Today I’m welcoming Judy Penz Sheluk to my blog as a guest author. I first met Judy at the Malice Domestic Conference in 2014, and I’ve read both of her first mysteries in her two series. Loved them both! Judy is from Canada, and writes the Glass Dophin mysteries and the Marketville mysteries, as well as short fiction. Welcome, Judy, on this first day of 2018.


The real Calamity Jane.

The 1950s Movie Poster for “Calamity Jane”

My name is Calamity Doris Barnstable and I was named after Calamity Jane, a Wild West frontierswoman of dubious repute, although to be fair, my mother actually named me after the considerably softened version of Calamity Jane played by Doris Day in the 1950s. Honestly…if you want to have a good laugh, you need to check out this YouTube video clip from the movie, where Doris sings Secret Love.

Be that as it may, no one calls me Calamity and gets away with it. I’m Callie, and this is my story.

My life was actually quite ordinary for a long time. I worked at a bank call centre in Toronto, in the fraud investigation unit, which may sound exciting but in reality is mostly desperately dull: people losing their credit cards or forgetting their PINs, that sort of thing. Whenever there’s a case of identity theft, it usually gets bumped up to someone with more seniority. As for my social life, I have been cursed with what I like to call the Barnstable loser radar; my last boyfriend dumped me on Valentine’s Day, if you can believe that. Some people will do anything to get out of buying flowers.

And then one day I received a phone call from a woman who informed me that my father had died in an unfortunate occupational accident. That’s how she phrased it: an unfortunate occupational accident. Which is why I ended up in the office of Leith Hampton, lawyer, for the reading of my father’s will.

I am the only child of two only children, and my grandparents on both sides disowned my parents when my mother became pregnant at the age of seventeen. When I was six years old, my mother left us, not that I was ever given any reason. So yes, I was expecting to inherit everything, everything being my dad’s dreary 1970s townhouse in suburbia, his olive green brocade sofa, and his collection of tattered Clive Cussler paperbacks.

What I wasn’t expecting was a house I had known nothing about, in Marketville, no less — a commuter town about an hour north of Toronto, where the average family had two kids, a cat, and a collie. If that wasn’t enough, Leith informed me that in order to inherit the house, I had to move into it for a period of one year, during which time I would be paid a weekly salary as long as I searched for the person who murdered my mother thirty years before.

Murdered? I’d always believed she’d gone off with the milkman or some other male equivalent. But I’m equal to the challenge. At least I thought I was until I went into the attic and found that skeleton…

Bio: Judy Penz Sheluk is the author of two mystery series: The Glass Dolphin Mysteries (THE HANGED MAN’S NOOSE), and The Marketville Mysteries (SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC). Sequels to both series are scheduled for 2018. Judy’s short crime fiction is included in several collections.

Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, International Thriller Writers and the Short Mystery Fiction Society. She is also on the Crime Writers of Canada Board of Directors as the Regional Representative for Toronto/Southern Ontario (2017-2018). Find Judy at, where she blogs about the writing life and interviews other authors.

Find SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC in e-book (Kindle, Kobo, Nook, iTunes, GooglePlay), trade paperback, and audiobook.

Read more about Judy at Barking Rain Press: