If you’ll pardon the pun, tarot was never in the cards when I began writing Skeletons in the Attic. I knew I’d have a protagonist, Calamity (Callie) Barnstable, who would be thrust into the position of finding out what happened when her mother disappeared thirty years earlier. I knew she’d be a fish out of water, a big city Toronto woman heading to Marketville, a town she described as the sort of place a family with two kids, a cat and a collie moved to. I even knew there was a scheming psychic, Misty Rivers, ready to take on Callie’s assignment if Callie turned it down. But my original thinking was more along the line of a crystal ball and tea leaves. Tarot? Not on the radar.
And then one day I walked into a quirky little gift shop attached to a large natural foods store. Among the crystals, crosses, and tie-dyed t-shirts there was a section on tarot. I found myself inexplicably drawn to the vibrant images on the Rider-Waite deck. What can I say? I walked out of the store that day with a deck of tarot cards and a book on how to read them, followed by countless trips to my local library to find out more. [Readers of Skeletons will recognize the setting of the gift shop in the book; in the novel it’s called Sun, Moon & Stars, a fictitious name.]
To say that I was naïve is putting a gloss on things. Several sample readings, online research and how-to books later, I was no further to being an accomplished tarot card reader than I was ready to become an astronaut.
And that’s when I knew it would work. While searching the house she inherited from her father, Callie would find five tarot cards, and those cards, in addition to a basic understanding of the principles behind them, would be a matter of individual interpretation.
If you’re the curious sort (and if you read mysteries, you must be), these are the cards that Callie found:
1) III: The Empress
2) IV: The Emperor
3) VI: The Lovers
4) The Three of Swords
5) XIII: Death
What did they mean, and how do they impact Callie’s investigation? Ah…you’ll have to read (or listen) to the book to find out. The good news is it’s available in all e-book formats (Kindle, Kobo, Nook, GooglePlay, iBooks), trade paperback, and audiobook (Audible, Amazon, iTunes). Now go ahead, and pick a card… any card…
PS: The sequel is coming out this fall!
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?
Find and Follow Judy
About the Author
An Amazon International bestselling author, Judy writes two mystery series: The Glass Dolphin Mysteries (The Hanged Man’s Noose, A Hole in One) and The Marketville Mysteries (Skeletons in the Attic, Past and Present). Find out more about Judy by visiting her website. You’ll also find all her social media links on there. Go ahead, make her day and follow her on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.
Find Judy’s books at all the usual suspects, including the publisher, Barking Rain Press.
Other Books by Judy Penz Sheluk
Click the titles or images to go to Amazon
The Hanged Man’s Noose
A Glass Dolphin Mystery
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.
“A well-crafted mystery in the classic tradition. A small town with a dark past, inhabitants full of secrets, a ruthless developer, and an intrepid reporter with secrets of her own come together to create a can’t-put-down read. I look forward to the further adventures of Emily Garland and Lount’s Landing.” —Vicki Delany, author, Constable Molly Smith series
“In her debut thriller, Judy Penz Sheluk introduces us to Emily Garland, a feisty reporter sent to a small town to uncover the fraudulent schemes of a big city developer. But everyone, including Emily’s boss, has a secret agenda. And some of those secrets are deadly.” —Janet Bolin, author, the Threadville Mysteries
A Hole in One
A Glass Dolphin Mystery (Book 2)
Hoping to promote the Glass Dolphin antiques shop, co-owners Arabella Carpenter and Emily Garland agree to sponsor a hole in one contest at a charity golf tournament. The publicity turns out to be anything but positive, however, when Arabella’s errant tee shot lands in the woods next to a corpse.
They soon learn that the victim is closely related to Arabella’s ex-husband, who had been acting as the Course Marshal. With means, opportunity, and more than enough motive, he soon becomes the police department’s prime suspect, leaving Arabella and Emily determined to clear his name—even if they’re not entirely convinced of his innocence.
Dogged by incriminating online posts from an anonymous blogger, they track down leads from Emily’s ex-fiancé (and the woman he left Emily for), an Elvis impersonator, and a retired antiques mall vendor with a secret of her own.
All trails lead to a mysterious cult that may have something to do with the murder. Can Arabella and Emily identify the killer before the murderer comes after them?
“What fun! A twisty tale chock full of clues and red herrings, antiques and secrets, and relationships that aren’t what they seem. And who doesn’t love an Elvis impersonator?” — Jane K. Cleland, award-winning author, Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries and Mastering Plot Twists
“A bang-up mystery! Two friends, two murders, secret pasts, and a touch of romance. Who could ask for more?” — Lea Wait, USA Today bestselling author, Shadows Antique Print and Mainely Needlepoint mysteries
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