MURDER, mystery intrigue - it could be the plot of an Agatha Christie novel.

Crime fans will enjoy the trials and tribulations of Edward Evans’ latest book.

‘The Foundry Man’s Apprentice’ is clearly case for Edward’s well-known character - who readers have come to know and love - the Mail’s investigative journalist, Clive White.

Haworth-based Edward, whose previous page-turners include ‘11 Py’; ‘Like a Fish out of Water;’ ‘The Piano;’ ‘Come on Granddad hold my hand;’ ‘For the Right Reasons;’ ‘Mooncar’ and ‘Two Old Dears’ focuses on the courageous character, Fred, in his latest tome.

Fred is one of the families fondly known as the ‘Tremont Mob’ whose friendship and camaraderie develops from the harsh Victorian times in which they live within close-knit communities.

Homes were generally over-crowded and rented either from landlords, or tied to their work and if they lost their job their employer would think nothing of turning their tenants out on the street.

Conditions were cruel to put it mildly and poverty was prevalent but there was camaraderie between the children.

The relationship between the families in Tremont Street, where Fred Wearing and his family lived, was akin to ‘being joined at the hip.

‘ ‘The Tremont Street Mob’ as they are fondly known grew up together and played together.

In those days simple pleasures occupied their time; they used their imaginations and created their own fun.

Large cardboard boxes were soon transformed into sailing vessels or even homes and boys went into battle with wooden swords and pretend guns.

There was the usual bullying between those who were more ‘financially fortunate’ but with his mischievous ways Fred was the helpful, happy-go-lucky chap who got away with it - until he made a fool of the son of a company boss....

As time progressed history caught up with Fred when he became Smith Jnr’s employee but he was smart enough to put up with the verbal assaults.

‘Fred’s philosophy was always that you can work anything to your advantage as long as you stop and think about it, which is exactly what he did,’ writes the author.

Undeterred, and eager to reap revenge, Smith Jnr begins his attempts to frame Fred’s family who also worked for the company.

Theft allegations from things planted in pockets were just some of the tricks played to discredit the family.

Vengeful and clearly intent on settling a score, Smith Jnr isn’t a man to be messed with.

Then there is the brutal rape of one of their own within this tight-knit neighbourhood.

There are plenty more twists and turns in this thrilling tale but when Fred, the courageous leader and protector of this close-knit community, is murdered on the battlefield during the Great War and branded a coward, his death sparks a campaign for justice.

And the man who can seek out the truth is none other than the Mail’s investigative journalist, Clive White.

I won’t divulge too much of the plot, but there are many more revelations in Edward’s latest tome which, incidentally, tips a nod to the famous crime writer, Agatha Christie.

“I enjoy writing and to use an Agatha Christie expression, it keeps the little grey cells alive,” writes Edward, whose inspiration to put pen to paper comes from his visits to France with his wife Lilian and his home village of Haworth - coincidentally where the famous Bronte siblings lived and penned their books amidst the inspiring moorland.

The book has wide appeal -particularly for fans of crime fiction.

‘The Foundry Man’s Apprentice’ is £12.95 and is published by Worthside. For every book sold Edward, who has raised funds for many charities through the sale of his previous books, is donating £1 to Mind in Horsforth, Leeds.