Friday, November 6, 2020

When Ideas Have Ideas of Their Own

While Linda Rodriguez continues her Stiletto Sabbatical, look for guest authors on the first Friday of each month. Today's guest is a special treat - former Stiletto member Judy Penz Sheluk.

When Ideas Have Ideas of Their Own by Judy Penz Sheluk

People often ask where my ideas come from. Sometimes they come from stories I’ve read in the local paper:

·       The building of a megabox store, possibly threatening the independent shops in a small town, and the vocal opposition from residents and local businesses (The Hanged Man’s Noose).

·       A young man who left home fifteen years earlier to “find himself.” No one, not friends or family, had seen or heard from him since (A Fool’s Journey).

But sometimes, ideas come from watching television. Such is the case with my latest novel, Where There’s A Will, the third and final book in my Glass Dolphin cozy mystery series. I was watching an episode of Antiques Roadshow and I thought: That’s it! I’ll have an Appraisal Day at the Glass Dolphin antiques shop. Maybe someone will bring an object (to be determined) and later on it turns out to be a murder weapon. That could work.

But here’s the thing about ideas. They often start off one way and, because I’m a complete pantser, they

end up going in an entirely different direction. That was the case with Where There’s A Will. The book starts off with shop owner Arabella Carpenter hosting an Appraisal Day, but instead of a murder or a murder weapon, there’s a mysterious young woman who has been watching the appraisals all day from the sidelines.

Who is she and what could she want? I wonder, happily pantsing away.

It turns out the woman’s name is Faye Everett, she’s inherited the old Hadley house, and she wants to hire Arabella to appraise the contents.

There has to be a catch, I muse, still pantsing away. What if Arabella’s ex, Levon Larroquette, has also been hired for the appraisal, meaning the pair will have to work side-by-side? It’s always fun to write about those two and their on-again, off-again relationship.

What if Arabella’s business partner, Emily Garland, is getting married? That’s it. She’s been house hunting with her fianc√© and, after dozens of “not quite rights,” she falls hard and fast for the Hadley house. Could the Glass Dolphin’s appraisal involvement pose a conflict of interest?

And what’s this about Miles Pemberton wanting the house for his reality TV show, Pemberton on Property? Can Emily compete in a bidding war?

It’s not much yet, but it’s a start. And then I remember this whole thing started with an inheritance. Where There’s A Will, I think, and keep on pantsing my way to The End.


About the Book: Emily Garland is getting married and looking for the perfect forever home. When the old, and some say haunted, Hadley house comes up for sale, she’s convinced it’s “the one.” The house is also perfect for reality TV star Miles Pemberton and his new series, House Haunters. Emily will fight for her dream home, but Pemberton’s pockets are deeper than Emily’s, and he’ll stretch the rules to get what he wants.

While Pemberton racks up enemies all around Lount’s Landing, Arabella Carpenter, Emily’s partner at the Glass Dolphin antiques shop, has been hired to appraise the contents of the estate, along with her ex-husband, Levon. Could the feuding beneficiaries decide there’s a conflict of interest? Could Pemberton?

Things get even more complicated when Arabella and Levon discover another will hidden inside the house, and with it, a decades-old secret. Can the property stay on the market? And if so, who will make the winning offer: Emily or Miles Pemberton?

Find the book





About the author: A former journalist and magazine editor (including Senior Editor for New England Antiques Journal), Judy Penz Sheluk is the author of two mystery series: the Glass Dolphin Mysteries and the Marketville Mysteries. Her short crime fiction appears in several collections, including The Best Laid Plans and Heartbreaks & Half-truths, which she also edited.

Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves as Chair on the Board of Directors. Find her at