Saturday, April 22, 2017

Murder is for Keeps: A Penny Brannigan Mystery

Greetings!  I hope everyone is having a pleasing Saturday. Trumpet of Death by Cynthia Riggs will be out on Tuesday, April 25.  It is the thirteenth book in A Martha's Vineyard Mystery series.  You can pre-order it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks.

Murder is for Keeps by Elizabeth J. Duncan is the eighth book in A Penny Brannigan Mystery series.  Penny Brannigan is sketching at Gwrych Castle in Llanelen, North Wales.  She is working on a series of painting for an upcoming auction to raise funds to help restore Gwrych Castle and the grounds.  Penny is preparing to leave for the day when she notices a flash of red.  Penny follows the trail into the old kennels where she finds a body.  The victim turns out to be John Hardwick, a landscape architect, who was volunteering at the castle.  The next day Penny is at The Llanelen Spa that she co-owns with Victoria Hopkirk, when she is approached by Christina Hardwick, John’s wife.  Christina has heard of Penny’s reputation as an amateur sleuth and would like to hire Penny to investigate John’s death.  Penny with the help of recently retired, Gareth Davies (former Detective Chief Inspector) starts asking questions.  Gareth can provide some background details on the castle.  His grandmother, Annie worked at the castle as a seamstress, and he has a box of photos and a beautiful needlepoint.  When they return to the castle they meet Lane Hardwick, the victim’s son.  Not long after speaking with Lane, he disappears.  Then another body is found in the gardens at Gwrych Castle.  This victim has been dead for over ninety years.  Penny discovers that the castle has a colorful history and looking into the past will help solve the mystery of John’s death.  Join Penny on her latest sleuthing adventure in Murder is For Keeps.

I thought Murder is for Keeps to be nicely written.  It has a good pace and can be finished in a couple of hours.   The location is unique, and I appreciated the pleasing descriptions of the area.  I do wish the author would provide a pronunciation guide (for people’s names and locations).  Murder is for Keeps may be the eighth book in the series, but it can be read alone.  The author provides the necessary background details on Penny.  I like the character of Penny Brannigan and her friends.  I give Murder is for Keeps 3.5 out of 5 stars.  The various mystery components are interesting, and I like how the author tied them together.  I just wish, though, that the identity of the killer had not been so transparent (nor the location of the missing marble staircase).  Murder is for Keeps is a cozy mystery that I believe many readers will enjoy.  It has just the right blend of mystery and cozy (with a subtle romance element). Murder is for Keeps will be released on May 2.

Thank you for your visit.  I am off to do some much needed clearing out. It is always good to go through and get rid of unneeded items.  If we have not used it in a year, then out it goes (this does not include books)! I will be back tomorrow to review The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase by Greg Cox.  May you have a pleasant and uneventful day! Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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