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Sometimes the past reaches out to the present…

It’s been thirteen months since Calamity (Callie) Barnstable inherited a house in Marketville under the condition that she search for the person who murdered her mother thirty years earlier. She solves the mystery, but what next? Unemployment? Another nine-to-five job in Toronto?

Callie decides to set down roots in Marketville, take the skills and knowledge she acquired over the past year, and start her own business: Past & Present Investigations.

It’s not long before Callie and her new business partner, best friend Chantelle Marchand, get their first client: a woman who wants to find out everything she can about her grandmother, Anneliese Prei, and how she came to a “bad end” in 1956. It sounds like a perfect first assignment. Except for one thing: Anneliese’s past winds its way into Callie’s present, and not in a manner anyone—least of all Callie—could have predicted.

The Big Thrill caught up to international bestselling author Judy Penz Sheluk to gain some insight into her latest Marketville Mystery, PAST & PRESENT:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

Value those in our lives while they are in our lives, and encourage our elders to share their stories.

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

I believe it blends the past into the present in a way that all generations can appreciate.

Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?

After my mother passed away in Sept. 2016, I found an old train case in her closet filled with papers from her past — immigration, passport, photos. As I traced her journey, I realized I had the idea for a book. I wasn’t expecting that, and in a lot of ways, it seemed like my mother was there with me in spirit as I wrote.

No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?

Two of the main “past” characters, Anneliese and Anton, are named after my parents.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

John Sandford for his pacing and dry humor. Sue Grafton, who got better with every book. Agatha Christie, because she led the way.


Judy Penz Sheluk is the Amazon international bestselling author of the Glass Dolphin Mysteries and the Marketville Mysteries. Her short stories appear in several collections.
Judy is also a member of Sisters in Crime International, Sisters in Crime – Guppies, Sisters in Crime – Toronto, International Thriller Writers, Inc., the South Simcoe Arts Council, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves on the Board of Directors, representing Toronto/Southwestern Ontario.

To learn more about Judy Penz Sheluk, please visit her website.