Hoping to promote the Glass Dolphin antiques shop, co-owners Arabella Carpenter and Emily Garland agree to sponsor a hole in one contest at a charity golf tournament. The publicity turns out to be anything but positive, however, when Arabella’s errant tee shot lands in the woods next to a corpse.
They soon learn that the victim is closely related to Arabella’s ex-husband, who had been acting as the Course Marshal. With means, opportunity, and more than enough motive, he soon becomes the police department’s prime suspect, leaving Arabella and Emily determined to clear his name—even if they’re not entirely convinced of his innocence.
Dogged by incriminating online posts from an anonymous blogger, they track down leads from Emily’s ex-fiancé (and the woman he left Emily for), an Elvis impersonator, and a retired antiques mall vendor with a secret of her own.
All trails lead to a mysterious cult that may have something to do with the murder. Can Arabella and Emily identify the killer before the murderer comes after them?
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.
What was your hardest scene to write?
I am probably the least romantic person on the planet (my husband, Mike, will agree with you) so writing any scene that has the potential for romance is a real struggle for me. Lest you think I’m kidding about not being a romantic, I’ll share this story with you: Mike and I were married on Friday 13th (as you can imagine, it was available on short notice) and so on our 13th anniversary, we made the effort to something special. We rented a chalet at a ski resort for a weekend and had a really lovely time. When I got home, I called my mom and she said, “Uh, Judy…not sure how to tell you this, but you’ve only been married 12 years.” We’re coming up to 30 years in 2019. Honestly, I’m going to try to think of something romantic!
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
The first draft is telling yourself the story. It’s not about perfection. And write it down. No one can read a story inside your head.
Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always written stories in my head, but I think L.M. Montgomery’s Emily Climbs was my first inspiration. Emily Starr of New Moon, PEI, is an aspiring journalist in the early 20th century. I got the book as a Christmas gift when I was about 7 and still have it. I named my protagonist in my first novel (The Hanged Man’s Noose), Emily, because of that.
Do your family members read your books?
Mike is my first beta reader, and he can find the smallest plot hole. My mother-in-law and both my sister-in-laws are avid readers and all read the finished product. My mom passed away in September 2016. She was my biggest fan. In fact the last book she read was Skeletons in the Attic (Aug. 2016). She would hand out my bookmarks to every doctor and nurse in the hospital, whether they wanted one or not! I miss her.
About how long does it take for you to complete a book from start to finish?
It varies, but I’m getting faster. It’s like anything you do: the more practice, the easier it gets. Noose took me about 2 years, including several much-needed revisions. Today, I can get a first draft done in 3 months, if I’m committed to it, and then it’s revise, revise, revise.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of escaping the real world while you enter an imaginary one. I remember telling a friend about my work-in-progress, and she looked at me oddly, then said, “You make them sound like they are real people.” But you see, they are real, to me. That’s the gift.