Date Published: November 2015
Jeremiah Arkwright rules his family by strict religious principles. But, they are growing up and no longer prepared to obey him without question. His own private life is found to have its secrets. The revelation of his hypocrisy leads to his death. Once again, Edith Horton finds herself at the heart of the mystery. Her own life is troubled; her friendships are strained and the death of Jeremiah Arkwright causes her to reflect on them.
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Author Bio: Noreen lives in the English countryside with her dairy farmer husband, She has had short stories published and also has had some success as a freelance journalist. She works part-time at her local university as a mental health mentor. She uses her background as a mental health nurse in her writing. Crime at Christmas is the third in the Edith Horton mystery series.
Edith Horton is out for a walk with her dog when she discovers a body. She’s quickly caught up in what looks to be an accident. But the odd reactions of Jeremiah Wright’s family point to something more sinister, and when a note with a biblical scripture is found, her darkest suspicions are confirmed. This was murder.
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. There were a few problems, but let me stick to the good stuff first.
The character development was deftly handled and the plotline original. I like complex, and this story had a lot of depth going for it. The victim’s family was in a strict religious cult and that setting is always intriguing. Seems the perfect place for secrets to flourish since they’re so isolated from the community. The book was also well-written and I think the author sets the tone and pacing quite nicely, but here’s where things get a little bumpy.
The handling of conveying the nuances and abundance of info was confusing. I had to go back and re-read parts to make sense of what was going on and to make sure I had all the clues. I don’t know whether an editor can help smooth this out, or whether just handing it off to a beta reader to point out the rough patches would help, but it did take away from me getting immersed the book. I would say the beginning of the story was where I found it most apparent, but it did recur throughout. And quite a few times I had to check to make sure which character was speaking.
Other than that, 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.
I do recommend CRIME FOR CHRISTMAS and think Ms. Wainwright has something to offer, but because of the problems mentioned above, I’m giving the book 3.8 stars.
Noreen lives in the English countryside with her dairy farmer husband, She has had short stories published and also has had some success as a freelance journalist. She works part-time at her local university as a mental health mentor. She uses her background as a mental health nurse in her writing. Crime at Christmas is the third in the Edith Horton mystery series.