Dead body found in a burning kitchen in latest Carlisle Crime Cases

CARLISLE, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released Had a Dying Fall, J M West’s fourth installment of Carlisle Crime Cases thrillers.

About the Book:
In HAD A DYING FALL, a raging fire greets the Carlisle police and fire crew where Detectives Snow and Savage discover a male body splayed across the kitchen island in a domicile on South Street. Their search for the missing wife, Kelly Sims, leads CPD detectives to one of their own: Shannon Mahoney, one of Three Musketeers cycle team. Clues lead to the Sims extended family members, many of whom have motives to kill. As the evidence mounts and suspects multiply, danger erupts, exposing damaging secrets that could destroy them all.

And what happened to Detective Erin McCoy, who was last seen at a Revolutionary War re-enactment rehearsal in Darkness at First Light?

Then another murder occurs on Jubilee Day in Mechanicsburg. The victim had ties to Dennis Sims, the Carlisle murder victim. Are the murders connected? Meanwhile, the killer stalks the streets. Where will he or she strike next?

About the Author:
Had a Dying Fall
is the fourth in the Carlisle Crime Cases series of murder mysteries featuring Homicide detectives Christopher Snow and Erin McCoy by Jody McGibney West, pseudonym for Joan M. West, Professor Emerita of English Studies at Harrisburg Area Community College, The Gettysburg Campus. She also taught at Messiah College and Shippensburg University as an adjunct and served as Assistant Director of the Learning Center (SU). She is a member of Sisters in Crime. She has previously published poetry and Glory in the Flower, her debut novel. It depicts four coeds who meet during the turbulent sixties.

She and her husband live near Carlisle, Pennsylvania. They have two sons and two grandsons. In her spare time, West volunteers at the Bookery—Bosler Memorial Library’s used bookstore, participates in the Litwits Book group, and reads voraciously.

Excerpt:
Black smoke plumed over orange flames from the backyard. Sparks like fireflies flew. The shed’s roof splintered, pieces somersaulting skyward. Flames erupted, feeding on the fuel. The Explorer screeched to a halt in front of a limestone Cape Cod on a corner lot. Requesting fire trucks, the CPD detectives raced around back, waving back curious neighbors. “Stay back! Other explosions may follow!”

Just as the words left Snow’s mouth, a second eruption boomed. Wood and metal spewed from the flames, hot and dangerous. Sirens approached, pump and hook and ladder jutting to the curb, with men jumping off and flying to their tasks.

Dressed in full gear, Fire Chief Lane Rusk jumped down from the cab, motioned his men to hook into the nearest hydrant. Lowered his Plexi-glass shield and raced to the carnage. Water spewed forth on the grass and house while white fire-retardant foam arced over that. “Bet the gas grill blew,” he muttered. The detectives sprinted to the back door, pounding to raise someone. The house sat mute, dark windows shuttered and curtains drawn against Dawn’s fingers of resurrecting light. The light yawned in ribbons, rolling back the grey blanket of night.

“Sorry about Mac and . . . ,” Savage said while he and Carlisle Police’s lead homicide detective Christopher Snow had sped to the suspicious fire on South Street. “We took up a collection for flowers—had them sent to your house for the family plot.”

“Yes, thanks,” Snow swallowed hard and nodded. “I can’t talk about that right now. It’s just too raw.” He scrubbed his hands over his face and shook his head. Swallowed over the lump in his throat.

Reese flipped open his cell, called HQ to find out who owned the house. “Court records list that domicile belongs to a Dennis and Kelly Sims.” Always the first on the job, Sonja Hamilton, CPD admin extraordinaire, had her pulse on the department and its personnel. She hadn’t missed a day of work in five years despite two kids, a husband, and night classes.

“We can’t raise anybody here. Their shed just blew to smithereens, but nobody came outside to investigate. Could be on vacation, but we should notify them,” Savage said.

Had a Dying Fall: A Christopher Snow & Erin McCoy Mystery
Authored by J. M. West
List Price: $19.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
258 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620068243
ISBN-10: 1620068249
BISAC: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Had-a-Dying-Fall-9781620…

Molly Pitcher look-alike found dead at memorial to Revolutionary War hero

CARLISLE, Pa. — Sunbury Press has released Darkness at First Light, J M West’s third novel in the Carlisle Crime Cases series.

dafl_fcIn Darkness at First Light, Carlisle Homicide Detectives Christopher Snow and Erin ‘Mac’ McCoy discover an unidentified body, dressed like Molly Pitcher’s statue, lashed to the cannon in front of the folk hero’s gravesite. While at the macabre scene, Mac receives a call from Chief March assigning her and K-9 Officer Shadow to an Amber Alert kidnapping. In the process, the CPD IT guru discovers the girl online on a pay-for-porn site, which brings the FBI on board. The trail leads to the Revolutionary War reenactors’ encampment at Valley Forge. As the detectives track ‘Molly Pitcher’s’ elusive killer and Emma’s obsessed kidnapper, the media dog their movements to get the scoop on the sensational trial that follows.

When Mac receives enigmatic, threatening jingles, she risks her life on a solo investigation. As a result, sparks fly as tempers flare at CPD. As the pressure builds, the danger increases! Can Snow and McCoy’s marriage endure the stress of double cases and an infant at home? Can the detectives corral the criminals before they destroy more lives?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Darkness at First Light
is the third in the Carlisle Crime Casesseries of murder mysteries featuring Homicide detectives Christopher Snow and Erin McCoy by Jody McGibney West, pseudonym for Joan M. West, Professor Emerita of English Studies at Harrisburg Area Community College, The Gettysburg Campus. She also taught at Messiah College and Shippensburg University as an adjunct and served as Assistant Director of the Learning Center (SU). She is a member of Sisters in Crime. She has previously published poetry and Glory in the Flower,her debut novel. It depicts four coeds who meet during the turbulent sixties.

She and her husband live near Carlisle, Pennsylvania. They have two sons and two grandsons. In her spare time, West volunteers at the Bookery—Bosler Memorial Library’s used bookstore, participates in the Litwits Book group, and reads voraciously.

molly3EXCERPT:
Death casts a pall of absolute darkness—solid and devoid of sense or sensation, a psyche or any other living trait, a shock nearly beyond human comprehension—and certainly far from the realm of daily conversation—unless it’s somebody else’s. But the abandoned shell tells much, as Dr. Haili Chen, Cumberland County coroner and Fire Marshal Lane Rusk hovered, waiting for a scrim of light to illume the stark scene before them. Rusk’s assistant, Russell Garrett, lumbered among crowded markers carrying a tripod and camera, kicking clumps of dirty snow from his path.

Approaching sirens howled in the distance.

A female corpse dressed in eighteenth-century garb, skirt and legs partially burned, was lashed to the cannon in front of Molly Pitcher’s monument in the Old Carlisle Cemetery enclosed by a limestone wall at the corner of South Bedford and East South Street. In the east, a dove grey ribbon of light exposed a disturbing scene.

The previous night’s downpour had swept the victim’s cap to the ground, freeing limp, mouse-brown curls that hugged the cannon. Eyes—wide pools matching the gray sky—gazed into the void, her face a mask of surprise and terror. Fine crow’s feet, a mole beside her left eyebrow and a wide mouth pulled in a death grimace. A stout, stumpy handle protruded from her chest. Beneath the barrel, her legs and hands were lashed together.

Rusk circled the corpse, examining the scene with a perplexed frown, heavy eyebrows drawn; his mustache quivered as he nosed the charred shreds of burned cloth, bodily fluids and decaying flesh. He scraped a sample from the leg and cut a scrap of the skirt to test. The woman had a decent build, as the wet, coarse homespun clung to her body; she wore no underwear.

“Where’s Detective Snow?” he inquired of Dr. Chen to break the dreadful silence where winter ruled, despite the calendar marking March. A silent cloak of white fog hovered where sounds echoed eerily. Chills shimmied through Rusk’s open coat; he shivered and zipped it.

“On his way.” She consulted her watch, set her leather bag on a nearby stone marker, with an apology to the deceased. She unsnapped it and extracted her thermometer from the inside flap where each sterile instrument was tucked into its own pocket.

“TOD?” He tried again, assuming she’d estimate.

“Hard to say without a liver temp.”

Darkness at First Light: A Christopher Snow & Erin McCoy Mystery
Authored by J M West
List Price: $19.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
292 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620066485
ISBN-10: 1620066483
BISAC: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths

Coming Soon on Kindle

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Darkness-at-First-Light-…

Nude body found in Letort Spring near Carlisle, Cumberland County, PA

CARLISLE, Pa.Sunbury Press has released J. M. West’s second installment of the Carlisle Crime CasesCourting Doubt and Darkness – A Christopher Snow and Erin McCoy Mystery.

About the Book:
cdad_fcIn the second Carlisle Crimes Case, Courting Doubt and Darkness, Homicide Detectives Christopher Snow and Erin McCoy tail a killer who stymies the police with multiple MO’s. While McCoy testifies at the trial of sisters who kidnapped her in Dying for Vengeance, Snow and Savage recover a  nude body from the Letort Spring. While tracking sparse clues, another killing surfaces  that rings alarms: the victims were connected. The chase leads to an active Marcellus oil rig. As police tangle with hostile suspects, they are courting doubt and darkness, leaving the comfort of Carlisle to the wilds of the Raccoon Mountain. When eight-month pregnant McCoy joins the case, she discovers her Native American relatives are involved. Then she stumbles into the killer’s path!  Join them on their journey!

Excerpt:
Carlisle Police Department’s Senior Detective Christopher Snow hammered the Wrangler’s brakes to avoid blowing through the red light on R 15 south of Lewisburg. “Shit!” Glancing in his rear view and side mirrors for any flashing lights and cocking his head to catch a siren’s whine, he huffed a sigh when none materialized. Oh, he could flash his shield, but that wasn’t setting much of an example.

The recorder on the seat beside him shifted. Snow picked it up, leaned over to open the glove box and tossed it in. His thumbs drummed the steering wheel, waiting impatiently for green while traffic piled up behind him. Unease gripped his gut, and experience had taught him to pay attention. “What spooked that woman during our interview?” he mumbled. “What had she gained from her husband’s death? Her inheritance seemed typical.” The query about her job caused her to break eye contact and cross her arms defensively across her chest. “Why? Because she knows more than she’s telling.” He talked to himself a lot since he’d ordered his wife and partner, Detective Erin McCoy, who usually accompanied him, to man the war room and feed him information when he needed it. “Damn it, woman, why can’t you follow orders?” He had also assigned his former partner Reese Savage to assist Mac, since the Chief relegated him to desk duty.

Neither answered the phone in Conference One when he called for a background check on Greer. CPD had consolidated the case files, data, listed info on white boards on their homicide and two other related ones—at the RV parked along the Susquehanna near Winfield and the Safety Coordinator’s body at the West Enterprises’ Williamsport well.

Worry forced him to accelerate. He dialed HQ again and left a terse message for both. “I need to know what I’m up against!” Part of the Marcellus Shale zone beneath Penn’s Woods, West Enterprises’active well was ‘fracking,’ or shattering the shale with millions of gallons of water, sand and over 500 chemicals miles underneath the surface to free the natural gas and oil, which then flowed to the surface through the horizontal pipes and up the vertical well, to be delivered to consumers.

He dialed Mac’s cell. It went to voicemail. “This is important; neither you nor Savage are at HQ working this case? Where the hell are you?” He snapped the clamshell shut. “You’re both insubordinate, so you’d better have a damn good explanation for your absence!” When his cell chirped, he checked the caller: HQ. “About damn time.”

Snow hit talk. “Hello? Where the hell have you two been?”

Savage explained that they’d gone to BWI to arrest Abigail Benedict for the murder of Mindy Murphy. Then he put Mac on speakerphone to summarize Sienna Greer’s arrest record, which included a DV incident, several DUIs and a road rage incident.

“Chris, where are you exactly?” Erin asked.

He dialed back his anger and gazed at the water. “About twelve miles south of Lewisburg.” The river, a beautiful silvery ribbon slipping downstream, the sun playing upon the waves. Silver and gold reflections darted back and forth, refracted into a thousand dancing crosses of light. What he wouldn’t give to spend a few hours…

While the Susquehanna distracted him, a blue semi barreled out of nowhere, bearing down on him, gaining ground quickly. Though there was room to pass, the trucker just mowed down the highway toward his Jeep. He checked the rear-view mirror as the cab loomed into view. Too late, he floored his accelerator as he veered into the outside lane, the truck following.

Suddenly, squealing breaks and metal smacking metal followed, crunching and what sounded like dragging. His last conscious thought was Mac yelling into the phone. “Describe your location!”

About the Author:
JMWCourting Doubt and Darkness
is the second in the Carlisle Crime Cases series of murder/mysteries featuring Homicide detectives Christopher Snow and Erin McCoy by Jody McGibney West, pseudonym for Joan M. West, Professor Emerita of English Studies at Harrisburg Area Community College, The Gettysburg Campus. She also taught at Messiah College and Shippensburg University as an adjunct and served as Assistant Director of the Learning Center (SU). She has previously published poetry andGlory in the Flower, her debut novel. It depicts four coeds who meet during the turbulent sixties.

She and her husband live near Carlisle, Pennsylvania. They have two sons and two grandsons. In her spare time, West volunteers at the Bookery—Bosler Memorial Library’s used bookstore, participates in the Litwits Book group, and reads voraciously.

Courting Doubt and Darkness: A Christopher Snow & Erin McCoy Mystery
Authored by J. M. West
List Price: $19.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
372 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065488
ISBN-10: 1620065487
BISAC: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Courting-Doubt-and-Darkn…

BOOKSIGNING EVENT:

Joan West will be appearing at the Sunbury Press Store ar 50 West Main Street in Mechanicsburg, PA along with author Catherine Jordan (the Bookseller’s Secret) on Friday, February 6th from 6 pm to 9PM.  The authors will read from their books at 8 PM.