Skeletons in the AtticMy name is Calamity Doris Barnstable. I was named after Calamity Jane, a Wild West frontierswoman of dubious reputation, although my mother actually named me after the considerably softened version of Calamity Jane played by Doris Day in the 1950s. 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. Sure, the odd time there’s a case of identity theft, but that usually got bumped up to someone with more seniority. As for my social life, I have been cursed with 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.

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 dad’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 meaning my dad’s dreary 1970s townhouse in suburbia, his olive green brocade sofa, and his collection of Clive Cussler paperbacks.

What I wasn’t expecting was this: a house I had known nothing about, in Marketville, 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 Hampton 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? And here I thought she’d gone off with the milkman or some other male equivalent. But I’m ready for the challenge. At least I thought I was until I went into the attic and found that skeleton. . .

Skeletons in the Attic is the first book in the NEW Marketville mystery series, published by Imajin Books, August 2016.

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?

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About the author
Judy Penz Sheluk’s debut mystery novel, The Hanged Man’s Noose, was published in July 2015. Skeletons in the Attic, the first book in her Marketville Mystery Series, was published in August 2016.

Judy’s short crime fiction appears in World Enough and Crime, The Whole She-Bang 2, Flash and Bang and Live Free or Tri.

Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, International Thriller Writers and the Short Mystery Fiction Society.

Find Judy on her website/blog at, where she interviews other authors and blogs about the writing life.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a signed print copy of Skeletons in the Attic. US and Canada entries only, please. The giveaway will end August 28, 2016 at 12 AM (midnight) EST. Good luck everyone!

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