Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Brush with Death-Elizabeth J. Duncan

A Brush with Death
Elizabeth J. Duncan
Minotaur, Aug 3 2010, $24.99
ISBN: 9780312622824

Canadian Expatriate Penny Brannigan inherited her Welsh cottage in Llanelen, Wales from schoolteacher Emma Teasdale. A reasonably successful manicure shop owner, Penny cleans up her cottage when she finds letters describing Emma's affair with Liverpool artist Alys Jones. The painter, preparing for a gallery showing in Liverpool, died in a hit-and-run driver shortly after leaving in 1970.

Penny’s plate is overflowing, but she is obsessed with Alys's death. She persuades her boyfriend DI Gareth Davies and police Sergeant Bethan Morgan to assist her as she investigates the cold case hit and run. Villagers are also interested in the Jones’ case as most of her paintings vanished with only two canvasses recovered.

The second Brannigan investigative case (see The Cold Light of Mourning) is a wonderful Welsh whodunit as the amateur sleuth assisted by professional cops and the long time residents of Llanelen look into a cold case accident that soon looks like vehicular homicide. Fast-paced, readers will want to joy the intrepid Penny who is in for more than just a pound as she follows the clues, one cup of tea at a time.

Harriet Klausner

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