Local Mystery Author
Aug 10, 2022
Edith Maxwell
Local Mystery Author

Edith was first recognized for her fiction writing at the age of eleven.

She won the Pasadena Star News contest for her short story, “Viking Girl” and walked away with the prize money of $2.00!

So how did Edith go from an 11-year old award-winning fiction writer to the best-selling mystery author and sought-after speaker that she is today?

While writing has been a life-long craft, her fiction career took a few detours before she penned her many multi-setting crime capers.

As an adult, Edith made her living writing technical documentation in the software industry.

She also wrote features and essays as a free-lance journalist, edited medical texts, published several articles, and wrote a dissertation to earn her doctorate in the field of linguistics.

Constructing fictional worlds rich with passion, intrigue, and the true mystery of human behavior is what makes her happiest. In 2013 she left high-tech to write mystery fiction full-time and is now living her dream. 

Edith is a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime, and is a member of Mystery Writers of America. She is also a long-time member of the Society of Friends (Quaker) and a past Clerk of Amesbury Friends Meeting. Her art story was featured in the National Endowment for the Arts 50th anniversary celebration.

Edith blogs with five other New England mystery authors at WickedAuthors.com who were featured in the Boston Globe.

She also blogs at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen on the second and fourth Fridays of the month.

Preston and Cristabel  and Birdy rose to celebrity status after being featured in Edith’s mystery novels. Preston was the farm cat in the Local Food mysteries. Cristabel, the kitchen cat of the Quaker Midwife series, and Birdy, the star of the Country Store mysteries. All are now deceased, alas, but their fame lives on in the books.

 At the Malice Domestic Convention in April 2022, Edith finally collected her Agatha Award teapot that she won in 2020 for Best Historical Novel. The Agatha Award was for Charity’s Burden, the 4th book in her Quaker Midwife Series.

In 2001, Edith wrote a prose poem about her beloved father Allan Burroughs Maxwell, Jr.

Having been an organic farmer, Edith knows the language and tensions of someone like Cam Flaherty, the farmer in the Local Foods mysteries.

Edith lived in southern Indiana for five years and loved the slow pace and language of its natives, so it made sense to set the Country Store Mysteries there. She was interviewed in the Indiana University Alumni Magazine recently.

As a Quaker herself, and before having worked as a doula and taught independent childbirth classes, Edith has the experience and knowledge to write about the life of Rose Carroll, the 1880s midwife portrayed in the Quaker Midwife Mysteries. Her article about how being a Friend guides her writing and marketing was published in Friends Journal.

And her Cozy Capers Book Group series comes straight out of both her imagination and regular solo writing retreats on Cape Cod.

Edith lives in Amesbury, Massachusetts, but is originally a fourth-generation Californian. She has two grown sons and lives in an antique house with her beau and their energetic kitten, Ganesh.