By the Book @ Rogers Memorial Library

The Cold Light of Mourning by Elizabeth J. Duncan

cold light of mourningWhen Canadian transplant, Penny Brannigan, discovered the North Wales town of Llanelen during a backpacking trip, she decided to make it her home.  Twenty-five years later, she finds herself comfortably ensconced in the Welsh village and runs her own business, the Happy Hands Nail Care shop.  At the beginning of Elizabeth J. Duncan’s cozy and Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Award Winner, The Cold Light of Mourning, Penny is bereft by the loss of a dear friend to a long illness.  However, before she has time to properly mourn the retired schoolteacher’s death, the manicurist finds herself in the middle of a mystery that rocks the closely-knit town.  Social climber (and outsider) Meg Wynne Thompson, who is due to wed the son of one of the wealthiest families in Llanelin, disappears on the morning of her wedding, after getting a manicure in Penny’s shop.  Blessed with an eye for telling details, Penny begins to play an instrumental part in the investigation by North Wales police.  Readers are privy to all the pleasing twists in the investigation, as the North Wales detectives work to solve the case.

In the Cold Light of Mourning is a traditional mystery with colorful local characters and a distinctive Welsh setting.  The main character, Penny Brannigan, makes an eminently likable sleuth, with her natural practicality, curiosity and good-will.  Readers will root for her when she gets her own mid-life chance at happiness, beyond the daily comforts of her independent existence managing her business and painting en plein air in the picturesque Welsh countryside.


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