Penny Brannigan and her best friend Alwynne Gwilt are on an
art group-painting weekend Isle of Anglesey, specifically
the town of Beaumaris off the north coast of Wales. Actor/painter
Bill Ward is leading the group and although Penny finds him
distasteful, she meets Colin Campbell who is a famous wildlife
photographer and sparks fly.
Colin and Penny meet Jessica Graham from New Zealand on the
first evening of the weekend and both find her spirit of adventure
and enthusiasm charming. They are intrigued by her story of
how she is there not only to interview Bill Ward but to try
to find out what happened to a New Zealand man who disappeared
seven years ago.
Penny finds Jessica’s crumpled body at the shoreline
near the lighthouse she and Alwynne have gone to paint and
it appears that she fell off of a cliff! Penny, having been
involved in solving numerous murders over the years is immediately
suspicious and the game is on as she, Colin, and the police
set out to find a killer.
I was thoroughly charmed by this book having been drawn into
the story from page one. Penny is an interesting character
and is surrounded by good friends and new acquaintances who
play off her well. I loved the setting and the author brought
me so close to the seaside that I could almost hear the waves
and smell the ocean.
The murder was just one of the crimes committed in the story,
and as I usually do, I tried to put all the pieces together
to solve the murder for myself. While I was close, the ultimate
resolution was not what I thought it would be. I love a good
mystery that remains a mystery until the author is ready to
There’s also a nice romance between Penny and Colin.
I found the later-in-life romance to be tender and heartwarming
and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
While I have read every book in Elizabeth J. Duncan’s
other series, “Shakespeare in the Catskills” mysteries,
I had not read Penny Brannigan mysteries before. This is a
perfectly fine standalone read, but I must add that it whets
my appetite and I shall be going back and reading the first
10 while hoping that the author is writing a 12th in the series!
Reviewer Notes: The author also the “A Shakespeare in
the Catskills” mystery series.