- Author: Edith Maxwell
Book online «A Changing Light Edith Maxwell (rainbow fish read aloud txt) 📖». Author Edith Maxwell
Praise for the Books of
Agatha Award-winning author
“The historical setting is redolent and delicious, the townspeople engaging, and the plot a proper puzzle, but it’s Rose Carroll—midwife, Quaker, sleuth—who captivates in this irresistible series . . .”
Agatha-, Anthony- and Macavity-winning author of the Dandy Gilver series
“Clever and stimulating novel . . . masterfully weaves a complex mystery.”
—Open Book Society
“Riveting historical mystery . . . [a] fascinating look at nineteenth-century American faith, culture, and small-town life.”
—William Martin, New York Times
bestselling author of Cape Cod and The Lincoln Letter
“Intelligent, well-researched story with compelling characters and a fast-moving plot. Excellent!”
“A series heroine whose struggles with the tenets of her Quaker faith make her strong and appealing . . . . imparts authentic historical detail to depict life in a 19th-century New England factory town.”
“Intriguing look at life in 19th-century New England, a heroine whose goodness guides all her decisions, and a mystery that surprises.”
A Changing Light
Beyond the Page Books
are published by
Beyond the Page Publishing
Copyright © 2021 by Edith Maxwell.
Cover design by Dar Albert, Wicked Smart Designs
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For reference librarians everywhere. Authors depend on you for history, for deep databases you know how to search, and for an affinity in wanting to know the facts about the past.
Books by Edith Maxwell
About the Author
The annual Spring Opening was a very real affair, bringing visitors from all over the world to view Amesbury’s carriages. John Mayer, Executive Director of the Amesbury Carriage Museum, dug up newspaper notices on the Spring Opening for me. I also consulted Amesbury historian Margaret Rice’s Sun on the River: The Story of the Bailey Family Business 1856–1956 for descriptions of the week’s business negotiations and nightly social events. Amesbury librarian Margie Walker has helped me find facts from the past for every book in this series, and I am grateful.
I have invented members of Amesbury’s 1890 Board of Trade and make no claims about the actual board’s involvement in murder, nor about Mr. Lowell’s disinclination to become involved in the issues before the town, as a character claims in the book.
The Montgomery Carriage Company of Ottawa, Canada, came out of my imagination. I wish to cast no aspersions or senility on any actual Ontarian carriage manufacturer of the era.
I consulted about railroad timetables and routes with local historical train expert Peter Bryant, formerly with the Salisbury Point Railroad Association (Peter is also a docent at the John Greenleaf Whitter Home Museum). I also received maps, timetables, and other details of train travel from Richard Nichols, Carl Byron, and Archivist Rick Nowell of the Boston & Maine Railroad Historical Society, Inc. I am grateful for the help of experts, and any errors in the book are of my own doing.
Amesbury very nearly became the automobile capital of the United States. My fictional Ned Bailey’s thoughts about starting a motorcar company were not complete fantasy. Some of the first electric cars in the country were made in the town by the real Bailey family from 1907 to 1915. Two still exist—and still run. Also, I imply no aspersions whatsoever on the historical Baileys, who were one of Amesbury’s First Families and whose descendants still live in Amesbury and surrounding towns.
The Remedy: Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Quest to Cure Tuberculosis by Thomas Goetz is an excellent reference on tuberculosis and the rise of science toward the end of the nineteenth century. I gleaned a number of helpful facts from it for this book, and it’s also great reading. I wrote this book during the Covid-19 pandemic, and I found the parallels between the scourge of TB, with its lack of either a vaccine or a cure, and the current novel coronavirus frankly terrifying.
As I’ve done with each book, I consulted Miss Parloa’s New Cook Book and Marketing Guide, published in 1880, for ideas about food as well as sample menus that might have been served at the Grand Hotel. I also made use of the Montgomery Ward & Co. Catalogue and Buyers’ Guide from 1895, Marc McCutcheon’s Everyday Life in the 1800s, and The Massachusetts Peace Officer: a Manual for Sheriffs, Constables, Police, and Other Civil Officers by Gorham D. Williams, 1891.
I have taken liberties with Friend John’s whereabouts. According to John Greenleaf Whittier: a Biography by Roland H. Woodwell, Whittier spent the entire winter and spring of 1890 with the Cartlands in Danvers, Massachusetts. I brought him back to Amesbury for this book so Rose could take counsel with her wise fFriend. Apologies to those who study his life and to my docent friends at the John Greenleaf Whittier Home Museum in Amesbury. I quote some of the