Edith/Maddie here, writing from a who-knows-what kind of weather day north of Boston. What I do have is an exciting announcement.
But first, a quiz. If I had titled this post, “Quaker Shorts,” what would have been your reaction?
A – New England in January is too cold for shorts.
B – Maxwell is now shilling single-serving oatmeal?
C – It must be some new socially responsible investment scheme … or maybe an invented poker game.
D – Wait a sec. Is Edith collecting her Agatha Award-nominated Rose Carroll short stories into a published volume?
Bingo to whoever guessed the fourth option! Drumroll, please. I have signed a contract with Crippen & Landru to publish a collection of my Rose Carroll historical short stories. Since 2013, they’ve been published in all kinds of publications, and only the most dedicated of fans would have sought them all out. This way the tales will all be in one place, and I’m delighted to keep nineteenth-century midwife Rose in front of readers’ eyes.
Some of the anthologies the stories have appeared in.
Last year I approached Crippen & Landru to ask if they’d like to publish a collection of the previously published stories, plus a couple of new ones. I hold the rights to all the stories, and Crippen & Landru publishes only single-author collections of short crime fiction. Among other books, their catalog lists two by FOW (Friend of the Wickeds) Art Taylor, whose new The Adventure of the Castle Thief and Other Expeditions and Indiscretions will be out in mid-February. It seemed like a good fit.
Publisher Jeffrey Marks was delighted at my idea, telling me he’d already been thinking of approaching me about the same project.
The series of Quaker Midwife Mystery novels ended in 2021 with A Changing Light, which takes place in 1890.
For this collection, I wanted to bookend the existing stories. On the front end is “In Pursuit of Justice,” Rose’s sleuthing origin story (newly written), which takes place in 1886 while she’s an apprentice to her midwifery teacher, Orpha Perkins. The collecition finishes with the 1900 tale, “The Management of Secrets” (in Deadly Nightshade: Best New England Crime Stories, edited by Susan Oleksiw, Leslie Wheeler, and Christine Bagley, Crime Spell Books, 2022), which shows Rose as a mother of four coming out of sleuthing retirement to work on a case.
I’m super excited to also announce that Victoria Thompson has agreed to write an introduction to the book.
Vicki and me at Malice Domestic, the year she accepted the
Lifetime Achievement Award
Her Gaslight Mysteries series, which feature a New York midwife sleuth in the early 1900s, was part of the inspiration for my own historical stories, and she was kind enough to write a glowing blurb for Delivering the Truth, Quaker Midwife Mystery book one.
C&L also puts out a limited release signed hardcover edition to go along with the paperback and ebook. The hardcover includes a chapbook, which will feature another new story, “Labor’s Peril” (hint: this involves both mill labor and birthing labor).
I don’t have a preorder link to my new collection yet, nor a cover, but both are coming, as are ARCs . I just wanted to share the news with you all, since I’m so excited about extending Rose Carroll’s longevity with readers. You’ll hear more about it right here on the blog closer to the late April release date.
And if you are in New England, please reserve the early evening of May 6 for an in-person launch party at Amesbury’s fabulous Industrial History Center. We will have wine and cheese and books and conversation!
Readers: What’s your favorite short story, historical or otherwise?