A Brush with Death: A Penny Brannigan Mystery
Elizabeth J. Duncan
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When Penny Brannigan moves to her cottage in the small Welsh town of Llanelen and begins sorting through the belongings of her benefactor, a deceased teacher, she comes upon a packet of love letters from a promising young Liverpool artist named A. Jones. An artist herself, Penny sets out to discover more about this mysterious painter who met a tragic end in an accident in 1970.
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. Helped once more by a small group of townsfolk, including her enterprising business partner, Victoria Hopkirk, Penny sets out to prove her suspicion that art theft is at the heart of the case, and that Jones's death was no accident.
In her eagerly awaited sequel Elizabeth J. Duncan wonderfully revisits the bustling Welsh town and vibrant characters introduced in The Cold Light of Mourning. With its lyrical prose and tantalizing puzzle, A Brush with Death is a real treat of a mystery novel.
the window, and turned slightly so the light fell on the image she was holding. Gazing back at her was what appeared to be a young Emma wearing black eyeliner and false eyelashes. She smiled shyly at the camera but with a secretive, subtle confidence, her eyes slightly closed against the sun. Her blond hair had been elaborately styled in a towering bouffant, with curls trailing down her cheeks and she was wearing a sleeveless mini dress with two rows of white buttons down the front. In her arms
there was an old-fashioned, low-tech way, and she knew exactly where she had to go to do it. “Well, Penny,” said Mrs. Lloyd the next day at her regular Thursday afternoon manciure, “I hear Eirlys is going to be working here. About time, too! You know I’ve been telling you for years that you need someone young about the place to liven us all up. Someone on the BBC was saying just this morning that mentorship is the way to go. It helps us view the world through younger eyes and keeps us in touch
something that needed replacing, repairing, or polishing. For the first time she wondered how Emma had managed so apparently effortlessly to keep everything always looking so nice and still have time to teach school and enjoy a social life. As far as Penny knew, Emma hadn’t used any outside help, but she was starting to think she needed to hire someone to help her with the gardening and cleaning, especially now that the spa was going to be demanding so much of her time. A knock at the front
the manicure salon. She had arrived in Llanelen for what had been meant to be a bit of rest and relaxation several months ago but, for many reasons, had decided to stay on. She and Penny had found they had much in common, and as their friendship deepened, they had started working together. The smell of fresh paint greeted them as they entered the office of Richard Jones, the senior partner. A small, tidy, bald man in his sixties, who favoured a three-piece suit, he had looked after many of the
she must have liked for some reason: QUEENLY!! Penny lifted out the folded board and the four tile racks and set them on the table. Then she picked up the little bag containing the letter tiles, kneaded it for a moment, and then opened it and tipped out its contents. The letters of the alphabet scattered across the table, and so did dozens of photographs. She picked one up and tipped it toward the light. Alys and Emma with their arms around each other in front of the Victoria Gallery & Museum.