Monthly Archives: November 2015

Serial killer wreaks havoc in Tuxedo Park

mitp_fcNEW YORKNov. 28, 2015PRLog — Sunbury Press has released Murder in Tuxedo Park, William E. Lemanski’s first novel, set in late Victorian New York state.

The wealthy, gated community of Tuxedo Park, in upstate New York, has been home to many of America’s financial titans and social luminaries for over one hundred years. However, during the later nineteenth century, this staid, secluded enclave became the stalking-ground for one of America’s most heinous, early serial killers. The murder and mayhem continued unabated until an eccentric and brilliant young scientist and his alluring new acquaintance began their pursuit.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
William E. Lemanski, a Viet Nam combat veteran, has a former engineering background in the nuclear power industry.  Since retiring from both the New York Power Authority and Entergy Nuclear Northeast, he has been a freelance journalist in the Hudson Valley of New York, has held public office as a councilman and served as a police commissioner in the Town of Tuxedo, New York.  When not researching new book material, he spends time traveling the world on various big-game hunting expeditions.

EXCERPT:
The long, narrow, serpentine road curved beneath the overhanging trees in dappled shadows as it wound through the quiet forest. Barely noticeable in the shadows, a large, stately mansion, will occasionally emerge, setback a distance from the road and shielded by a stone wall or iron gate or a barrier of yew. Some with sprawling gardens, others with boathouses fronting the lake and still others with courtyards and horse stables.

The imposing structures were the abodes of the rich and influential titans of Wall Street and the sporting class of the early 20th Century. The gated enclave of Tuxedo Park, nestled in the Ramapo Hills, a mere thirty miles north of Manhattan, was one of the first planned communities in the country as well as one of the most affluent. And why not, after all, the new elegant dinner jacket worn by the upper class and heads of state is named after Tuxedo. This new look in fashion occurred when the New York gossip columnists would swoon over the Hamptons in the summer along with the Autumn Ball and winter sports of Tuxedo Park as the seasons revolved. The Park was even the national epicenter of that ancient, arcane and elitist sport called court tennis, not to mention the home of some of the nation’s finest thoroughbred racehorses.

Author William Lemanski reclines in his Tuxedo Park residence.

Author William Lemanski relaxes in his Tuxedo Park residence.

Originally created as a forested playground by tobacco magnate, Pierre Lorillard, the uniqueness of the Park became just as eccentric as some of its inhabitants. Aside from its thousands of acres of stonewalled seclusion, it boasted miles of electric street lighting and its own electric generating plant while over ninety-nine percent of the country still burned gas lamps. Just outside its imposing stone entry on the Post Road, a small community, actually a company town was established to house the hundreds of European laborers imported by Lorillard to build his many miles of roads and stone fencing and who also served as the maids, butlers and general staff of the Park’s inhabitants.

One of which, I became.

***

Perhaps one of its most eccentric and brilliant property owners was James I. Montague-Smith, who was referred to as Monti. His middle name was bestowed in honor of the famous British engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the brilliant and equally eccentric 19th Century character who built the Great Western Railway and the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship. Monti’s father was a British expatriate who, besides working with Brunel in the early years, became a colleague of Nicola Tesla, Edison and many other of the shining stars of 19th Century electrical science. Although also an engineer, Monti’s father focused more on the economic growth of the technology and became fabulously wealthy accruing a fortune from his many business interests.

Monti, although holding degrees in medicine and engineering, lived as a country squire and relied on his vast inheritance while spending his time dabbling in various experiments in his Tuxedo Park laboratory. Curiosity was his driving force having never found a diversion that wouldn’t interest him. His twelve-hour days were spent sequestered in his lab pursuing arcane investigations into obscure and sometimes bizarre topics. Science fiction was not his forte, but rather he questioned “by what force would a pencil drop to the floor?” And why would mass exert attraction to other mass, and just what defined the nature of one’s spirit, and so on into many of the inexplicable and esoteric phenomena of nature’s mysteries.

Murder in Tuxedo Park
Authored by William E Lemanski
List Price: $14.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
136 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620066997
ISBN-10: 1620066998
BISAC: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical

Coming Soon on Kindle

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Murder-in-Tuxedo-Park-97…

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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-…