Sunday, March 3, 2019

A Mysterious Madame

By Rose Carroll, from Edith Maxwell's Quaker Midwife Mysteries

Greetings, fair reader. I want to tell thee about a strange lady I have encountered of late in our bustling mill town of Amesbury in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She makes an appearance in my author's April-release book, Charity's Burden.

I happened to be perusing the notices posted at the Mercantile when I saw one from a Madame Restante advertising, "Ladies, are you feeling poorly? Babies wearing you down? Get help from Madame Restante. Female tonics made to order, and more."

Ever since my poor client Charity Skells expired from excessive bleeding, I have been searching out who might have caused the hemorrhage. Whether it was from an incompetently performed abortion or a maliciously done one, I needed to find the culprit and bring him - or her - to justice. 

In this day of the dangerously restrictive Comstock Laws, though, women who wish to space their families must seek remedies in the most clandestine of ways. And those who provide contraceptive products must be likewise secretive. Pills such as Dr. Patterson's, Dr. Bronson's, or Lydia Pinkham's claim merely to improve women's health, to deal with irregulaties, and to solve stoppages of any kind.

So I sought out Madame Savoire Restante, a tall fleshy woman with an imposing manner. She sported a black turban completely covering her hair, and wore a waistless gown cut in the new style of the Aesthetic Dress Movement, which let the wearer move about easily and didn’t require a binding undergarment of any kind. 

I will let thee, devoted reader, discover the truth about Madame and her services. If thee is kind enough to preorder Charity's Burden, thee may enter a special contest my author is running! Please navigate thyself to this location:

Readers: Please comment about any herbal remedies thee might take for an ailment or to bolster good health. Do they help? Has thee had a negative experience with any? (I myself am partial to a remedy from Sweden that is particularly helpful when I feel the grippe coming on.)

Maddie Day creates the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. As Edith Maxwell, this Macavity- and Agatha-nominated author writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries, the Local Foods Mysteries, and award-winning short crime fiction.

Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau and two cats, and blogs here and with the other Wicked Authors. You can find her on Facebook, twitter, Instagram, and at her web site,


  1. Can't wait to read more about Rose in "Charity's Burden"!

    We do use apple cider vinegar for muscle cramps. Works great! Apple cider vinegar as many uses.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Cool. I take a tablespoon in water every morning to ward off acid reflux!

  2. This sounds like a great read. We use organic cherry juice for muscle pains and to help us sleep. My husband uses apple cider vinegar for arthritis

  3. We use many herbal remedies, such as clove for a sore tooth.

    brookeb811 at