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Released: August 2014
ISBN: 9781311087256
ASIN: B00MU46CLU
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TREATED AS MURDER
Series: Edith Horton Mysteries, #1
Author: Noreen Wainwright
Length: Novel
Genre: Mystery
Price: $0.99

Set in 1931, Edith Horton is a former VAD who finds herself not only struggling with her inner demons, but with the presence of evil in her village in the Yorkshire Dales. Her brother is suspected of murdering an elderly wealthy widow, and sins of the past have echoes in her life and the lives of those close to her.

Excerpt
1916

The heat of the sun was intense, the village’s main street still and waiting. The absence of young men and the heavy burden on those remaining here had changed everything. That time before the war was a distant, innocent land, often dreamt about, but as out of reach as the silver-white clouds billowing in the intensely blue sky.

Hearts plummeted and breaths quickened at the sight of the post-boy. The surge of relief at seeing that he was going elsewhere was short-lived. It didn’t do to tempt fate. No one knew the hour the news might come to their own doorstep. The realisation that it may well come was sinking in. Even young people had ceased talking of excitement and adventure. Many hearts were questioning patriotism and honour, however fervently they upheld them in public.

It is all wrong, she thought, a servant bringing me such a thing as this on a silver plate. Because she knew, of course, in that few seconds of suspended time, before she opened it. Nothing would ever be the same again. And then she read the words, and did know. In an eerie echo of death, she really did feel as though she stepped aside from her body. She, with an almost cold detachment, witnessed herself walk across the hall and into her sitting-room.

No-one knew but her and then her husband. But soon, as is the way in these country places, everyone knew. The other woman heard it in the shop. The Sowerby sisters served here, and gossip rose and fell and whispered amongst the flour and loose biscuits, the mops, buckets, carbolic soap, tea and stamps. She held back the howl of anguish as she slipped out without her shopping, and lurched her way home.

The door shut tight behind her, in the empty house, she let herself slide to the floor. She doubled over, her knees drawn to her chest, her arms over eyes, and wailed at her loss.

1931

There. She ticked the name off her list. The handwriting on the page was as devoid of any defining characteristics as she could make it. She had written the words in blunt, fat capitals. She re-read the letter, and smiled. Not perfect, but it would do. The main thing was the feeling she had now, satiated, warm and at peace. The trouble of course, was that the feeling would not last.

But she was keeping a tight check on herself. One letter a fortnight was the bargain she had made. With whom she wasn’t sure. Herself? God? She had read somewhere about anonymous letter writers who cut letters out of magazines and papers and glued them to the page. There were also others, apparently, who took journeys to all sorts of different places, so the postmarks would confuse. Yet, all that seemed too elaborate. It would be like cheating.

And, if she was discovered? It would, at least be fair and square. She took precautions, but nothing excessive. After all, this was never meant to be safe, was it? She had left the need for safety behind her, years ago. There was only one good thing that came from no longer caring, and that was the liberation of not needing to mind yourself all the time.

Finding things out had been heart-hammering at the beginning, now it had become second nature. She had turned herself into a trained observer. It was a truly fascinating occupation. Immersion in the lives of others had been the only medicine that finally managed to soothe her jangled nerves. Wielding the power of knowledge, had been a bit of payback for the bad hand she had been dealt.

What the reviewers are saying
Wonderful Read
Murder mystery is not my usual read but what a great introduction this was. Noreen has given an insight into mental health conditions and the effects this has on people close by. The characters are wonderful and it left me wanting to know more. I cannot wait to start book two. ~ Fran, Amazon

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A delightful mystery in the Golden Age style
This was a delightful mystery tale in the Golden Age style, redolent of a Christie story. First off I was attracted to the cover, the thirties nostalgic image, then the blurb; intriguing . . . The story is, as you would expect in this genre, complex and full of red herrings and mysterious characters, all handled well, not least the central protagonist Edith Horton . . . Wainwright sketches the characters and scenery well and they form a pleasing whole as the story reaches an unpredictable and exciting climax. ~ Amazon reader

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Its a gripping muder mystery from start to finish. Once you start it you will not be able to put it down. Can't wait to start the next one in the series. ~ Joan, Amazon

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Great read!
I thoroughly enjoyed Treated as Murder. Its a stylish and elegant read with compelling, vibrant characters, a tangible sense of mystery and a captivating storyline! Noreen sets out to build a whole village worth of memorable personalities within the pages of this book and she certainly succeeds! Highly recommended :) ~ Jen McCarthy, Amazon

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A great read
This is a lovely read, very stylish and atmospheric. I found the work to be well written and there was no unnecessary writing as it was all concise and contributed to the authentic flavour of the book. There is a very neat underlying plot which shows a great understanding of historic mental health and institutional issues and some neat passages that are timeless and show a kindness, compassion and understanding that is very subtle but highly relevant in todays world. Strong female character and bless her friend, who had to deal with infidelity. All very neatly done. A great read. Left me wanting to read more of Miss Edith Horton and her life. ~ Zhandra Belgasmi, Amazon

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Beautifully written period crime
Great period crime - authentically written. I enjoyed the character creation and the plot. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author and I would recommend it to other writers who want to write this kind of crime fiction. ~ BerwickBabs, Amazon

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Thoughtful, nuanced and different
Murder Mystery is not usually my bag but I thoroughly enjoyed Treated as Murder; particularly the nuanced approach to mental illness, the meticulous period detail and some very engaging (in particular) female characters. We're swamped with literary choice on the horrors of the battlefield but if you want a thoughtful examination of the impact of war in the aftermath of the conflict, Treated as Murder should be a real treat. ~ Trush O Dea, Amazon

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This book was recommended to me and although it isn't my usual genre, I was gripped from the beginning right until the excellent unexpected twist at the end. Well done to the author, can't wait for the next one. ~ Sisam, Amazon

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Wonderful read for our Book Club
Wonderful read for our Book Club and I had the honour on meeting the author, what a treat! We all loved the book and very much and look forward to the next one. Likened to Agatha Christie style books - murder and intrigue from the 1930's. Great plot too. ~ Zoe Jones, Amazon

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Fantastic!
Fantastic book, really well written and in keeping with the period. Loved all the different back stories of the characters and felt that the issue of mental health were explored well and with sensitivity. Waiting for more of your writing Noreen! ~ Charl, Amazon

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - excellent writing and couldn't put it down! Bring on more of this please! ~ Mary Somerville, Amazon

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Treated as Murder is a wonderful cozy mystery. Edith's plight is palpable and we quickly become endeared to her from page one. Noreen's fabulous author voice pulls is into 1930s England, a time between World Wars but still showing scars from what has become know as The Great War. This was a time when men and woman alike returned home with emotional scars that were tough to heal. Noreen shows us this period of history with wonderful description, language, and characterization. Her storytelling ability is smooth which makes for quick reading. As a first novel, this story a wonderful introduction into what can only be a great career in fiction. A must read. ~ Heart of Fiction

 

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