#BookReview The Hanged Man's Noose by @JudyPenzSheluk @BarkingRain


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Small-town secrets and subterfuge lead to murder in this fast-moving, deftly written tale of high-stakes real estate wrangling gone amok.

Journalist Emily Garland lands a plum assignment as the editor of a niche magazine based in Lount’s Landing, a small town named after a colorful 19th century Canadian traitor. As she interviews the local business owners for the magazine, Emily quickly learns that many people are unhappy with real estate mogul Garrett Stonehaven’s plans to convert an old schoolhouse into a mega-box store. At the top of that list is Arabella Carpenter, the outspoken owner of an antiques shop, who will do just about anything to preserve the integrity of the town’s historic Main Street.

But Arabella is not alone in her opposition. Before long, a vocal dissenter at a town hall meeting about the proposed project dies. A few days later, another body is discovered, and although both deaths are ruled accidental, Emily’s journalistic suspicions are aroused.

Putting her reporting skills to the ultimate test, Emily teams up with Arabella to discover the truth behind Stonehaven’s latest scheme before the murderer strikes again.


What I like about reading is the opportunity it gives to the reader to discover new writers, genres and styles. Not all are good, some are indifferent and others could read over and over again.I was given a copy of The Hanged Man’s Noose by Judy Penz Sheluk to review and I am so glad I decided to read it.

This book conjured up so many lovely warm images for me; considering it is a book involving murder you may wonder how that is possible! Let me explain.
I love those Christmas films set in America where there is lots of snow, bounteous Christmas decorations and everyone is warm and friendly. Everybody knows exactly what is going on and there is a general feeling of happiness. That is exactly what happened to me with this book; it enabled me to envisage Lount’s Landing and the people there and every time I picked this book up I escaped into a different reality; that portrayed in the book.

The story centres on Emily Garland, a journalist, who is given what appears to be a perfect job. She will be managing editor for a new magazine and given a house in a small village in Lount’s Landing where she will be based.
Emily has been offered this role not only for her skills as a journalist but for also for her hatred towards Garrett Stonehaven; a man she holds in part, responsible for the death of her mother.

The reader is then whisked away to Lount’s Landing where everybody knows everybody. It is seemingly a small and friendly place and where Emily encounters Johnny Porter, Chairman of the Main Street Merchants Association; a character you know has a story to tell.

Johnny knows all the residents and what is happening with them and so gives Emily a run down on who’s who.

Emily is more than happy to spend time in Johnny’s company and the air of possible romance becomes tangible and lingers!

Throughout the book, you are gradually introduced to a variety of characters; some you instantly warm to and others you’re just not sure about.
Quite early into the book there is a sudden death, which Emily witnesses. Ever the reporter Emily believes there is more to the story and can’t shake off the feeling that there is more to it.

However, Emily soon realises that whilst a small community can be good, there are times when it works against you. The locals look out for one another and are not keen to share information or say anything to an outsider that could reflect badly on their friends.
Quite soon after this first sudden death there is another death which Emily discovers. Again, Emily believes that there is more to this and starts to investigate.

There are so many things going on with this story which, as a reader I found most engaging and I will not spoil the enjoyment of it for you, by telling you about all them; but if you want to know if anything happens between Emily and Johnny, whether Stonehaven was involved in the death of Emily’s mum or if all the deaths were as mysterious as Emily believed, then go read this book.
This is a murder mystery book with romance weaved throughout and keeps you wanting more and never makes for a boring read.
Maybe a feel good Christmas film doesn’t have murder and mystery but I cannot escape the imagery that formed in my mind when I read this book; especially at the beginning.

I really enjoyed this book. The chapters were short enough you could read several before realising just how much you had read.
It was an easy read, which can be very enjoyable when there is so much else going on.

This review was written by Hannah. Follow her on Twitter.


★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

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