Changing – or Staying the Same?

Edith writing from a spring-filled north of Boston.

I’m delighted to celebrate release day with all of you for A Changing Light, my seventh Quaker Midwife Mystery!

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose – the more that changes, the more it’s the same thing. This book is all about change – in the world, and in midwife Rose’s life.

You might detect one change from the cover. See how she’s a bit more full of figure there? Because you will read about it on page 2, it’s not much of a spoiler to say that, yes, Rose is pregnant with her and David’s first child (if you aren’t up to date on the series, they were married the previous fall in Agatha-nominated Taken Too Soon)! She’s been spending the whole series helping other women deliver their babies. Now it’s her turn.

Other changes in 1890 Amesbury are also exciting ones: the horse-drawn trolley is being electrified. More people have telephones. There’s talk going around of a radical new horseless carriage.

Helen Marble Bailey and her son, SR, in a Bailey electric car beside the Merrimack River in 1910.

But other things don’t change. Old people die of natural causes. Tuberculosis is an epidemic with no cure and no vaccine, despite the medical profession knowing it is caused by bacteria.

One of the research books I read

Jealousy, revenge, spite, passion are all emotions that have always led to murder – and still do. Here’s the book’s blurb:

Midwife Rose Carroll sees signs of progress and change everywhere. Her New England mill town presents its 1890 annual Spring Opening, when world-famous carriage manufacturers throw open their doors to visitors from all over the globe. This year’s festivities are tainted when a representative from a prominent Canadian carriage company is murdered, and plans for a radical new horseless carriage go missing. Faced with the question of whether the two crimes are connected—and a list of suspects that includes some of Amesbury’s own residents and any number of foreign visitors—Rose delves into a case with implications for the future, even if the motive for murder is one of mankind’s oldest.

I loved writing this book, learning new facts about the past as well as making up the fictional story. I hope you love reading it!

Readers: What’s your favorite invention from before 1900? I’ll send one lucky commenter a set of my spiffy brand-new Quaker Midwife coasters!

Please join Nancy Herriman and me tonight on Facebook for our joint historical launch party. No Darkness Like Death, her next Old San Francisco mystery, also releases today, and it’s one of my favorite series.

And please register here for my Zoom conversation with the fabulous Hallie Ephron, one of my teachers and mentors – on April 22. I’d love to see you all there in the chat room – and we’ll have prizes!

47 Thoughts

  1. Happy book birthday, Edith!!! I’m really looking forward to catching up with Rose and David!

      1. A lot was invented before 1900! But my favorite is the electric light. My two favorite things are reading and needlework. Neither can be done well in candlelight. So, aside from the printing press, I guess, it’s the lightbulb.

  2. I googled “inventions before 1900” and boy, were people ever clever back then – there was quite a list! I’d have to say contact lenses, 1887 in Germany, was a wonderful invention for me personally. It felt so good the first time I could actually go glasses-less lol! Good luck with your new book!

  3. Happy book birthday, Edith. I’m looking forward to meeting Rose at the turn of the century, and to the healthy birth of her child.

    Favorite invention? I think electricity, although when I think of what all those power poles and lines did to the cityscape maybe I need to rethink that!

  4. Congratulations on the release of “A Changing Light”! Can’t wait for the opportunity to read more of Rose’s story. So thrilled for her to be expecting and going forth with her life with Daivd.

    1892 internal combustion-powered tractor was invented which was the start of the change over from steam power to gasoline. Think of all the inventions that came from that one and how it moved society forward.
    1897 brought us the aspirin. Can you imagine a headache without aspirin?

    However, I think my favorite has to be the lightbulb in 1878. Edison lit up the world – well started it. The first thing those that got to use it felt was I’m the lack of heat generated in a room during the excessive heat of summer that other lighting produced.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  5. I, too, did my Google research and was thrilled to find “jukebox” listed. Who doesn’t love a jukebox?!

    And Happy Book Birthday to the latest in one of my favorite series!

  6. Congratulations, Edith!

    From before 1900? I think I’d have to say the electric light. Makes it so much easier to read into the night.

  7. Congratulations, Edith. Twenty-four books is an amazing lifetime record, let alone in–what?–ten or twelve years? Looking forward to keeping up with you as a reader.

  8. The elevator has to be high on my list. I lived in a 4th floor walk up years ago, couldn’t manage that on a regular basis anymore!

  9. I have long thought that flushable toilets are the greatest invention ever. And they have been around since the 16th century.

    I’m looking forward to reading about Rose and her latest adventure.

  10. I love this series and I have every one of the books on the shelves in my library at home. I much prefer a physical book I can hold, turn the pages and smell that wonderful paper smell. I will have to wait on this book however, because my stove and my microwave BOTH went to the appliance graveyard or wherever appliances go when they die. Hubby asked me to not order any more books until we pay these off. Unfortunately, I am not very good at cooking in my fireplace. Hot dogs and marshmallows can only be eaten so long before you want to murder the Jet Puff Man by running him over with the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile! LOL
    So anyhow, I will be buying this book I guarantee because I have to know what happens to Rose and David.

      1. I got both appliances and as soon as I pay off the charge card, I can start pre ordering again.

  11. I forgot to say the stove could be considered my favorite invention. Even a wood burning stove is good.

  12. Congratulations, Edith! I love this cover, and an so happy for you. My favorite invention pre 1900? I’m a big clock fan, and am amazed by the ability/desire to capture time that happened over the years.

    1. Thank you Julie! Speaking of clocks, I was surprised when I was researching 1920 that it was still too early for a windup kitchen timer.

  13. Hi Edith!
    Happy Book Birthday!
    I would say the Phonograph.
    My twin sister has my Dad’s Phonograph. It’s really neat. I don’t know how old it is. But, I love it!

  14. I can’t wait to read this! hmm the early May bank holiday sounds a good time 🙂

Comments are closed.