Wednesday, March 16, 2016

NBtM: The Hanged Man's Noose by Judy Penz Sheluk

The Hanged Man's Noose: A Glass Dolphin Mystery
by Judy Penz Sheluk


GENRE: Mystery



Small-town secrets and subterfuge lead to murder in a tale of high-stakes real estate wrangling gone amok.

Journalist Emily Garland lands a plum assignment as the editor of a niche magazine based in Lount’s 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 Stonehaven’s plans to convert an old schoolhouse into a mega-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 town’s 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, Emily’s journalistic suspicions are aroused.

Putting her reporting skills to the ultimate test, Emily teams up with Arabella to discover the truth behind Stonehaven’s latest scheme—before the murderer strikes again.

Excerpt Two:

The faint scent of vanilla filled Emily’s nostrils. “Pure vanilla extract, the real stuff, not the imitation kind,” a man’s voice called from the back of the store. “Stir one tablespoon into a gallon of paint and you get rid of that new paint smell. I add it to every gallon I sell.” He came out into the open, held out his hand, and smiled. “Emily Garland, I presume.”

The main thing Emily noticed about Johnny Porter, beyond the fact he was roughly her age and drop-dead movie star gorgeous, were his eyes. Eyes so dark brown they looked black. Miner’s eyes, her old pals at boarding school would have called them, the kind of eyes that could dig their way into the depth of your soul. Emily made an effort to collect herself. Acting like an infatuated high school student was not the way to start off her new life in Lount’s Landing.

“And you must be Johnny Porter.” Emily shook his hand, noticing his grip was firm but gentle. Thought his hand lingered a moment longer than necessary. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“Likewise,” Johnny said, although Emily got the distinct feeling he was assessing her. She wondered if she made the grade.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Judy Penz Sheluk’s debut mystery, The Hanged Man’s Noose: A Glass Dolphin Mystery was released in July 2015 through Barking Rain Press. Her short crime fiction appears in The Whole She-Bang 2, World Enough and Crime, and Flash and Bang. In her less mysterious pursuits, Judy is the Senior Editor for New England Antiques Journal and the Editor for Home BUILDER Magazine. Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, International Thriller Writers, and the Short Mystery Fiction Society. Find Judy on her website, where she blogs about the writing life and interviews other authors.

Buy Links

Barnes & Noble:


Social Media Links

Twitter: @JudyPenzSheluk

Interview with Judy Penz Sheluk

As a kid did you write or make up stories?
I’m the only child of strict immigrant parents—no sleepovers for this kid. So I spent a lot of time making up stories keep me company. I would start a story in my head and add to it every day. I used to think everyone did that, but I’ve since found out that isn’t the case. I never wrote them down, though. To me, those stories were part of what I like to think of as my secret life.

Where does most of your Character inspiration come from?
Everything I see, hear, and experience in my daily life forms the basis for my characters. I listen to talk radio all day as I write, and some of the people that call in…let’s just say they provide a lot of inspiration.

Do some qualities of your characters come from real people?
The characters are made up, but certainly there are qualities that are taken from real people. For example, in The Hanged Man’s Noose, the protagonist is Emily Garland, a freelance journalist. I’ve been a freelance journalist since 2003. But Emily is far more resourceful and fearless than I am. And she’s a whole lot younger!

What was the inspiration for your book?
The Hanged Man’s Noose started life as a short story in a Creative Writing class. As a short story, it wasn’t particularly good, but I loved the town (Lount’s Landing) and the feisty antiques shop character (Arabella Carpenter) that I’d created. In the book, Arabella becomes sidekick to Emily Garland, a freelance writer on assignment, but without Arabella, and that short story, there would be no book, and no Emily.

What is your favorite spot to write?
In my home office, which is painted a beautiful blue – Philipsburg Blue (Benjamin Moore). My Golden Retriever, Gibbs, likes to sleep under my desk as I work. I can’t imagine writing in a coffee shop, don’t know how people do it.

What advice would you give budding writers?

Agatha Christie said, “Write even when you don't want to, don't much like what you're writing, and aren't writing particularly well.” It’s great advice and it certainly worked for her.



Judy Penz Sheluk will be awarding $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and the opportunity to guest on Judy Penz Sheluk's blog to a randomly drawn host.


  1. Thanks for inviting me! I'm happy to answer any questions. Good luck to all who enter the contest.

  2. Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

  3. Hi Mai, most of the research was done long before I started writing the book. I'm the Senior Editor at New England Antiques Journal ( and so the antiques info in the book is culled from my experience and the knowledge gained while working there. The Samuel Lount/Lount's Landing connection comes from living in a town (Holland Landing) where Samuel Lount had lived in the 19th century. So when I started to write, I just wrote based on what was stored inside my head. I have one of those memories, once I know something, no matter how trivial, it sticks with me. What I ate for dinner yesterday, not so much!
    Thanks for commenting!

  4. Enjoyed the excerpt and interview, sounds like an intriguing read, thanks for sharing!

  5. This sounds like a great book. Can't wait to read it. Thank you so much for hosting this lovely giveaway. You're totally awesome.

    1. Thanks Valentina! I appreciate your comments. You can read the first four chapters free at

  6. This sounds like a great book. Can't wait to read it. Thank you so much for hosting this lovely giveaway. You're totally awesome.

  7. I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

  8. Where do you enjoy reading?

    1. Isn't that funny Becky, I just did a Readers/Writers poll on my blog~ here's a link
      I found the responses interesting --
      In answer to your question, I love to curl up on my chair in the living room, or sit outside on my deck in the summer. I never read in bed -- can't get comfy!

  9. I liked the interview and learning more about you.

  10. Great post - I enjoyed reading it! Thanks for sharing :)

  11. Enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!

  12. I really enjoyed the excerpt and the interview. Thank you for sharing the post and the giveaway!

  13. I really enjoyed the interview. Thank you!!

  14. I really enjoyed reading the excerpt and the interview. I love a good mystery book and this book sounds like it fits the bill! Totally can't wait to read this book!