Book Review: “Where There’s A Will” by Judy Penz Sheluk

My first Sheluk book won’t be my last

While I’ve been following Judy Penz Sheluk for some time, Where There’s a Will is the first book by her that I’ve read. My reason: limited reading time and the mound of books waiting for me to read.

Where There’s a Will is the third book in A Glass Dolphin Mystery, but it can be easily read as a stand-alone book, which I’ve done. I don’t feel I’ve missed a huge part of the story though I’m certain the story would have been more fulfilling if I had met the characters and witnessed their earlier struggles in books one and two.

Unlike the previous two books, which contained murder for the mystery, this one is an estate mystery. No murder, or at least no concrete murder is under investigation. To avoid spoilers, I’ll stick to a general review of the book.

Sheluk does a wonderful job of providing back story for the characters, so they come off as individuals. She creates a setting and through short scenes delivers the story that keeps readers turning the page.

Where There’s a Will provides lots of information about house buying, estates and wills with regard to laws in Ontario. It also provides a brief history on daguerreotype photographs. I’m familiar with this history because I have a passion for photography. An excellent video on how this process is done in modern times is on YouTube: How was it made? The Daguerreotype.

Ambrotype Photography

However, when I first read this information, my brain had a glitch, and I had mistakenly thought I had been exposed to this photography several years ago. While I had learned about this type of photography, the process I had been thinking of was Ambrotype. The Ambrotype process had been invented by sculptor, Frederick Scott Archer in 1852. Images were created on glass, not silver plates.

I had been first introduced to Ambrotype photography decades ago when I visited the old time shop at Sherbrooke Village, Sherbrooke, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. I’ve had my photo taken there a few times.

Here’s one of them.

Visitors dress in fashion from the 1880s and are posed to ensure they move as little as possible. Metal brackets are fitted behind the neck to help to increase clear images. Exposure time depends upon the amount of sunshine coming through the large window subjects sit beside.

My Review for Amazon and Goodreads

This is my first book by this author and while it is the 3rd book in A Glass Dolphin Mystery series, it can easily be a stand-alone book. The story is complete with a satisfying ending. The first two in the series were murder mysteries, but this one was an estate and will mystery with a slice of revenge thrown in for good measure.

A few chapters in, I had to chuckle at this line: “It would be planted around houses to ward off witches, though many believed that if rosemary flourished outdoors it was a sign the woman was boss.” I grew a lot of rosemary this past summer. That makes me the boss. As for warding off witches – witches grow their own rosemary.

The author does a wonderful job of creating depth in the characters, so they come off as individuals. She creates a setting and through short scenes delivers the story that kept me turning the pages.

If you are interested in wills, estates, house buying, photography, small town dynamics or stories set in rural areas (particular in Ontario), you’ll enjoy this book.

Where can you buy this book?

Most online stores, including

PS: I love the fact that when Sheluk imagines Levon, it’s a young Kris Kristofferson. What a handsome fellow he is. And the voice. Here it is with Sunday Morning Coming Down. Personally, I think his is the best version of this song. I’ve been a fan for decades and saw him live about 25 years ago.

17 thoughts on “Book Review: “Where There’s A Will” by Judy Penz Sheluk

  1. Chuckling myself at the Line about the Rosemary too Diane… 🙂 Love rosemary and have it in lots of pots around the patio.. 🙂 Sounds a very interesting book.. thank you for the review Diane and Congratulations to Judy and sending well wishes to you both for a productive writing year ahead… 🙂

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  2. Fantastic insights and review into Judy’s book. I have a few of Judy’s books awaiting me and glad to here can be read as stand alone. 🙂 Congrats to Judy! 🙂

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  3. Thank you so much, Diane. What a pleasant surprise and a great way to start my week. I am going to share this review on my website and elsewhere. I really appreciate it.

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