Edith writing from north of Boston on my twenty-second book birthday! You heard that right, and it’s my third new mystery to release this year (with one more to follow at the end of the month – my alter-ego’s Candy Slain Murder).
Taken Too Soon is the sixth in the Agatha-winning Quaker Midwife Mysteries series featuring midwife Rose Carroll. Because of all the obstacles she and her beloved David Dodge have faced, for a while fans have been asking, “Are Rose and David ever going to be able to marry?” It’s no spoiler to tell you that yes, the book opens directly after their Quaker marriage ceremony.
But soon enough, things take a turn. Even at the lavish reception David’s mother insisted on, Rose’s maiden aunt summons Rose to Cape Cod with her new husband when Tillie’s teenage ward is found dead. Rose and David’s modest honeymoon turns into a murder investigation, with suspects including a close friend of the victim who may have harbored secret resentments, David’s estranged brother who has an unsavory reputation, the son of a Native American midwife who supposedly led the young woman astray, and a rich local Quaker. As Rose grows closer to identifying the perpetrator, the solution rattles her assumptions about her own family and faith. With the help of the local detective, Rose digs in the shifting sands of the case until the murderer is revealed.
I decided to take Rose and David down to the Cape after I discovered that the hamlet of West Falmouth was a virtual hotbed of Quakers in the latter half of the nineteenth century.
I often go on a solo writing retreat in the Quaker retreat cottage behind the Friends Meetinghouse’ graveyard, with the Meetinghouse (pictured on the book cover but oddly reclocated to the beach) and the graveyard nearly identical today to what they were then.
I researched Falmouth and Woods Hole, too, and loved poking into the history of the area.
The old West Falmouth post office is now a hair salon, but the owner preserved the history.
I doubt the marshes have changed much, with the exception of the motor on the boat at the left.
And I expect the sunsets over Buzzard’s Bay haven’t, either. (By the way, this Southern California native loves to see the sun set over water – as it should.)
I hope you adore this next installment of Rose’s life. I certainly had a lovely time writing it. Today is also my friend Ellen Byron’s book birthday, and you can catch the two of us live (virtually) on the ‘Ellen and Edith Show’ at the famous Mystery Lovers’ Bookshop tomorrow night, September 9, at 7 pm Eastern. Register here.
Readers: Cape Cod? Historical fiction? Old maps? What catches your fancy? I’ll send one commenter an e-copy of Taken Too Soon!