Yesterday I paid tribute to Frances Perkins, who served as Secretary of Labor under President Franklin Roosevelt and was responsible for many of the gains working people have made in America. Labor Day is a good time to remember how our lives have changed as governments have set guidelines for workers and employers to keep society safe and make life better for all of us.
Labor Day is not always celebrated in September. Many countries celebrate it on May 1. Australia has chosen a March date. Yesterday I got a notice from Amazon Australia about royalties paid on sales of the Charlotte Edgerton mystery books. That reminded me that Labor Day is an appropriate time to think about Charlotte and her adventures.
Why Labor Day? Well, Charlotte was a nineteenth century working class girl, born in England, who came to America to build a good life for herself. In the first book of the series, A Death in Utopia, she is living in a community based on the idea that the division between workers and leaders can be eliminated. (That doesn’t work out well.) In the second volume, Death Visits a Bawdy House, Charlotte moves to New York City where almost the only way for a woman to make a living is to become a prostitute. (But brothels are dangerous places.) Later Charlotte and her husband go to England during labor riots as the Chartists demonstrate against Queen Victoria in Death Calls at the Palace. (Facing a hostile militia is no fun.) And in the final book of the quartet, Death Enters the Convent, Charlotte and Daniel are in Florence, Italy, where entering a convent is the road to employment for many women. (But even quiet nuns in convents have secrets).
Yes, Labor Day is a good day to celebrate the adventures of Charlotte Edgerton and her family. You can find all four of the Charlette Edgerton mysteries in print and as ebooks on the Amazon website.