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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!

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