Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Quaker Fiction

After last week's post on What is Quakerism? my friend Barb Ross asked if I had a list of recommended fiction featuring Friends. Since Speaking of Murder isn't published yet (although it will be, never fear), here's my list.

I have read two authors, who I indeed recommend, and also dug up a couple of others, plus a movie.

Irene Allen wrote a classically cozy mystery series set in Cambridge, Massachusetts: Quaker Silence, Quaker Testimony, Quaker Witness, and Quaker Indictment. The protagonist is an older woman who is Clerk of the Meeting, Elizabeth Elliot. In her quiet Quakerly way, she solves the murder in each book. I enjoyed these books greatly, but be forewarned that they are not thrillers.

I Take Thee, Serenity, by Daisy Newman, tells the story of two young people as they prepare for marriage as Friends. It's a sweet tale, although not a mystery, and if you have never experienced a Quaker wedding, this book gives you an authentic portrayal. Newman has several other titles out that feature Friends, as well.

Phillip Gulley is an author who sets his series about Quakers in a fictional Indiana village called Harmony. The latest book is Almost Friends, with a protagonist who is a Quaker pastor. I think these are also not mysteries.

Quaker Summer is a book by Lisa Samson. I loved the description I found: "Heather Curridge is coming unhinged. And people are starting to notice. What's wrong with a woman who has everything--a mansion on a lake, a loving son, a heart-surgeon husband--yet still feels miserable inside? When Heather spends the summer with two ancient Quaker sisters and a crusty nun running a downtown homeless shelter, she finds herself at a crossroads."

Finally, I found author Chuck Fager, who has published Murder Among Friends, Un-Friendly Persuasion, and others. Fager is a long-time Quaker activist who has also written non-fiction about the civil rights movement. I plan to put his mysteries on my reading list.

A great movie about Quakers is "Amazing Grace," which describes William Wilberforce's efforts to abolish slavery in England.

Let me know if you know of others and I'll add them here.


  1. Thanks for the list, Edith.

    I've read and enjoyed the Irene Allen series. I'll check out the others as well.

  2. Great list, Edith. Back in high school in Pennsylvania my best friend was a Quaker. I remember attending many beautiful Friends meetings with her after teenage sleepovers. I'll be checking out these books.


  3. Hi, I'm not familiar with Quaker mysteries, but I did come back to New England a few weeks ago to have a clam lunch in Ipswich. :-)

  4. I have just published THE MISSING PORTRAIT, a novel featuring Quakers, though Quaker's are not the main subject of the story. They happen to be holding a peace vigil on a street corner, as a con artist tries to rope a homeless woman into his scheme. He pretends to be one of those Quakers so that she'll trust him. And he invites her to the Sunday worship. G. Glodek

  5. Thanks for stopping by, Geraldine. The books sounds like a great read.

  6. Hi, Edith. My son sent me a Kindle for Christmas and my daughter followed with an Amazon gift certificate. Now that I have a moment to learn how to use it, I tried ordering your novel Speaking of Murder, but don't see it on there. Is this the one your blog says had a missed deadline?

    1. I just checked back to this post - my book came out in September, under the pen name Tace Baker. Hope you enjoy it!

  7. G. Glodek, I'm afraid Speaking of Murder is not yet available for sale. The publisher I had contracted with did not follow through on his obligations, so the book is again in search of a publishing home. I am hoping it will be out this year sometime. If you'd like to contact me at edithmax at gmail dot com, I'd be happy to let you know when you can buy it. Thanks so much for your interest!

  8. Thank you, Edith, for sharing this list. New books to explore and a film. Yeaaaa!

  9. Downright Dencey is my favorite -- historical children's book!

  10. I'd like to share the novel that I just wrote, THE LIGHT, which has a distinct Quaker spirituality in its theme. See: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0615796567/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0615796567&linkCode=as2&tag=achuinc-20