Amesbury Author Cooks Up Delicious New Mystery
“Murder at the Taffy Shop” Hits Barnes & Noble Bookshelves This March
National bestselling mystery author Edith Maxwell comes up with some of her best ideas as she strolls the streets of Amesbury after a morning of writing in her home office. She might look down at a pile of leaves and wonder whether it would be a good place to hide a murder weapon or a dead body.
Maxwell describes these strolls as “plotting walks,” especially if she is writing a first draft. Ideas are everywhere, she explains. And when an idea hits her, she often pulls out her cellphone to record it. “I am probably known as that crazy author lady who talks to herself,” she says.
The energetic, versatile author hasn’t always had a free schedule to write. After earning a Ph.D. in linguistics, she wrote technical manuals for a Boston software company and has run a certified organic farm.
The sudden death of one of Maxwell’s best friends several years ago caused her to reevaluate her life. She asked herself, “If I had only one more year to live, like Susan did, what would I want to be doing?”
Continuing to write software manuals wasn’t the answer. After much consideration, she left her job in high-tech in 2013 to write mysteries full time.
To date, Maxwell has written 24 novels. Her latest, “Murder at the Taffy Shop,” will be released March 31 by Kensington Publishing as a one-year Barnes & Noble paperback exclusive in her Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. Her debut novel in the series was “Murder on Cape Cod” (December, 2018) and both were written under the pen name Maddie Day.
These mysteries revolve around a bicycle shop owner, Mac, and her Cozy Capers book club. Unfortunately, Mac and her friends have a habit of discovering dead bodies in the fictional village of Westham on Cape Cod. But with help from Mac’s book club buddies, finding the killer becomes a thrilling, often dangerous adventure.
Maxwell writes what she wants to read. “The real world can be hard,” she says. “I want to read and write books that restore justice to the community in the end and make you feel better about the world.”
Such books, written without graphic violence or sex, are called “cozy mysteries” in the publishing world.
Two more cozy Maxwell mysteries will be published later this year: “Nacho Average Murder” in June, and “Candy Slain Murder” in September both in the Country Store Mysteries series by Maddie Day.
Maxwell’s books took a historical turn in 2016, when she created the Quaker Midwife Mysteries, all of which are written under her real name and feature Rose Carroll, a Quaker midwife/sleuth, as well as historical figures from the 1800s, such as John Greenleaf Whittier. The sixth book in that series, “Taken Too Soon,” will be released in September. The fourth in the series, “Charity’s Burden,” was recently nominated for an Agatha Award. The winner will be announced on May 1.
A member of the Amesbury Society of Friends, Maxwell loves gardening, cooking, speaking at library events, and getting together with writer friends in the groups Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. She also writes short crime fiction and blogs for WickedAuthors.com and KillerCharacters.com.
What makes Maxwell so productive? It’s the response of her readers. “It moves me to tears when fans say my writing helped them through a crisis,” she says.
Crisis or not, sometimes what readers may want is a comforting, delicious journey into an Edith Maxwell mystery.
Maxwell will be appearing on The 495 podcast.
Wednesday, February 26. Click here to listen. >>