Remembering the dead A Penny Brannigan mystery

Elizabeth J. Duncan

Book - 2019

"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."--

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1 copy ordered
Mystery fiction
Detective and mystery fiction
New York : Crooked Lane, an imprint of The Quick Brown Fox & Company LLC 2019.
Main Author
Elizabeth J. Duncan (author)
First edition
Physical Description
296 pages ; 22 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Penny Brannigan, a spa owner in Llanelen, Wales, is tasked by Emyr Gruffydd to plan a black-tie dinner party to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. The party will include an exhibit of WWI artifacts, including the newly restored Black Chair, a historic Welsh treasure awarded posthumously to poet Hedd Wyn, the 1917 winner of Wales' highest literary honor. During the party, the chair disappears, and a waiter is found dead. Penny is asked to investigate the murder by the dead man's family, and Emyr wants her to locate the chair before the Prince of Wales' visit to Wyn's former home, now a museum. Penny is also worried about a witness who has disappeared. Penny connects the cases, unmasks a killer, and finds both the chair and the missing person. This cozy contains numerous plot twists and is steeped in Welsh history, populated with full-bodied characters, and surrounded by lovingly described Welsh and Irish locales.--Sue O'Brien Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In Duncan's workmanlike 10th mystery featuring spa owner Penny Brannigan (after 2018's The Marmalade Murders), Penny's friend Emyr Gruffydd asks her to help organize a party that Emyr is hosting at Ty Brith Hall in Llanelen, Wales. The highlight of the evening will be a viewing of the newly restored Black Chair, a Welsh national treasure that's making a brief stop at the Hall before continuing on its way to its final installation at the Hedd Wyn museum at Yr Ysgwrn. For the dinner party, which will be "the highlight of the Llanelen social calendar," a platoon of extra staff is hired. After dinner, the guests repair to the library to discover that the Black Chair has disappeared. Minutes later, Penny literally stumbles upon the body of a dying waiter. Her investigations take her to Dublin before she returns in time to curtsey to the Prince of Wales. Readers should be prepared for bizarre motives and even odder coincidences. This one's strictly for series fans and lovers of Welsh history and lore. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary. (Sept.)

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Review by Library Journal Review

For the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I, Emyr Gruffydd, owner of Ty Brith Hall in Llanelen, Wales, is planning a dinner party with an exhibit from the war years. The highlight of the evening will be the unveiling of the Black Chair, a chair presented posthumously to the winning poet, Hedd Wyn, at a national competition in 1917, when the young man had just died on a battlefield in Belgium. Emyr asks Penny Brannigan, owner of the local spa, to plan the event. Everything goes smoothly until the Black Chair is discovered to have been stolen. While the guests wait for the local police detective, Penny comes upon a young waiter who was struck down outside the hall. As she asks questions of a former thief, an art expert, and community members, Penny connects the dots in a complicated plan to steal from the Welsh heritage. VERDICT With a mystery involving a poet's chair and Irish Travelers, the award-winning author of Murder on the Hour focuses on the culture of Wales in her latest cozy. The charming characters will appeal to Jane K. Cleland's readers.--Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

Panic ensues when a national treasure is stolen.Canadian-born Penny Brannigan is long resident in Wales, where she runs a spa with her business partner, Victoria, paints, and solves mysteries (The Marmalade Murders, 2018, etc.). The latest concerns a special carved chair awarded posthumously in 1917 to the poet Hedd Wyn. Known as the black chair, it has been restored and is returning to the poet's family farmhouse, soon to be a national historic site. Local squire Emyr Gruffydd asks Penny to help plan a formal dinner for Remembrance Day, when the black chair will be on display. All goes well on the big day until Penny's young friend Lane Hardwick falls with a tray of dishes and glassware and a waiter goes missing. When the guests arrive in the library to admire the black chair, it's vanished and been replaced with a substitute. While she awaits the police, Penny searches for Lane, who hasn't been seen in quite a while, and finds the missing waiter, Rhodri Phillips, near death after a spell outdoors in the cold rain; he dies before the ambulance can arrive. Once the autopsy shows Rhodri was smashed in the head by a rough object, the pressure intensifies to find the chair and the killer. Penny's friend Inspector Bethan Morgan agrees that the theft must be an inside job. The thieves needed to know a great deal about the house and the party plans, and with the possible exception of Emyr's new girlfriend, Penny can't imagine any of the guests being involved. When Penny finally finds Lane, who's been in hiding, he's too afraid to tell her much except that he's been threatened. A former thief who's a friend of Penny's suggests that an item like the chair must have been stolen for a private collectora proposition that puts her on a tortuous road to the truth.A soupon of history and a whiff of lost romance combine for an unpredictable mystery. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.