"Taken Too Soon" By Edith Maxwell: Review/Giveaway

by Kathleen Costa

Details on how to win an ebook copy of this book at the end of the review and links to purchase it.

Twenty-first Century Woman in the Nineteenth Century

It’s 1889, Massachusetts, and nineteenth century life is a mix of stark divisions, societal prejudices, and have-nots struggling to be haves, but although women have many constraints and few opportunities, young Quaker Rose Carroll has proven to be the exception. As a midwife, her compassion offers reassurance to the women she serves as she assists in their childbirth, keeps their confidences, and champions their wishes. She also as a proclivity for investigating suspicious deaths, and although official channels are skeptical of her interventions, Detective Kevin Donovan appreciates her input, especially since she often has access he lacks and her theories have merit. Rose’s main supporter in her pursuing a career outside the home and nosying into investigations is Dr. David Dodge with whom she’s been a colleague, a friend, a fiancée, and now his new wife. Her relationship with her now mother-in-law is complicated by their religious differences (Quaker vs Episcopalian), status (working class vs leisure class), and attitude (compassion vs entitled). But as serious and complex as life can be, Rose is well grounded in her sense of justice, ideals of fairness, connection to family, and her faith in God. Rose Carroll...Mrs. Dodge, is a delight for any era!

➡ switch to KingsRiverLife.com for more articles ⬅

Image Source Beyond the Page Publishing
Taken Too Soon earns 5/5 Picnics at the Beach...Compelling & Entertaining Drama!  

Rose and David planned to spend their honeymoon on Cape Cod visiting Rose’s septuagenarian aunts who were unable to attend the nuptials. However, in the midst of the wedding reverie, Rose’s father receives a telegram from his eldest sister Drusilla pleading for Rose to come immediately. Aunt Tilly’s sixteen-year-old ward Frannie Isley has been found dead. Her new mother-in-law Clarinda is, of course, critical of their early departure and leaving so soon after the surprise appearance of David’s long lost brother Currie is a disappointment, but David understands and fervently supports his wife. Therefore, they forego their anticipated wedding night in grand surroundings for a train trip to West Falmouth...there’s a murder to investigate!

He kissed her forehead. “We both know why they summoned you.”

“Because of my increasing facility at solving homicide, or at least helping the police to do so.”   —David and Rose Dodge, Taken Too Soon

Hard to put down! Edith Maxwell’s sixth book is another compelling drama in her Quaker Midwife Mystery series, but this time with a change in the setting to a different coastal community on Cape Cod and several fascinating new characters. The drama is well rooted in the nineteenth century with its fashion, transportation, and absence of modern conveniences, but remove a few obvious details and historical references and one can easily identify with the teenage angst, family disfunction, racial discrimination, “Me Too” issues, and the seedy side of the West Falmouth community. The characters are realistic and engaging from Rose’s spinster aunts to a new detective who, due to Donovan’s recommendations, is actively seeking Rose’s involvement and from another group of “Friends” ranging from devout to pretentious to non-Friends who make up the eclectic community including members of the Wampanoag tribe. Maxwell’s writing style in a delightful first-person narrative is very entertaining, well-researched, and filled with “thee-s” and thou-s” for authenticity. Her descriptive language colors well the setting and character appearances, and the dialogue illustrates the tone, emotions, and distinctive personalities. Along with the absorbing drama and a satisfying karmic ending, readers are given insights into more of Rose’s and David’s family, several secrets are exposed tempered with compassion or Karmic justice, and although Rose is away from her female clients, midwifery does find itself into the story. Each book, organized in delightfully short chapters, is easily read, and as a page-turner, this book is a stand-alone easy for newbies to start here. However, I highly recommend this book, this series…all of it!

YouTube – Quaker Midwife Mystery Walking Tour (4:50)

A Quaker Midwife Mystery

Delivering the Truth (2016)

Called to Justice (2017)

Turning the Tide (2018)

Charity’s Burden (2019) KRL Review HERE

Judge Thee Not (2019) KRL Review HERE

Taken Too Soon (2020) 

FREE SHORTS! More Rose…Quaker Midwife Mysteries Don’t miss Edith Maxwell’s website that includes so much more about her series. Rose Carroll is also prominent in several short stories included in some mystery collections currently on Amazon, and two short stories are currently free to read at Kings River Life.

A Questionable Death, a short story featuring Rose and her friend Bertie Winslow, is available for a free read over at Kings River Life Magazine. The story follows Rose and Bertie in 1888 Amesbury, Massachusetts, as they unravel a tale of abuse and deceit. Adam and Eva, another Rose and Bertie story, is also up for a free read on Kings River Life Magazine.

Be a Big Fan!

Macavity and Agatha-nominated author Edith Maxwell also writes the popular five-book Local Foods Mysteries series set on an organic farm, as well as Agatha-nominated and award-winning short crime fiction. As Maddie Day, Edith writes the wildly popular eight-book Country Store Mysteries and the new two-book foodie mystery Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. She also wrote the two-book Lauren Rousseau Mysteries under the name Tace Baker.

Website — Edith Maxwell Mystery Author

Facebook — Edith Maxwell, Author

Twitter — @edithmaxwell

To enter to win an ebook copy of Taken Too Soon, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "soon,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 10, 2020. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up last week.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see this link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Great series! Would really enjoy reading.

  2. I’d love to read this! Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  3. I’d love to read this. Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  4. I found the Maddie Day Country Store books first but have enjoyed the Quaker Midwife books, too


Post a Comment