating my return to early Nantucket since reading the first book in the series, Phoebe’s Light. One of my favorite aspects of both novels is the 17 century diary each generation reads and learns from. Mary’s story is one of compassion and love. Daphne finds comfort and understanding in reading the diary.

Minding the Light is a book for all historical fiction lovers and clean Christian romance readers. It is written in the language of “thee” and “thy” but it does not take long to get into the rhythm of the book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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Pages: 352 (eBook)

Publisher: Revel

Published: February 6, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Phoebe has been the one to take care of her fortune hunting scheme of a father since the death of her mother several years ago. Phoebe has come to the crude realization that her father will mortgage anything and everything, including the roof over their heads to fund his business inventions and the like. She has always had her eyes set on the handsome, older gentleman Captain Foulger and takes advantage of hooking her line to him and marrying him against everyone’s wishes. What she does not realize is that the Captain is only interested in an old journal that she has just became the owner. The journal is her great-grandmother’s, one of the first settlers of Nantucket. In it there is a secret that could change the life of whomever reads it.

As Phoebe sets sail on the Fortuna with her new husband, the Captain, she tries to avoid a childhood friend, Matthew. He has joined the crew as the cooper but really has joined as a favor to Phoebe’s father to watch over her. AS the days wear on and Phoebe comes to realize that her marriage is not everything she thought it to be, her friendship with Matthew grows deeper.

Will Phoebe be able to save everything near and dear to her or will life play a cruel joke on her instead?

I am a fan of Suzanne Woods Fisher and have enjoyed the fresh eyes she gives to Christian fiction. Normally I am not a big reader of Quaker fiction but I opted to try this novel due to her being the author. I almost gave up after reading at it for two days because of the Old English language of “thee” and “thy”. I’ll be the first to tell you that I do not like reading books written in that style. I am so glad I stuck this one out though. The story of Phoebe and her great-grandmother are exciting. You not only get to learn about the Indians that lived on Nantucket in the late 1600s but you also get to learn how Nantucket was settled by the Americans. As you are reading you get to leave the island and sail to the tropical islands and experience life at sea all the while going back to the 1600s.

I was pleased to learn that we do not get to finish reading the journal and that it will make appearances in the other books of this series. I am fascinated to see how it transforms others lives in the family.

I suggest you pick up this book with an open mind to the Old English language and give yourself plenty of time to get into the book during your first read. You might be like me and find that you cannot put it down because you have become so invested in everyone’s story.

Thank you to NetGalley and Revell for a copy to read in exchange for my honest review written in my own words.