By day, Judy Penz Sheluk
immerses herself in the stylish world of antiques and architectural journalism as senior editor of New England Antiques Journal and editor of Home BUILDER Magazine. But her talent for a turn of phrase and imaginative description doesnt stop there. With the release of her debut novel, The Hanged Mans Noose: A Glass Dolphin Mystery, Sheluk is making her mark as a formidable armchair sleuth and riveting storyteller, with a raft of positive reviews as reinforcement.
Published this year by Barking Rain Press, an imprint of the BRP Publishing Group (BRP), The Hanged Mans Noose unravels the small-town secrets and subterfuge that led to murder in a tale of high-stakes real estate wrangling gone awry.
The tale begins when journalist Emily Garland lands a plum assignment as editor of a niche magazine based in Lounts Landing, a small town named after a colorful Canadian traitor. As she interviews the local business owners for the magazine, Emily quickly learns that many people are unhappy with real estate mogul Garrett Stonehavens plans to convert an old schoolhouse into a big-box store. At the top of that list is Arabella Carpenter, the outspoken owner of the Glass Dolphin antiques shop, who will do just about anything to preserve the integrity of the towns historic Main Street.
But Arabella is not alone in her opposition. Before long, a vocal dissenter at a town hall meeting about the proposed project dies. A few days later, another body is discovered, and although both deaths are ruled accidental, Emilys journalistic suspicions are aroused.
Putting her reporting skills to the ultimate test, Emily teams up with Arabella to discover the truth behind Stonehavens latest schemebefore the murderer strikes again.
Early reviews and other kudos for Sheluks debut novel have been consistent in their praise. Heres a sampling:
In her first book, Toronto writer Judy Penz Sheluk probably scores a record for the most characters with skeletons in the closet. Even the sleuth figure, an investigative reporter, guards a personal mystery in a book whose author hits large in the business of concocting secrets. --The Toronto Star, October 31, 2015. WHODUNIT: Jack Batten
A small town with a history that is pertinently addressed, numerous stories with backstories explored just enough for us to want to know more, and an antiques shop with the most exquisite candlesticks youll never be able to purchase: what more do you want? --Canadian Antiques & Vintage, November 2015: James W. Bond
In her first novel, Judy Penz Sheluk has written a well-crafted mystery in the classic tradition. A small town with a dark past, its inhabitants full of secrets, a ruthless developer, and an intrepid reporter with secrets of her own come together to create a can't-put-down-read. --Vicki Delany/Eva Gates, bestselling author of the Constable Molly Smith and Lighthouse Library mystery series
Compelling characters with hidden connections and a good, old-fashioned amateur sleuth getting in over her head without the distraction of cats, spirits or recipes makes Judy Penz Sheluks Glass Dolphin series one to read. --James M. Jackson, author of the Seamus McCree mystery series
A thoroughly engaging debut mystery ... well plotted, well paced and just plain well done! --Elizabeth J. Duncan, award-winning author of the Penny Brannigan mystery series and Shakespeare in the Catskills mysteries.
Replete with twists and turns, the story keeps the reader guessing right up to the end. Highly recommended! --J.E. Seymour, author, Kevin Markinson series
The story wont let you go until youve raced through the pages and unraveled all the mysteries. --Kaye George, author, the Fat Cat and Cressa Carraway Musical Mystery series
The start of a new series and with a digital price that cant be beat. What more could you ask for? --BOLOBooks.com