Cover Image: Things Strangled

Things Strangled

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Small town being featured in a documentary about a 5 & 10 store and it’s rise to fame. Full of murder, suspense and intrigue with romance thrown in. Easy read. This is the third book in the series, but can be read alone (as I have done). 

Thank you NetGalley and Snbury Press, Inc. for this advanced reader edition and hearing my honest review. Looking forward to reading more with you
Was this review helpful?
Too many characters with too many similar names and sameness of personality with a few exceptions. The premise is interesting but the writing seems to go in circles without much real police work.  And the ending...there really wasn't one
Was this review helpful?
FOCUS ON Things Strangled by J.M. West
By Peggy McGibney

West, J.M. Things Strangled. Milford House Press (mystery/detective imprint for Sunbury Press, Inc.), Mechanicsburg, PA. 2019. [ISBN: 978-1620063170.]

Many of you are aware of Frank W. Woolworth. Do you reminisce about the good, old days when bargains could be had for a nickel or a dime? Could it be that you worked at a store when you were in high school or college? Perhaps you ate at the lunch counter or recall the history-making, peaceful sit-in at the Greensboro, North Carolina store, protesting inequality.

Even if you’re unfamiliar with the innovative entrepreneur who founded the Woolworth chain of stores, you’re in for a rare treat! In the hottest story from the Carlisle Crime Cases Series by J.M. West, Things Strangled, Hollywood is filming the Woolworth documentary in Pennsylvania, but someone keeps picking off the cast, crew and set. Homicide detectives Erin McCoy with her K9 companion Shadow, Christopher Snow, and their colleagues are hard pressed for suspects but persistently pursue persons of interest even at great personal risk. In addition to rigorous legwork, they must also make sense of or rule out the biblical and Shakespearean references. While interviewing people who lie for a living, it may be difficult if not impossible to ferret out the culprit(s), whatever the crime(s).

Let me ask you, then, what do you get when you combine a bit of Woolworth Americana, a colorful cast of characters, and murder with a sprinkling of immorality and dramatic quotes for clues? Lights-camera-and-action all the way! It’s a race against time as members of the Carlisle homicide squad -- along with you, dear readers -- take a stab at unraveling the mystery before whodunit strikes again!

Saturday, September 28, 2019
Things Strangled Book Launch
The Bookery
Bosler Memorial Library
Harvest of the Arts
Carlisle, PA
With Homicide Detectives Christopher Snow and Erin McCoy

Dying for Vengeance
Courting Doubt and Darkness
Darkness at First Light
Had a Dying Fall
Things Strangled (Fall 2019)

The Christopher Snow and Erin McCoy mysteries are available:
•Online at Sunbury Press, Amazon and Kindle; and
•In Carlisle, Pennsylvania, at Bosler Memorial Library’s The Bookery and the Cumberland County Historical Society’s History on High Shop.

For more information about the author of Things Strangled, please see the FOCUS ON J.M. West interview from August 2018 (

This article (and accompanying slideshow) was originally published on
Peggy McGibney is a performance enhancement consultant, professional and personal development coach, and published author of numerous articles about healthcare, education, and business. She also served as chair and member of Writers’ Bloc.  This organization provided information about writers and writing in the Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties in Florida, and sponsored lectures and workshops. PM has a master’s degree in educational psychology and in systemic studies with expertise in cognitive, behavioral, systemic, and linguistic disciplines and was a previous faculty member in health sciences, communications, and faculty development disciplines. She is a NetGalley member and professional reader. Her interviews and reviews may be found at Peggy McGibney Authors and Books on Facebook.
Was this review helpful?
The small town is excited.  A documentary featuring the life of Frank W. Woolworth is being filmed.  But there's trouble ahead ...

Detective Erin McCoy, her K-9 Officer Shadow, as well as her team and other K-9 units have been called out to the site of the filming.  The star of their documentary is missing.

The dogs locate a man, tied and nailed to a tree.  Seemingly dead, McCoy pulls a nail out and the man is still breathing.

It's days later when another of the cast goes missing.  The young woman is also found lased and then nailed to a tree.  Her clothes and personal belongings are found someways away.  She is not as lucky as the star ... she is dead.

Tension mounts as the detectives dig into the murky business of murder—into the depths of the actors, cast, crew, and childhood of the suspects until they reveal the evil hearts of the killers. 

Although fifth in the series, this is easily read as a stand alone, although I would recommend starting at the beginning to follow how relationships, both professional and personal develop.  The mystery is interesting, the characters finely drawn.  My favorite parts are when the K-9 dogs are involved.  

Many thanks to the author / Sunbury Press / Netgalley for the digital copy of this crime fiction/mystery.  Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
Was this review helpful?
J M West has provided her readers with another exciting Carlisle Crime Case.   Carlisle's first rate homicide detectives Christopher Snow and Erin "Mac" McCoy encounter a strange and complicated scenario linked to a documentary being filmed in Carlisle.  This documentary is about  Frank W. Woolworth and his establishment of a uniquely original concept:  a 5 + 10 cent store which would offer a multitude of wares to the public at a cost of just 5cents each.  The detectives are summoned to the filming site when the lead actor suddenly goes missing.   When the actor is found nailed to a tree, crucifixion style, everyone is suspect, the director, the cast, the crew, the extras and even the workmen.  The story escalates with many  twists and turns leading both the detectives and the readers on a complicated and electrifying chase.  

 I enjoyed all the references to the local landmarks mentioned throughout the book since I am a resident of Carlisle and can identify with those places.  It makes the story so much more personal.
Was this review helpful?
Ugh, I tried to like this book, but it was really hard to follow.  It was just kind of jumping around and had no real flow.  It seemed to mostly be about the history of the Woolsworth stores, which was interesting, but nothing seemed to fit together.  I thought the main story was going to be about K-9 search and rescue, but it was mostly centered around a play about the man who founded Woolsworth.  Definitely an odd writing style, it wasn't for me.
Was this review helpful?
I really tried to get through this book because I am not a quitter. But I just couldn’t do it. There was way too many people in this book and lots of historical data. The description was awesome but the way it was laid out had me so confused. Not sure if this was meant to be wrote out in a play style, but that is kinda how it read. I am not really into a lot of historical genres, so this is probably why I didn’t feel more in my zone.
Thanks to Netgalley and Sunbury press for the opportunity to review, sorry I couldn’t give a better one.
Was this review helpful?
My thanks to NetGalley and Subury Press Inc for the ARC.

I can only apologise - how to find the words?  This is the first book for years that I really have no choice but to give up on.  I've reached 22% and really feel I cannot continue - got better books to read!  
I've been reading what appears to be a screen play - perhaps it would all move more quickly if the story had been on screen, but the minutia of dialogue and actions is just so draining to physically read; coupled with extraneous sub-story lines concerning step-mothers and their love for Woolworths, etc. 

Sorry, just not for me.  I thought from the description I'd be reading a detective, plus K-9 dog unit, story, but I feel just so bogged-down now with historical re-enactments of Woolworths stores, I haven't the will to continue.
Was this review helpful?
LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!  It was about an era during my childhood that I can fully related to and the depicted area is near my hometown.  Very well written, lots of historical facts I didn't even know about, which kept me turning pages from the first to the very last.  Thank you!
Was this review helpful?