If you’re looking for a mystery novel, then be sure to check out Past & Present: A Marketville Mystery #2 by Judy Penz Sheluk
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.
“What brings you to Past & Present Investigations?”
Louisa took a sip of water. “May I rest the suitcase on the table?”
“Thank you.” She popped open the brass locks. Inside the case were several plastic storage bags, the kind you used at the airport to store your liquids. “I didn’t even know my mom owned this. It belonged to my maternal grandmother, not that I ever met her. My mom was raised in foster care. She aged out at sixteen, shoved out of the system without any support. The experience soured her.”
“What about your father?”
“Not in the picture. My mom got pregnant at eighteen. I don’t know whether it was a one-night stand or she fell for the wrong guy. She never elaborated. I do know that whoever he was, he didn’t contribute a dime of support. I’ve certainly never met him. Nor do I care to.”
“Did your mom ever marry?”
“Never even dated anyone again, or if she did, she certainly never brought him home. We weren’t rich, but I didn’t want for anything.” Louisa grimaced. “Well, that may not be entirely accurate. I longed for affection. My mom had a hard time displaying any emotion. Every feeling she ever had was neatly compartmentalized. Not surprising considering her upbringing and my deadbeat dad. But she did her best. We did our best.”
I wondered if Louisa had ever been married, or if she’d followed in her mother’s footsteps.
“You’re probably wondering if I ever married,” she said, reading my mind. “The answer is, yes, three times. Husband number one when I was barely legal age to tie the knot. He turned out to be a gambler. He lost our toy poodle in a poker game, if you can imagine that. Husband number two was a drinker who couldn’t hold down a job when he went to the trouble of finding one. Husband number three was a serial cheater who didn’t even try to hide his infidelity. I left him two years ago and swore off men. I earn a decent living as a credit manager. It helps that I’m bilingual, especially if I’m traveling in Quebec.” She named a national automotive glass company. I knew they owned a couple hundred windshield replacement retail stores across Canada.
“What’s in the train case that makes you want to dig into the past?”
Louisa removed one of the plastic bags, pulled out a photograph and handed it to me. “This is my grandmother. Her name was Anneliese Prei.”
The resemblance to Louisa was uncanny. Despite the sepia tones of the old photo, it was obvious that her hair had the same honey-gold soft waves, and that her eyes were the color of milk chocolate. Even the mouth, full lipped and pouty, was identical. But it was the tilt of her nose, the slightly haughty way she held herself, which took her from look-alike to doppelgänger.
“She was beautiful. You look like her. You’re older, of course, and she has an edge about her that you don’t seem to possess, but overall, the resemblance is uncanny.”
“I always assumed that I took after my father. I certainly don’t look anything like my mom. When I saw this picture, it was as if my grandmother was calling out to me from the grave.”
About the Author
Judy Penz Sheluk is the Amazon international bestselling author of the Glass Dolphin Mysteries (The Hanged Man’s Noose; A Hole in One) and the Marketville Mysteries (Skeletons in the Attic; Past & Present). 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.
Find her at www.judypenzsheluk.com.
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