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Released: November 2015
ISBN: 9781311568892
ASIN: B015OGK9EQ
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CRIME AT CHRISTMAS
Series: Edith Horton Mysteries, #3
Author: Noreen Wainwright
Length: Novel
Genre: Mystery
Price: $3.99

Jeremiah Arkwright’s death was sudden and violent. He was a domestic tyrant and uses his strict religious beliefs to control his family. He also had fraught relationships with his farming neighbours.

There was another side to Jeremiah, however – a secret life.

Has somebody discovered his secret or has someone close to him sought revenge?

Edith Horton is drawn into the dark secrets of Pear Tree Farm.

Excerpt
At the shriek, she jolted back, and her heart jumped into her throat. She held tightly to Max’s lead. The hairs on his back stood up, and the phrase about hackles rising came to mind.

Edith wanted to run. There was evil in this place. All her instincts told her to get as far away as fast as she could. Her hand gripped Max’s collar as he stood stock still for a few seconds. The dog’s hackles stayed up and he strained against her hold. He was a dog that rarely barked, but now he emitted a low growl.

She couldn’t just leave, and as far as she could remember, there was no other house in the vicinity.

“Come on, Max,” She was probably mad, but she couldn’t walk away. She pulled the dog’s lead and went up the drive. Her hands and feet were like blocks of ice, despite her boots and gloves; her face was hot, and her stomach roiled as though she were on a fair ground ride.

The farmhouse at the top of the drive was built of stone like all others in these parts, but unlike other farmsteads, no attempt had been made to brighten the place. It looked as dour and forbidding as the moors a few miles away.

“Hello?” Edith’s voice to her own ears sounded tentative and weak. She was a fool. But there was no point in second thoughts at this stage. She’d come this far.

“Who’re you?” The voice was male, but she couldn’t see anyone straight away. Then he stood in front of her, having come out of a building at the side of the yard.

“I’m sorry. I’m Miss Horton from Ellbeck, just out walking with my dog. I thought I heard someone call out. It sounded like someone in distress, in trouble.”

“No trouble here, miss.”

His tone was sly, and Edith’s skin crawled as though a spider walked up her back.

Then, came another shriek. “No, mother, no, let me out, let me go.”

Courage, Edith told herself and fought against weak legs and a racing mind to appear calm. She called out, “Something’s obviously wrong. Can I help?”

The man didn’t answer, but the sound of a door opening came from the house and a woman emerged. “Get in here, Reuben,” she said. “Who’re ye talking to?”

The woman continued, “Oh, I know you, from village, doctor’s sister. Isn’t it? You’d best be coming in. ‘Appen, we need go fetch your brother.” She wiped her hands on a rough apron.

Edith swallowed, wished her mouth wasn’t so dry.

“Father’s dead,” the woman said. Her voice was flat, out of kilter with the words.

The man came up close to Edith, too close for comfort. What choice did she have but to go into the house? She gripped Max’s lead tightly, tried to send a silent message to the dog to protect her. Pretty stupid. Max was a Labrador, noted more for friendliness and eating everything in sight than fierceness. Maybe he would though…would protect her. Please God, he wouldn’t have to.

What the reviewers are saying
Mystery!
The main thing that sticks out to me with this novel is that it really starts off in a way that grabs the readers attention and does not let up. I'm used to a slow build with novels, especially ones like this, but this novel really did start strong and keep that the whole way through. I loved the mystery aspect and loved that the author was able to confuse me and keep me guessing throughout. ~ Texas Book Noon, Amazon

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Excellent Read
Come on Noreen get writing, I have caught up with you!!! Wonderful story, how can one village be so unlucky. Good job they have Edith on hand. It is nice to be able to see into the characters lives and you feel you actually know them and want them to be safe. Who will be next! ~ Fran, Amazon

• • •

Another wonderful book. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Worth reading the whole series. ~ Suzanne Lambert, Amazon

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I love the elegance of this period crime mystery
I love the elegance of this period crime mystery, as reflected in the gentle lifestyle of Edith Horton. It contrasts beautifully with the darkness surrounding Pear Tree Farm where religious fanaticism , domestic violence and ultimately ,murder , add to its sinister atmosphere . Edith finally gets to solve the murder , but not before the author skilfully leads us down a few false trails. An entertaining read and absolutely beautiful cover art. ~ Irish Reader, Amazon

• • •

Another superb Murder Mystery!
Excellent murder mystery! All the clues were there but I never put them together as I was so enthralled with the story as it deepened, twisted and turned. The story gives deep insights in to the interactions in complex and contrasting lifestyles. Extremely enjoyable and I can't wait for the next in the series. ~ Carole Williams, Amazon

• • •

Good story
This is a well done and complex mystery with interesting characters and wonderful settings. It is a study in conflicting relationships. My only criticisms are that the holiday doesn't really have anything to do with the plot and so it's not really a 'Christmas mystery' and it needs a good proofreading. ~ Prairie House, Amazon

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I just went to go pick up my tablet wanting to read some more when I realized I had finished it last night! Can't wait for more to come out! ~ Elizabeth Read, Amazon

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Like your Christmas mixed with murder? This one's for you!
I quite enjoyed this third in The Edith Horton Mysteries by Noreen Wainwright. I thought the story was taut, the clues many, and the red herrings swimming upstream just to confuse us even more were a nice touch . . . The character development was deftly handled and the plotline original. I like complex, and this story had a lot of depth going for it . . . I believe Ms. Wainwright has a good handle on things. I very much like her sleuthing lady and the vibe going on. I believe the series has potential to grow and appeal to mystery fans that want a more classic type of mystery. There are a lot of fans out there that crave this type of book and now would be the perfect time to read. ~ Trulia Smith, Amazon

• • •

a terrific christmas mystery!
This was definitely mind-boggling. Right there from the first page, my attention was caught by Edith and her dog Max. Right there and then I knew, this was going to be a mystery suspense read. Author Noreen Wainwright was able to keep the tempo up and the fire scorching hot while I devoured the entire book. Couldn’t help but stay awake until I finished the story, it was riveting, as I’ve sensed it would be. Crime at Christmas is a perfect early evening read, makes you awake and forget about sleeping. Makes me want to read all the other books in the series. ~ Claire, Amazon

 

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