Remembering the Dead: A Penny Brannigan Mystery

by Elizabeth J. Duncan

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

About Remembering the Dead

Remembering the Dead: A Penny Brannigan Mystery
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?

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



Twitter: @elizabethduncan

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Meet Florence Semble

You’ll not have heard from me before; I’m just a supporting character in the Penny Brannigan mystery series. I’ve never been asked to write one of these blog things before but I think I’m meant to talk about myself for a bit, and let you know what’s going on.

I live in the town of Llanelen, in North Wales, but I haven’t always lived here. I grew up in Liverpool, and when I was sixteen, I got a job at the Liverpool College of Art, as it was known back then. This was in the 1960s, and we had a famous student at the school, only he wasn’t famous yet, and as it turned out, it wasn’t art that made him known around the world, it was music. (If you’ve a mind, you can read more about him in Murder on the Hour.)

Anyway, if someone had asked me back then what I wanted to do with my life, I would have said I wanted to go to culinary school. You see, for as long as I can remember I’ve loved cooking and baking. But back then, especially if you were a girl, you didn’t have career choices. You just did what your parents told you to do, and in my case, that was go get an office job. So I worked my whole life at the art school, and finally retired on a tiny pension.

And then in A Killer’s Christmas in Wales, the third book in the Penny Brannigan mystery series, I met Evelyn Lloyd. The town’s former post mistress, and widow of the green grocer, she has a lovely home on Rosemary Lane. She was a bit lonely, so she invited me to come and live with her, and let me tell you, I couldn’t get back to Liverpool to collect my things and move out of that bedsit fast enough.

So Evelyn turned over her kitchen to me, and now I cook and bake to my heart’s content. I even started a cooking class for mums so they can learn how to prepare economical, nutritious meals for their children. Most of these young women, when they start my class, don’t know that there’s more to a potato than a packet of crisps.

And then just recently, Penny Brannigan, bless her, asked me if I’d like to do the catering for a fancy dinner party that was going to be held at Ty Brith Hall to mark the end of World War I. I leapt at the chance. It was like something out of one of those period costume dramas you see on telly. Upstairs, Downstairs, or Downton Abbey. All the best food, the dining room table set with sparkling glasses and gleaming silverware, candles and flowers everywhere, and the guests in evening attire.

The dinner party was utterly exhausting, but so rewarding. I enjoyed every minute of it, from planning the menu to packing up the leftovers for everyone who had worked so hard to take home.

We set out to create an event that would be the talk of the town the next day. And it certainly was, but as it turned out, for all the wrong reasons.

I’m pleased to say my part of the evening went off without a hitch. From  starter to dessert, the dinner was cooked to perfection, and I received many compliments. Every dish left the kitchen the minute it was supposed to.

I confess I found getting the timing right the biggest challenge, and if you’ve ever cooked a Christmas dinner, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Fortunately for me, they didn’t find the body until after coffee had been served.


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