Past & Present: A Marketville Mystery
by Judy Penz Sheluk
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.
If you’re the sort of person who reads the dedication at the front of a book, you’ll have noticed that Past & Present has been dedicated to my mother, Anneliese Penz, who lost a lengthy battle with COPD and related health issues in September 2016. Until the very end, she was handing out bookmarks for Skeletons in the Attic and The Hanged Man’s Noose to any doctor or nurse who would take one (and I suspect she may have slipped a couple into their lab coats when they weren’t looking).
I take comfort in the fact that the last book my mother read was Skeletons in the Attic, the first book in this series. She was so pleased that I’d dedicated the book to my father, Anton “Toni” Penz, who succumbed to stomach cancer at the age of forty-two.
From the beginning, I planned to include two characters named Anton and Anneliese in the sequel to Skeletons, but I didn’t have a plot, let alone a plan. Quite honestly, I was stuck.
Then I discovered a small blue leather train case with cream trim, an ivory plastic handle, and brass locks at the back of my mother’s clothes closet. Inside, she’d carefully preserved documents from the past, among them her German passport issued in England in 1952, her landed immigration papers from England to Canada documenting her journey on the T.S.S. Canberra, old photographs and postcards, and some costume jewelry. The idea for Past & Present was born: the past reaching out to the present.
Although much of the historical data in these pages is based on fact, and Callie’s research often mirrored my own, this story is very much a work of fiction. I like to think my mother and father are together again, handing out bookmarks in heaven.
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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