Friday, April 13, 2012

Review: The Cold Light of Mourning

Author:  Elizabeth J. Duncan
Publisher-Format: Minotaur Books, 304 pages,  ebook
Year of publication:
Disappearing bride, murder
Penny Branigan Mysteries
Cozy, amateur sleuth
mine, Google E-books (bought from Longfellow Books, Portland ME)
yes - definitely for cozy readers

Another new cozy series for me!  Hooray! Elizabeth Duncan has chosen a quiet, picturesque setting in Wales, given us a transplanted Canadian as the protagonist, and has helped the genre immensely by getting us out of the bake shops, catering, cooking business and planting her amateur sleuth in a small one-woman manicure shop.

The town's most eligible bachelor is scheduled to wed a young woman "from away" and who is certainly not too well received by the local ladies.  Penny Branigan, the manicurist, is mourning the death of her dearest friend whose funeral is scheduled the day after the wedding, so she is struggling to be pleasant when the bride to be arrives the morning of the wedding to have her nails painted.

When the bride later fails to appear for the wedding, it is Penny's observations from this "last sighting" that help the local Police Detective Chief Inspector Davies  to accept that this may not be a case of  a runaway bride. In the meantime, Penny meets and forms a friendship with a new visitor to town, a fellow Canadian Victoria.  Together they embark upon looking for the missing woman, and of course (it's a cozy after all!) they ultimately crack the case.

The ending is almost saccharin, but fits the story perfectly, and leaves us knowing that this is only the first of many adventures of Penny, Victoria and DCI  Davies.  I'll definitely be looking for the second in the series.


  1. i agree it is a very good book :) cant wait to finish it. Can i ask if you know why the friend was mentioned in the first placew?

    1. Stacey....I think the friend was mentioned to provide the reader with a sense of why Penny felt so attached to a place that was not her hometown


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