Saturday, September 7, 2019


Remembering the Dead: A Penny Brannigan Mystery
by Elizabeth J. Duncan


About Remembering the Dead

Cozy Mystery 10th in Series 
Crooked Lane Books (September 10, 2019)
Hardcover: 296 Pages 
ISBN-10: 1643851136
ISBN-13: 978-1643851136 
Digital ASIN: B07NKQ22XN

In award-winning author Elizabeth J. Duncan's tenth Penny Brannigan mystery set in North Wales, Canadian amateur sleuth Penny Brannigan attends a dinner party at a posh country house--where a historic chair disappears and a waiter is murdered. Artist and spa owner Penny Brannigan has been asked to organize a formal dinner to mark the centenary of the armistice that ended World War One.

After dinner, the guests adjourn to the library for a private exhibition of the Black Chair, a precious piece of Welsh literary history awarded in 1917 to poet Hedd Wyn. But to the guests' shock, the newly restored bardic chair is missing. And then Penny discovers the rain-soaked body of a waiter. When Penny learns that the victim was the nephew of one of her employees, she is determined to find the killer. Meanwhile, the local police search for the Black Chair.

The Prince of Wales is due to open an exhibit featuring the chair in three weeks, so time is not on their side. A visit to a nursing home to consult an ex-thief convinces Penny that the theft of the Black Chair and the waiter's murder are connected. She rushes to Dublin to consult a disagreeable antiquarian, who might know more than he lets on, and during the course of her investigation confronts a gaggle of suspicious travelers and an eccentric herbalist who seems to have something to hide.

Can Penny find the chair and the culprit before she is laid to rest in the green grass of Wales?

Meet Penny Brannigan

Have you ever agreed to do a favour for a friend and then found yourself in over your head?
That happened to me when a friend asked me to organize a dinner party to mark the end of World War 1. 
I’ll admit I found the whole idea rather exciting … a posh country house; the finest food and wines; a table beautifully set with crisp linen, sparkling glassware, and candles; exquisite flower arrangements … and to top it all off, a special exhibit in the library of period artefacts including the Black Chair, a Welsh national treasure. I envisioned an evening right out of Downton Abbey, but unfortunately, there are some things you just can’t plan for. Murder, for example.
Oh, the evening started off well. The guests were thoroughly enjoying themselves, and except for the odd little glitch, it was all going splendidly.
And then, just when I thought we were home and dry, I discovered the rain-soaked body of a waiter who’d gone missing in the middle of dinner service. And if that weren’t bad enough, thieves managed to steal the Black Chair while the party was in progress.
So, because I like to do a thorough job and see things through to the end, apparently organizing the dinner was just the start of it. Now I’ve got two mysteries to solve. Working from the premise that the two crimes – the theft and the murder -- were related, I turned to a dear friend, an elderly gentleman, who knows everything there is to know about the shadowy world of art and antiquities trafficking. Well, he would do. He’s a former thief himself. But those days are long behind him, and now, as a reformed character, he’s happy to share what he knows. His insight was invaluable, and I learned a lot. For example, did you know that art and antiquities trafficking is the third most profitable illegal trade in the world, after arms and drugs? That tells you a lot.
As if I weren’t under enough pressure to unravel this complicated mystery, I had a deadline. The Prince of Wales himself was to open an exhibit featuring the Black Chair in just three weeks time. And, of course, the grieving family was desperate to know who killed young Rhodri Phillips.
How did I get on? Well, you’ll just have to read Remembering the Dead to find out!
But for what it’s worth, here’s my advice. The next time a friend asks you to help out with a bake sale or organize a bridge afternoon for a group of seniors, ask yourself what can possibly go wrong and factor that into your decision making before you say yes. Of course, getting caught up in a murder is highly unlikely, but you never know.

I enjoy mysteries that educate me or teach me something or make me curious enough to look into a topic further. This book definitely did that, being based upon an actual award in literature.
I also enjoy mysteries that have elements of closed house parties, with deductive reasoning and which feature descriptions of the house's footprint as clues to the crime. 
This book can be read as a stand alone, but Penny's character is well developed over the course of this series. Although she is Canadian by birth, which proves to be an obstacle in this investigation, she understands both the British and Welsh aspects of the history involved.

If you enjoy British television mysteries (or Canadian) you might find additional things to appreciate about these books. Penny has personal reasons to look at the crimes committed in a different way than the official police investigation.

About Elizabeth J. Duncan

A two-time winner of the Bloody Words (Bony Blithe) Award for Canada’s best light mystery, Elizabeth J. Duncan is the author of two series of traditional mysteries: the Penny Brannigan series set in North Wales and Shakespeare in the Catskills featuring costume designer and amateur sleuth Charlotte Fairfax. 
A former journalist, public relations practitioner, and college professor, Elizabeth is a faculty member of the Humber School for Writers. 
She divides her time between Toronto, Canada, and Llandudno, North Wales.

Author Links Website:
  Twitter: @elizabethduncan

  Purchase Links Amazon B&N Kobo


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