Spotlight on Judy Penz Sheluk

I’m happy to welcome back best-selling author Judy Penz Sheluk. Today, Judy chats about her writing journey and new release, A Fool’s Journey.

Here’s Judy!

It seems like only yesterday that I began writing Skeletons in the Attic, the first book in my Marketville Mystery series starring Toronto-to-suburbia transplant Calamity (Callie) Barnstable. When I started, it was simply a way to keep on writing while I shopped around for a publisher for what would be my debut novel, The Hanged Man’s Noose (book 1 in the Glass Dolphin Mystery series). You see, I couldn’t imagine writing book 2 in a series when no one was interested in book 1.

Except something unexpected happened: as someone who always wrote in third person, writing as Callie in first person was strangely liberating…and somewhere along the line, I “became” Callie. Now, I don’t mean that I suddenly became 36 again (wouldn’t that be nice) and I’ve never inherited a house, but she filled my thoughts in a way no other character had before. The result was that Skeletons in the Attic, first released Aug. 2016, became my bestselling title, and the sequel, Past & Present, released Sept. 2018, has been a strong second.

Fast forward to 2019, and Callie is back, this time in A Fool’s Journey, where, along with her team at Past & Present Investigations, she searches for Brandon Colbeck, who, at age twenty, left home in 2000 to find himself. No one has seen or heard from him since.

While Brandon’s case is fictional, it is by no means unique. In 2017, more than 78,000 adults went missing in Canada. While most such cases are solved within a few days, many are decades old, leaving friends and family waiting for answers.

And now, a bit about A Fool’s Journey:

In March 2000, twenty-year-old Brandon Colbeck left home to find himself on a self-proclaimed “fool’s journey.” No one—not friends or family—have seen or heard from him since, until a phone call from a man claiming to be Brandon brings the case back to the forefront. Calamity (Callie) Barnstable and her team at Past & Present Investigations have been hired to find out what happened to Brandon and where he might be. As Callie follows a trail of buried secrets and decades-old deceptions only one thing is certain: whatever the outcome, there is no such thing as closure.


Judy Penz Sheluk is the bestselling author of the Glass Dolphin Mystery and Marketville Mystery series, and the editor of The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense. Her short stories can be found in several collections. Judy is also a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors. Find her at

A Fool’s Journey, book 3 in Judy’s Marketville Mystery series, is available in trade paperback at all the usual suspects, and on Kindle.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

A natural storyteller, Ms. Sheluk skillfully drew me into the storyline and kept me hooked until the end. The premise—A young man leaves everything behind and embarks on a fool’s journey—captured my attention. Having taught many older adolescents, I could easily imagine the heartache that followed as parents and loved ones dealt with this unexplained absence of almost twenty years. Woven into the narrative are fascinating details about tarot cards, tattoos, missing persons, and Y2K technology.

Next, please!

10 Interesting Facts About Calamity (Callie) Barnstable

I’m happy to welcome Canadian author Judy Penz Sheluk to the Power of 10 series. Today, Judy shares ten interesting facts about the protagonist of her Marketville series. I enjoyed reading and highly recommend Book 1, Skeletons in the Attic, and look forward to future installments.

Here’s Judy!

Calamity (Callie) Barnstable is the protagonist in SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC, the first book in Judy Penz Sheluk’s Marketville Mystery series. PAST AND PRESENT, the second book in the series, is scheduled for publication in early 2019.

1) Calamity (Callie) is named after Calamity Jane, a Wild West frontierswoman of questionable repute, although her mother actually named her after the considerably softened Calamity portrayed by Doris Day in a 1950s movie of the same name.

2) Callie is the only child of two only children, whose parents disowned them, and by association, their only grandchild, when Callie’s mother got pregnant at the age of 17.

3) Callie worked in the fraud unit of a bank call center in Toronto until she inherited a house in Marketville from her father, who died in an “unfortunate occupational accident.”

4) Callie has also inherited her father’s black-rimmed hazel eyes, unruly brown hair, and stubborn streak.

5) When it comes to love, Callie believes she is a victim of the “Barnstable family curse.” Her last boyfriend dumped her on Valentine’s Day, when Callie was expecting an engagement ring. Enough said.

6) Callie’s favorite take-out comfort food is cheese pizza with extra sauce and hot peppers, though she does make a great homemade lasagna and mac and cheese. Maybe cheese is the not-so-secret ingredient here.

7) Callie’s favorite alcoholic beverage is Australian chardonnay. Her favorite tea is Vanilla Rooibos.

8) Callie is a runner who runs in temperatures from -30 to +30 (that’s Celsius for you Fahrenheit folks…translation -22 to 86+)

9) Callie is “addicted” to cocoa butter lip balm and has tubes of it stashed everywhere.

10) Callie is both fascinated and doubtful about tarot and all things psychic.


What goes on behind closed doors doesn’t always stay there…

Calamity (Callie) Barnstable isn’t surprised to learn she’s the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate, though she is shocked to discover she has inherited a house in the town of Marketville—a house she didn’t know existed. However, there are conditions attached to Callie’s inheritance: she must move to Marketville, live in the house, and solve her mother’s murder.

Callie’s not keen on dredging up a thirty-year-old mystery, but if she doesn’t do it, there’s a scheming psychic named Misty Rivers who is more than happy to expose the Barnstable family secrets. Determined to thwart Misty and fulfill her father’s wishes, Callie accepts the challenge. But is she ready to face the skeletons hidden in the attic?


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 appears is 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).

Where to find Judy…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

Find Judy’s books at all the usual suspects, including Audible and the publisher Barking Rain Press.