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Alliston author to release new mystery novel Nov. 10

October 16, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Alliston-based mystery writer Judy Penz Sheluk is releasing her third and final book of the Glass Dolphin Mystery series, “Where There’s a Will,” on November 10.

The mystery novel is about a feud over an estate sale that’s exacerbated when issues arise with the beneficiaries, as a hidden will is found inside the house, and with it, a decades-old secret.

Sheluk described the book as more of a cozy “Murder, She Wrote” type of mystery instead of an overly suspenseful cold case that needs cracking.

“Ironically, that is the only book I’ve written that doesn’t have any murder in it. There’s a mystery but there’s no murder,” she said.

Sheluk toldTthe Times the trilogy isn’t nearly as popular as her Marketville Mystery series, but it was important to wrap it up for readers who enjoyed the first two books, “Hangman’s Noose” and “Hole in One.”

Where There’s a Will is being released on Amazon, Kindle, Audible and Kobo, which are the platforms where readers can also find her five other novels.

Looking ahead, Sheluk has started her next book, called “Before There Were Skeletons,” which is a prequel to “Skeletons in the Attic,” her most popular title that is responsible for her becoming an Amazon International Bestselling Mystery Author.

“It continues to sell really well and the other books in the series do well, but that particular book, when it came out, it was number one on Amazon for 30 days in the Mystery & Suspense category, so that’s huge,” she said.

“Every now and then it will go back into the top 100 on a list, it doesn’t stay – the book’s four years old now but every now and again it will just get like a resurgence.”

Sheluk hopes for a similar level of success with the book’s prequel, which takes place in 1976, while all her other books are set in present day.

Even though her books involve murder and mystery there’s no overt violence or graphic scenes. Sheluk told the Times she tries to keep the writing PG.

“There’s the odd swear word, but nothing where people read it and then can’t go to bed at night,” she explained.

Apart from writing several mystery novels, Sheluk also ran her own publishing imprint, the Superior Shores Press, since 2018, after the first two publishers she worked with went under.

To give the Superior Shores Press legitimacy, without taking on other authors for full novels due to the time and work commitments involved, Sheluk began working on anthologies.

Sheluk loves reading short stories and her first publication credit was a short mystery story, which led to her affinity for the project.

The first anthology, “The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery and Suspense” was released in June of last year, garnering 70 submissions from different authors in the process. The title went on to be nominated for a Derringer award, which is prestigious in the mystery writing community.

“It was pretty exciting, the Derringer nod is huge because they get so many submissions,” Sheluk said.

“It didn’t win, but the guy who won sort of wins everything – he’s like the Meryl Streep of short stories,” she laughed.

Best Laid Plans has also been long-listed as an entire collection for the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Readers’ Choice Award.

This past June, Sheluk released her second anthology, “Heartbreaks and Half-Truths: 22 Stories of Mystery,” which saw 106 submissions from authors around the world including Germany, France, England and Australia.

For her next anthology, “Moonlight and Misadventure,” the call for submissions started October 1 and will continue until January 15, 2021, or when 100 submissions are reached, so it can be published in June of next year.

COVID-19 has had a large impact on Sheluk’s work as all of her writing conferences were cancelled and local events such as the Beeton Honey and Garden Festival or Alliston Potato Festival were cancelled.

“The pandemic has had a tremendous impact on me, absolutely,” she said. “I miss going out and meeting people.”

As well, it’s harder to find motivation when it’s impossible to physically interact, she said.

“Going out, meeting people and doing stuff inspires your creativity, but when you’re always by yourself in a room, you start losing that connection,” Sheluk told The Times. “I actually found that my writing has gotten less rather than more and other authors I’ve talk to feel the same way.”

“We need human interaction to get inspired and when we never see a human being it’s hard,” she added.

Sheluk said many of the annual writing conferences’ she attends in the U.S are already being cancelled for next year, but her fingers are crossed that events will resume and she can get back out into the community sometime in 2021.

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

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