Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Skeletons in the Attic (A Marketville Mystery, #1) by Judy Penz Sheluk

Skeletons in the Attic
(A Marketville Mystery, #1)
By: Judy Penz Sheluk

Published: August 2016
Published By: Imajin Books
Format Read: Kindle for PC
Genre: Mystery

Rating: 3.5/5

I was sent a copy of Skeletons in the Attic (A Marketville Mystery Book 1) by Judy Penz Sheluk, from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Valentines Day, 1986 was the last day Calamity “Callie” Barnstable ever saw her mother. She never knew what had become of her, all those years being raised by a single father and time blurred the few memories she had of the woman. Did she just up and leave behind her husband and small child? Callie’s father suspected something far more sinister. However it wasn’t until his untimely death, 30 years later that Callie would begin to uncover the truth about what happened all those years ago. Her inheritance would take her back to the town of Marketville and the house they had lived in during the time of her mother’s disappearance. Skeletons in the Attic follows Callie as she works to fulfill her father’s last wish of solving the mystery, while renovating the family home.

Skeletons in the Attic is the second book I have read by local author Judy Penz Sheluk. Even though her first book The Hanged Man’s Noose is from a different series, I was pleasantly surprised to see one of its characters make a guest appearance in this book. Another similarity I appreciated was that the settings are loosely based on locations in Southern Ontario that I am familiar with. This made it so easy for me to imagine them in my mind.

If one were to judge a book by it’s over they may think that this first book in the Marketville Mystery series is a cozy mystery. However there is definitely more meat to Judy Penz Sheluk’s writing than that. I find that her stories have tended to be a bit darker than those in that genre and with a lot more backstory.

It was interesting to follow along as more and more skeletons came out of the attic, so to speak. And there were certainly plenty to uncover, from just about everyone relating to the mystery of Abby Barnstable’s disappearance.

Unfortunately I had trouble warming up to our main character Callie. I felt her to be quite detached on a personal level and lacked compassion. However I do understand that this was a product of how she was raised. I never quite understood why her father chose to have her investigate  the way he did. Surely a man who loved his daughter as much as the story claimed would have found a less cruel way to approach her mother’s disappearance.

All in all I found Skeletons in the Attic to be an interesting mystery that kept my attention throughout. I can’t help but wonder what direction the author will take the second book in this series, as there are plenty of shady characters from this book who could be expanded on. 

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