Read Excerpt of Skeletons in the Attic by Mystery Writer Judy Penz Sheluk @JudyPenzSheluk

Mystery writer Judy Penz Sheluk’s latest mystery, SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC, was published August 21 by Imajin Books. Before Judy talks about the book, I thought we’d start with an excerpt from Chapter 1:

Leith placed the will in front of him, smoothing an invisible crease with a well-manicured hand, the nails showing evidence of a vigorous buffing. I wondered what kind of man went in for a mani-pedi—I was surmising on the pedi—and decided it was the kind of man who billed his services out for five hundred dollars an hour.
Unlike his office, which had a desk stacked high with paperwork, a saltwater aquarium, and walls covered with richly embroidered tapestries, the boardroom was devoid of any clutter or ornamentation. The sole exception was a framed photograph of an attractive blue-eyed blonde, mid-to-late twenties. She had her arms wrapped possessively around two fair-haired children, ages about three and five.

Mrs. Leith Hampton the fourth, I assumed, or possibly the fifth. I’d lost count, not that it mattered. My business here had nothing to do with Hampton’s latest trophy wife or their gap-toothed offspring. I was here for the reading of my father’s Last Will and Testament, an event I would have been far happier not attending for a good many years to come. Unfortunately, a faulty safety harness hadn’t stopped his fall from the thirtieth floor of a condo under construction. The fact that a criminal defense attorney of Leith’s reputation had drawn up the will was an indication of just how long the two men had been friends.

Skeletons in the Attic Front Cover
Leith cleared his throat and stared at me with those intense blue eyes. “Are you sure you’re ready, Calamity? I know how close you were to your father.”
I flinched at the Calamity. Folks called me Callie or they didn’t call me at all. Only my dad had been allowed to call me Calamity, and even then only when he was seriously annoyed with me, and never in public. It was a deal we’d made back in elementary school. Kids can be cruel enough without the added incentive of a name like Calamity.

As for being ready, I’d been ready for the past ninety-plus minutes. I’d been ready since I first got the call telling me my father had been involved in an unfortunate occupational accident.
That’s how the detached voice on the other end of the phone had put it. An unfortunate occupational accident.
I knew at some point I’d have to face the fact that my dad wasn’t coming back, that we’d never again argue over politics or share a laugh while watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory. Knew that one day I’d sit down and have a good long cry, but right now wasn’t the time, and this certainly wasn’t the place. I’d long ago learned to store my feelings into carefully constructed compartments. I leveled Leith with a dry-eyed stare and nodded.
“I’m ready.”

Judy here: It turns out Callie isn’t ready at all. She isn’t surprised to learn that she is the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate: she’s the only child of two only children, and she hasn’t seen her mother since she walked out on Valentines Day, 1980, when Callie was just six-years-old. What does surprise her is that she’s inheriting a house in the town of Marketville—a house she didn’t know existed—and the condition attached to the inheritance: move to Marketville, live in the house, and find out who murdered her mother.

Murdered her mother? All these years, Callie believed her mother had left voluntarily with the milkman or some male equivalent. She’s certainly not keen on dredging up a past likely better left buried. The thing is, if she doesn’t do it, there’s a scheming psychic named Misty Rivers who is more than happy to do the job. To add insult to injury, her father has left money to Misty to do just that, should Callie decline the offer. Ultimately, Callie leaves her job at a bank call center in Toronto and accepts the challenge. But when her first encounter in the house is a skeleton in the attic, she wonders just what she’s gotten herself into.

Bio: 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, where she interviews other authors and blogs about the writing life.

Find Skeletons in the Attic:
Imajin Books

Free Mystery Lovers Sampler

Get free sample chapters from three mystery novels. You will also receive a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Stacy’s mystery writing, surprise bonus content, book release news, and perks for readers included in your subscription.

Powered by ConvertKit
Stacy Juba's Characters At A Crossroads Blog


  1. Thanks Stacy for inviting me here today. Yesterday was Release Day and I’m still on cloud 9!

  2. On chapter 35! Excellent tension holding my interest! Congrats to Judy for a highly successful book launch.

Stacy Juba