A Day in the Life of Calamity Barnstable by Judy Penz Sheluk

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 www.judypenzsheluk.com, 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!

95 responses to “A Day in the Life of Calamity Barnstable by Judy Penz Sheluk

  1. Patricia Pinkston

    This looks like a terrific book. Would love to win a copy.

  2. Oh, this sounds like a really fun new series! I must add this one to my TBR.

    • Thank you Brooke. It’s on for .99 in Kindle but I think that is going to end in the next couple of days. The publisher makes that decision but she mentioned that to me (it will be 4.99 after that).

  3. This really does look like an interesting book! I’d love to win, especially because the giveaway ends on my birthday. What an awesome birthday gift that wld be!! Thanks for the chance to win!

  4. Doward Wilson

    Sounds like a fantastic new book & series. Thanks for the chance to win.

  5. The cover is spectacular and the story sounds great mystery with a healthy dose of humor!

  6. Linda Kuzminczuk

    Sounds interesting. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  7. The plot and storyline of this book sound fascinating. Can’t wait to read it!

  8. I’m very interested in reading this book! Thanks for a chance to enter.

  9. The description draws me in and makes me want to read the book NOW!

  10. I’m very intrigued by this story it sounds great!!!! Will be on my tbr. Thanks for the chance.

  11. This looks very interesting

  12. Barbara Hackel

    New author! Thanks Dru Ann. 🙂 This sounds like a fascinating story and I am anxious to read it. Thanks Judy for the opportunity to win a copy!

  13. Barbara Jones

    I’m hooked! Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  14. Peggy Hyndman

    Sounds like a great new book and series. Thank you for the chance to win a signed print copy of Skeletons in the Attic.

  15. Another great sounding new cozy…Thanks Dru.

  16. Thank you, Dru Ann, for inviting Calamity Barnstable to tell her story today.

  17. I want to read about this Calamity.

  18. Yvonne Gilbert

    This sounds like a great new series I would love to be in on the kickoff to read and review. Thank You!

  19. Kim ferguson

    This sounds interesting

  20. The job of solving a 30 year old murder is a big one to do. Dealing with the many twists and turns that might have happened should make for a real interesting mystery. Thanks for the chance to enter the giveaway. robeader53@yahoo.com

  21. Grace Topping

    Wow! What an intriguing story line. Congratulations, Judy, on your latest publication.

  22. What a way to learn that your mother didn’t just disappear! I would like to read this one.

  23. Just checked the data base for Brooklyn and Queens county libraries. This book isn’t in either of them. TOSS MY NAME INTO THE MAGIC HAT PLEASE DRU.

    • Hi Nora,the book was just released yesterday and libraries tend to order books in if people ask for them. So, if you don’t win (and even if you do), why not ask your library to order it in? If they decide to stock it, I would be happy to mail them some bookmarks!

  24. Aaaannnddd, who doesn’t have skeleton’s in their closet. . . . Lol, sounds like a great read!

    wfnren at aol dot com

  25. I liked “The Hanged Man’s Noose”. This series sounds good too.

  26. Patricia LaffertyPPPat Lafferty

    The description of your mysteries is so darn good that I want to read all of them! Will check my local bookstore but would like to ‘win’ one. Thank you.

  27. Here’s a link to the bookmarks, Nora, and anyone else. If you are in a book club and select my book, I’m happy to mail bookmarks. http://www.judypenzsheluk.com/books/bookmarks-postcards/

  28. What a different twist right off the bat! I’m hooked.
    cjreynolds52(at)comcast(dot)net

  29. Oooh, this book sounds really good. I love how A Day in the Life introduces us to Calamity as well a bit of the story! Looking forward to reading Skeletons in the Attic !

  30. elainehroberson

    Another new-to-me author to try. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  31. I’m looking forward to reading this. It sounds so interesting. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  32. Wow this book sounds so good, can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  33. Sounds like no good deed goes unpunished.

  34. This sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  35. Okay, I keep telling myself no new series until I catch up on a few, then I read this, yeah, I need a new series, I love the sound of this one. Thanks for the chance to win.

  36. Linda Herold

    I enjoyed the excerpt! I like a good mystery!!

  37. I really enjoyed the description of the book. Sounds like a great read. Looking forward to reading “Skeltons in the Attic”.

  38. Wondering what family secrets Calamity will discover as she searches for the person who murdered her mother.

  39. Sounds seriously interesting and with a name like Calamity sorry Callie, I bet things will get crazy. Thanks for the chance to win!

  40. Vicki Highley

    I love the idea for this book. Family secrets make the best mysteries. I have added this book to my TBR list. Fingers crossed. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  41. WOW! I can’t wait to read this one.

  42. Fantastic sounding story…please enter me.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  43. A new-to-me author and series that sounds very intriguing! Would love to win a copy of this title. Thanks for the chance

  44. Ohhhhh, does this ever sound like a terrific read! Love the cover.

  45. Susan Slovinsky

    Intriguing – have to check this one out. Thanks as always for introducing us to new authors.

  46. This looks most intriguing. A new author and read is always so exciting. so hoping. Neato cover. Love the colors and the moonbeams

  47. Oh yes, please!!!! Jumping on the bandwagon!!!!
    Thank you for the giveaway…..

  48. Sounds good thanks for the chance. Oh and the cover is really interesting.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com