A Brush with Death
A Penny Brannigan Mystery
By Elizabeth J. Duncan
(Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 9780312622824, 272pp.)
Publication Date: July 20, 2010
Other Editions of This Title: Mass Market Paperback
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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.
"Duncan...is a born storyteller whose ability to create appealing characters, evoke a strong sense of place, and fashion a clever plot is accompanied by another gift: a faculty for writing flawlessly smooth prose. 'A Brush With Death' is a close encounter with talent."--Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Duncan writes so well about the lives of people in a small village in Wales that the reader becomes immersed in their daily trials and tribulations. The follow-up to the award-winning The Cold Light of Mourning is sure to appeal to fans of M.C. Beaton and Agatha Christie."--Library Journal"Duncan’s second is every bit as delightful as her debut...a smoothly written classic English mystery right up there with the best."--Kirkus Reviews "Duncan spends time developing the personal lives of her appealing main and secondary characters, and it is their relationships that provide much of the novel's appeal, along with the well-realized Welsh setting and the many details about running a small business. Readers who enjoy the English village cozy mysteries of Dorothy Cannell and Nancy Atherton will want to take a look at this series."--Booklist