A Brush with Death
A Penny Brannigan Mystery
By Elizabeth J. Duncan
(Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 9780312622824, 272pp.)
Publication Date: July 20, 2010
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When Penny Brannigan inherits a charming, old-fashioned cottage in the North Wales town of Llanelen, she soon realizes she has come into more than what real estate agents like to describe as a desirable period property: She’s also acquired memories, mystery, and an unsolved, decades-old crime.
As Penny sorts through the belongings of her benefactor, a deceased teacher, she comes upon a packet of letters from a promising young Liverpool artist, A. Jones, who was killed in an accident in 1970. An artist herself, Penny sets out to discover who killed this painter, and is helped by a small group of townsfolk, including her business partner, Victoria Hopkirk. While at a retrospective art exhibition in Liverpool, Penny recognizes what she believes to be a watercolor painted by Jones. But it is attributed to another artist, leading her to suspect that art theft was at the heart of the case, and that Jones’s death was no accident.
In her eagerly awaited sequel Duncan wonderfully revisits the bustling Welsh town and vibrant characters introduced in The Cold Light of Mourning. With its lyrical prose and tantalizing puzzle, this new mystery is a treat on many levels.
Elizabeth J. Duncan has worked as a writer and editor for some of Canada’s largest newspapers, including the Ottawa Citizen and The Hamilton Spectator. She enjoys spending time each year in North Wales and is the first Canadian writer to win the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition. Elizabeth lives with her dog, Dolly, in Toronto, where she teaches in the public relations program at Humber College.