Friday 20 December 2019

Book review : Chickenfeed - Minette Walters

I will admit, I was browsing through the titles on my book shelf last week, hunting out the smallest books that needed to be read, so that I could try to catch up on my Goodreads target before the end of the month ! I came across this Quick Reads book which was first published in 2006. I remember that the author Minette Walters appealed to me, but having just checked, I haven't actually read any of her other work.

The story features the sad tale of Elsie Cameron, a young woman from London who is desperate to get married to her boyfriend Norman Thorne, but ends up buried beneath the chicken farm where he lives and works. Elsie is far from perfect, even in the eyes of her parents, but Norman, perhaps from his lack of experience, is happy enough to go along with her life dreams. The chicken farm is planned as a way for him to make enough money to pay for the wedding and future life that they will have together, but things don't go to plan. His feelings for Elsie start to falter too, and he soon sets his eyes on another young local girl.

When Elsie's body is discovered, the policing methods of the time (back in the 1920's) are incapable of proving whether or not Norman was a murderer. He declares his innocence but what will the courts finally decide? As Minette Walters says in her Author's Note, she has shown the way she interprets the police reports and newspaper articles of the time, but nobody really knows for sure what went on in the Crowborough chicken farm.

As suggested by the Quick Reads name, it is a short book, just 121 pages long, and I got through the whole thing in one sitting. It's an interesting case and Minette Walters presents a convincing version of events.

star rating : 4/5

  • Paperback: 121 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Main Market edition (3 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330440314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330440318
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 0.8 x 19.7 cm


  1. Have read a few by minette - they are always great

  2. Oh god, the spammers strike above. I haven't read this book, though I heard of the author. Not sure if I read anything by her, certainly not recently. Sounds like an interesting book, and now I'm intrigued to find out the author's version of events.

    1. Aaaggghhh just busted the spammers ! Yes, I'd definitely heard of Minette Waters too - I'd be intrigued to check out some more of her work.


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