Book it for Friday Book Review: The Hanged Man's Noose

The Hanged Man’s Noose 
by July Penz Sheluk

            “Things aren’t always what they seem”—a necessary proviso for any great mystery, and Judy Penz Sheluk has done a masterful job holding true to this idiom in The Hangman’s Noose.  
          Freelance journalist Emily Garland is enjoying her life in Toronto when the editor-in-chef of Urban Living Publications offers Emily a temporary assignment in the quaint town of Lount’s Landing, ninety miles northeast of the city. Emily’s interest peaks when she learns that the company will pay her rent for a Victorian row-house during the course of the assignment. She begins to pay closer attention with the offer of a hefty salary, benefits, and stock options. The assignment sounds too good to be true and she grows suspicious. When she realizes that the job involves investigation of the questionable dealings by developer Garrett Stonehaven, a man she believes is responsible for her mother’s death, Emily pulls her gold-plated pen from her handbag and signs on the dotted line.

            Emily begins her investigation by interviewing local business owners for a feature in the magazine Inside the Landing. Turns out several folks in Lount’s Landing aren’t too enthusiastic about Stonehaven’s plans to convert the abandoned Main Street schoolhouse into a mega-box store. But Stonehaven is a charismatic operator and he has convinced a few entrepreneurs to invest in the project, causing division among the locals. Soon a sporting goods storeowner, Carter Dixon, who’s opposed to the development, dies from anaphylactic shock when peanuts end up in his meal at the Sunrise Café. Then a new waitress at the café dies of a supposed drug overdose. 

            Emily befriends Arabella Carpenter, who’s opening a new antique store, The Glass Dolphin. The two women join forces to discover what’s really going on behind the scene, and suspect motivations leading to murder may stem from long past events.  

            Penz Sheluk has woven an intriguing plot that hooks and keeps readers engaged to the very last page. 

You can find Judy on her website:, where she blogs and interviews others about the writing life. You can also find her on Twitter @JudyPenzSheluk,, Pinterest/judypenzsheluk, and on