Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Book Review: Turning the Tide by Edith Maxwell (Quaker Midwife Mysteries #3)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters; good mystery
Cons: Pacing a tad off a time or two
The Bottom Line:
Suffragist is killed
But was that movement motive?
Another good book

Who Killed the Suffragist?

It is amazing how some things seem to come in cycles.  In the last nine months, I’ve read three different historical mysteries that featured the struggle for women to get the well-deserved right to vote.  Each of these series were set in different locations and different decades.  Turning the Tide is the most recent of these, and it was another winner.

This is the third mystery about Rose Carroll, a Quaker midwife in 1888 Massachusetts.  This book opens just days before the 1888 Presidential election, which makes it the perfect time to bring this real historical issue into the series.

Rose has just joined the movement herself, but she is planning on joining the protest on election day.  The Saturday before, she attends a meeting of the local women’s suffrage movement as they listen to speakers and prepare for the protest.  It’s there she meets Rowena Felch for the first time.

Early the next morning, Rose is returning home from attending a birth when she sees something amiss in the yard of a house she is passing.  When she goes to investigate, she finds Rowena’s body.  Was someone that upset over her involvement in the suffrage movement?  Or was there another motive for her murder?

Like the other mysteries I’ve read recently with this theme, it is just a springboard to get us into the mystery.  We quickly learn that there are other motives and suspects for Rowena’s death.  I do feel like the plot could have used another secret from one of the suspects in the second half, but maybe that’s just me.  There are plenty of events to keep us turning pages, and the climax was satisfying.

While women’s suffrage wasn’t the only issue involved in why Rowena died, it was still a major part of the book.  However, author Edith Maxwell still managed to find ways to weave the mystery and plot points into those scenes, so they never slowed things down.  As a man, I will say I found the number of men who supported the movement in this novel refreshing.  Oh, there are the men who are opposed to the idea, which is historically accurate, but they aren’t over the top caricatures either.

The characters are once again strong.  We get a couple of sub-plots that slow things down a little in the beginning, but series fans will be glad to see some development for the characters involved and the ongoing storylines represented here.

So if you are looking for an entertaining trip back in time, look no further than Turning the Tide.  Rose is an excellent main character in another entertaining mystery.

Looking for more?  Here are the rest of the Quaker Midwife Mysteries in order.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.


  1. I'm delighted you loved the book, Mark!

  2. I really want to try this series! I love the premise so much.

  3. This series sounds really good. I have a friend who is a nurse-midwife at a local hospital. I think she would really enjoy these books.