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Chickenfeed (novella for World Book Day)

A body is found in a chicken run…
Based on the true story of the ‘chicken farm murder’, which took place at Blackness, Crowborough, East Sussex in December 1924.
Norman Thorne was found guilty of the murder of Elsie Cameron, but even at the time of his execution there were doubts about his guilt.
Still swearing his innocence, Norman Thorne was hanged on 22 April 1925.
Bestselling author Minette Walters brings a thrilling story to life in this gripping new novel.
“Chickenfeed by Minette Walters is a marvellous story, thoroughly intimate with human nastiness, exploring the Chicken Farm Murder, which took place in Crowborough in 1924…the ending is faultlessly emphatic, too…. There is no reason why simplified stories cannot also be works of art, as the books by Rendell and Walters are.”  Evening Standard
“Minette Walters’ Chickenfeed stands out for me…The real-life story of a dubious conviction and subsequent execution energises a fascinating meditation on mental illness, and the nature of guilt…I shall be recommending Chickenfeed as a textbook example of psychological complexity. ”  The Times

“Crime writer Minette Walters knocks spots off the rest with Chickenfeed, a novel based on the true story of a 1924 murder. Walters’s pacy account of a needy young typist whose relationship with her chicken farmer lover ends in tragedy is a gripping page-turner and easily as good as her longer novels.”  Emma Lee-Potter, Daily Express


“Walters…take[s] to the pace and clarity imposed by the [Quick Reads] format like a natural with her true-crime tale, Chickenfeed.” Boyd Tonkin, Independent Review

“This story, in its own terms, is fascinating enough, but in Walters’ expert hands, the swiftest of reads is guaranteed…this is a book that it is difficult to put down.”  Barry Forshaw, Amazon

(INNOCENT VICTIMS – this is a US title for two novellas) “Fans of Edgar-winner Walter will welcome this collection of two previously published novellas. The poignantChickenfeed, based on an infamous 1924 murder case in East Sussex, charts the tragic course of the courtship of Norman Thorne, a city boy trying to make a go of an ill-conceived chicken farm, and the mentally unstable young woman determined to marry him, Elsie Cameron. The Tinder Box, a compelling tale of prejudice and gossip set in 1999, opens with the trial of Patrick O’Riordan, a 35-year-old unemployed Irish laborer, for the brutal murder of a 93-year-old woman and her nurse in an English village where the Irish are despised. Though the evidence against Patrick is overwhelming, his crippled mother persuades fellow Irishwoman Siobhan Lavenham to help exonerate her son. Siobhan discovers plenty about the victims, the O’Riordan family, and the escalating threats to the O’Riordans before everything falls into place to produce a shockingly different picture than expected.” Publisher’s Weekly