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The St Neots Poisoning Case

The St Neots Poisoning Case [Kindle Edition]

Julia Joyce
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

In October 1897, Northamptonshire born Annie Holmes moved to the sleepy market town of St Neots in Huntingdonshire, hoping to make a new start for herself and her three young children, but the following January she died of strychnine poisoning. A cousin of hers, Walter Horsford, was soon arrested for her murder. This is the first, full account of Annie Holmes’ death and the subsequent trial of Walter Horsford at Huntingdon Assizes. The court case and the aftermath for those involved are followed through in great detail, the facts of which have been gathered from extensive research using various sources including, Cambridgeshire library and museum records, contemporary newspaper accounts and Home Office files.
This is a revised January 2014 edition which has removed some slight 'literary touches' of superficial mannerisms given to individuals, but which were not approved of by one reviewer, and also by the author on revisiting the book. All facts and speeches, as in the first edition, have been taken from contemporary reports.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3266 KB
  • Print Length: 218 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,434 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars local history 11 Jan 2014
By AJWills
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I actually live in St Neots so was interested to read and note the current places / names etc however the book had a weak ending and seemed to diversify slightly to complete .... Was good overall though
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fictional Non-Fiction 31 Oct 2013
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This is a fairly interesting Victorian murder case and seems to be well researched, but I found the way it was written very irritating - to the point where I almost gave up.

First of all, it needed professionally editing and proof-reading to eliminate the typos and minor mistakes before publication, such as "1900's", and "Shortly after the jury left, the undertaker, Mr Middleton, the undertaker, arrived".

But my main gripe is that the author has chosen to embellish a factual account with her own "literary" touches. Instead of simply telling us what the different characters said, almost every single piece of dialogue has people frowning, rubbing chins, stroking beards, looking sternly etc etc. For example: "As Linton, the magistrate, listened to Stevenson he subconsciously stroked at his own long white beard while gazing up at Stevenson's beard, as if weighing up whose was the most luxuriant". This is all made up stuff in a non-fiction book, and there is lots and lots of it!

The problem is that not only does it read like second-rate fiction, it left me wondering what I actually could believe - the last thing I want to feel when reading a "true" story. At one point she claims jury members sat up late into the night discussing the case in their hotel and implies that they got drunk and came to court with hangovers the next morning. I'm pretty sure this was fabricated. The problem is, I just don't know - which to me in a non-fiction crime book is an unforgivable crime itself!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read about a story I know so well 28 Sep 2013
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I have known about this story since the day Winston Churchill died, when I was taken to Stow Longa Churchyard to see Walter Horsford's grave in unconsecrated ground.. My great great aunt Fanny James is the first death recorded in this book. My parents did a lot of research into the history of this case. This book has given me so much more insight though into the problems that women faced at the time if they were suddenly widowed. I saw Walter's confession in the National Archives shortly after it was released under the hundred years rule. I am related to nearly everyone in this story. My Grandmother went with us to the Churchyard on that day and we came back to the news that not only Churchill but that her son had also died.

For those who like a good Victorian melodrama along with how the justice and police system worked let alone issues around the position of women at the time this is an excellent read.

My Mother has only been told about this but thanks to my daughter surfing the net I know of 3 members of the family that have purchased this.
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