Quaker midwife Rose Carroll is enjoying the 1888 Independence Day evening fireworks with her beau when a teenaged Quaker mill girl is found shot dead. After a former slave and fellow Quaker is accused of the murder, Rose delves into the crime, convinced of the man’s innocence. An ill-mannered mill manager, an Irish immigrant, and the victim’s young boyfriend come under suspicion even as Rose’s future with her handsome doctor suitor becomes unsure. Rose continues to deliver babies and listen to secrets, finally figuring out one criminal – only to be threatened by the murderer, with three lives at stake. Can she rescue herself, a baby, and her elderly midwifery teacher in time?
Called to Justice is as much historical fiction as it is cozy mystery, and I found both aspects of the story to be riveting. A young, unmarried woman confides in Rose that she is expecting a child, and then ends up being murdered during the Independence Day fireworks celebration. Determined to find justice for the girl and her unborn child, Rose manages to squeeze in a little investigating, between birthing babies and checking on the well-being of her clientele of local women waiting to deliver.
There was a lot of attention to detail and historical accuracy where the births in the story were concerned. Read on to see what author Edith Maxwell has to say about midwives and the birthing process, and for a chance to win a copy of the book.