My author, the esteemed Miss Maxwell, asked me to share a moment from the murder investigation of July, 1888, so here you be. And she's after sending one of you (in these United States of America only, I'm afraid) a copy of the book, so be sure you leave a comment of one sort or another.
I stepped out the front door of the Amesbury police station the morning after the killing. I'm sure I looked rather worse for the wear, and when I saw Midwife Rose Carroll, I groaned.
“Miss Carroll. I am not surprised to see you so bright and early this morn. I would have sent for you in any case. I’ve just been reading Officer Gilbert’s report.” Moisture beaded on my face, and the buttons on my high-collared uniform shirt strained uncomfortably over my more-than-adequate belly.
“Kevin, thee knows I prefer to be called Rose.” Quakers did not hold truck with titles, and she'd struggled to convince me to adopt the same practice. Rose went on, “I have several pieces of information—”
“About Hannah Breed’s death.” I made a tsking sound. “You were there.” She and her doctor friend, Mr. Dodge, had been nearly first on the scene after young Miss Breed was shot dead during the Independence Day fireworks.
I surveyed up and down the busy street. The horse-drawn trolley clattered by, filled with people on their way to the day’s work. A matched pair of chestnut mares pulled a graceful Bailey carriage, and a jay squawked from the tall swamp oak on the corner. I gestured to a bench on the bricked walkway.
“Have a seat," I said. "I need to interview you, since you are a witness to the facts of last evening. You ended up quite helpful to me in the murders of last April. You know I can’t involve citizens in my investigation, but if you have information to share, I’ll gladly hear it.”
After we both sat, she turned to me on the bench. “Is thee thinking this is a case of murder?”
“That hasn’t yet been determined.”She gazed at me. "But thee is entertaining the thought that it might have been murder, not an accident. Thee must have reason to believe Hannah’s death might be homicide. But why?"
Readers: What's your favorite transport from another era? What'd be your ideal method of getting around, past, present, or future? Remember, Miss Maxwell is giving away a copy of the brand new Rose Carroll mystery to one US reader who comments before midnight PDT tonight.
Kirkus Reviews: "An intriguing look at life in 19th-century New England, a heroine whose goodness guides all her decisions, and a mystery that surprises."
Maxwell is President of Sisters in Crime New England. She lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats, and blogs here, with the other Wicked Cozy Authors, and with the Midnight Ink Writers. You can find her on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, and at her web site, edithmaxwell.com.