An Excerpt and a Review: Death at the Asylum

One thing I find hard is marketing my books. I think a lot of my followers who write would say the same. But needs must, and I do want you to take a look at my newest book in the Rhe Brewster series, Death at the Asylum.

This one has more twists than ever, so many that I actually lost one thread, which was luckily grabbed by my editor, Alison Williams. I think maybe I’ll send the gray cells that kept adding threads on vacation next time.

And here is an excerpt from the first chapter, to whet your interest.


The sniper had been in the attic of the empty house across the river for nearly a day, lying on a table pushed up to a window, with his gun resting on the window sill. The view was perfect. Habit kept him there, virtually unmoving, diapered to take care of his needs, and stoked on coffee until earlier this morning.

Now he needed steady hands. Gravity, wind speed and direction, altitude, barometric pressure and humidity could all affect the bullet trajectory, and he’d taken each one of those factors into account.

He slowed his breathing, slowed his heart rate, stilled every muscle except for those in his trigger finger, and focused on the grinning head now in the crosshairs of the telescopic lens. He heard his former spotter’s voice whispering quietly, ‘Now.”

He gently, slowly, squeezed the trigger, felt the solid push back against his shoulder. And waited. It takes time for a bullet to get to its target from that far away.


I have had a couple of fantastic reviews from authors I admire. Here is the very first, which came from Diana Peach, author (not recently) of The Necromancer’s Daughter and The Ferryman and the Sea Witch.


“I’ve read all the Rhe Brewster mysteries and looked forward to this one. It didn’t disappoint, and for those new to the series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone. The story begins with the attempted murder of Maine’s governor. Rhe, an ER nurse, and her husband Sam, the police chief of Pequod, Maine, save the governor’s life and become part of a task force to identify the assailant, a sniper.

But that isn’t the only plot line twisting through this book. Someone has stolen Rhe’s identity and is trying to ruin her. At the hospital where she works, drugs are routinely disappearing, and her boss is after her job. Someone sabotages Sam’s car and attempts to steal their home. A serial rapist is on the loose, and a cult leader is expected of abuse. Never mind the bullets. While she and Sam pursue leads, she also must worry about protecting her young son and unborn child.

The book doesn’t have much to do with the titular asylum, unless you consider that the multiple plots and challenges create a version of bedlam in Rhe’s life. They contributed to a speedy pace, making the book hard to put down, and I enjoyed the puzzle as to whether and how the pieces were connected.

Highly recommended to readers who enjoy cozy mysteries with minimal violence, a fast-paced plot, and characters worth rooting for.”


I have a book signing scheduled in Damariscotta, Maine, in August. More on that later. In the meantime, if you are so inclined to host me and my new book, I’d be honored.



19 thoughts on “An Excerpt and a Review: Death at the Asylum”

  1. Congratulations, Noelle! I’ve been so busy I haven’t had a chance to reply to your email – you can use bvitelli2009@gmail if you want to reach me quicker – I don’t go on my Yahoo email much. Thank you for your offer – I’ve already downloaded your new book and I’m looking forward to reading it!

  2. Your new novel sounds great, and although I’ve only read one of them, I know the plots are gripping and we care about and like the protagonists. So I can see readers will enjoy/suffer what you put them through in this story. Thanks, Noelle, and good luck with your presentation. And congratulations on the reviews!

    1. Thanks so much, Olga. I put Rhe and Sam through a lot in this one, so much so that the next book will be quieter! They now think about the effect of their adventures are having on Jack and are using a child psychologist for help!

  3. Wow Noelle, that is a great ringing endorsement from a fellow author.

    In the last few years I’ve learnt a few things about self promotion. When it comes to sharing your passion for writing you need to bang your own drum and loudly. Don’t be shy and take every opportunity to tell people about your books, whether in person or via social media, it does lead to opportunities.

    Best Wishes


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