(See my REVIEW of Past & Present at the end of this post.)
Past & Present: A Marketville Mystery
by Judy Penz Sheluk
About the Book
Past & Present: A Marketville Mystery
2nd in Series
Superior Shores Press (September 21, 2018)
Paperback: 232 pages
Digital ASIN: B07FYZ6HPF
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.
About the Author
Judy Penz Sheluk is the author of two mystery series: The Glass Dolphin Mysteries (THE HANGED MAN’S NOOSE and A HOLE IN ONE) and The Marketville Mysteries (SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC). Judy’s short crime fiction appears is several collections. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she currently serves on the Board of Directors as the Regional Representative for Toronto/Southern Ontario. Find Judy on her website/blog at www.judypenzsheluk.com, where she interviews and showcases the works of other authors and blogs about the writing life.
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***** MY REVIEW — FOUR 1/2 STARS *****
Calamity (Callie) Barnstable, forced to solve the murder of her own mother in the previous book, Skeletons in the Attic, now decides to use the skills and contacts she’s acquired to open her own business – Past & Present Investigations –to help other people solve mysteries in their pasts. Her ancestry guru friend, Chantelle, plus a retired research librarian, the owner of an antique store, and a physic/card reader make up her team.
Their new website and Facebook pages are built and announce the new business. Before they can hardly catch their breath, they have their first client, a woman who wants them to dig out and make right the “bad thing” that happened to her grandmother. As Callie researches this new case with the items the client brought to her – baptismal and marriage certificates, a passport and immigration papers, faded sepia photos, and some very old jewelry – Callie begins to see a pattern that leaves her uneasy. How could her own past be so linked to this new client’s story?
I was very impressed with the searches and techniques the Past & Present team uses to delve deeper and deeper into their client’s (and Callie’s own) past. Links on their internet pages prove fruitful, including readings by their psychic friend and referrals from the antique store. None of these seem contrived or bogus. Readers will follow all the techniques Callie uses… and perhaps even take notes to work on their own Family Trees. (There are also two cleverly disguised recipes in the text of the book – see if you can spot them.)
The book is tightly written, suspenseful, and interesting enough to keep readers awake into the night to finish it. They won’t be disappointed. (The reason for the 1/2 star off is for the references to her former personal case, which are not clear to those who haven’t read the first book in the series.)
I eagerly await Past & Present Investigations’ next case.
Full disclosure – I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher for review.
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