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-…

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