Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Remembering the Dead
Penny Brannigan Mystery #10
BY Elizabeth J. Duncan

Crooked Lane
September 10, 2019/ ISBN 978-1-64385-113-6
Mystery / Cozy

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

Canadian transplant Penny Brannigan had intended to only visit Europe after graduating from college, but she found herself in Llanelen, a small Welsh market town, and she never left. Penny made friends, settled in comfortably and owns a spa. Thirty years later her life is full and happy.

After helping to put together a formal dinner event at Ty Brith Hall, Penny gets involved in investigating a murder. Emyr Gruffydd is hosting the dinner to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice and the end of the First World War. It will take place on the Saturday night before Remembrance Day. There will also be a small exhibit of items with connections to the war. The centerpiece of the exhibit is the Black Chair, also known as the bardic chair of Hedd Wyn.

On the big evening, the guests have assembled in the library where Emyr prepares to remove the black cloth draped over the chair. Penny has noticed that something is wrong. The cloth isn't hanging right. When Emyr pulls the cloth back, they discover that the valuable chair is gone. It’s been replaced by a chair from Emyr’s library. Soon after that dramatic revelation, Penny stumbles upon an injured person outside in the cold. As she hurries to get someone to help, she finds that the police have arrived.

The dead man is Rhodri Phillips, and his aunt, Rhian, works at Penny’s spa. At Rhian’s request, Penny agrees to look into the murder. After all, she has solved murders before, and since the police don’t tell her not to, Penny begins her investigation.

This is the tenth book in the series, but it is not necessary to have read the others. It is fine as a stand-alone read, but I enjoyed it enough that I’d like to go back and read the other nine. The mysteries of the stolen chair and the young man’s murder are the focus of the book, but there is more story being told throughout.

I particularly enjoyed the historical elements involved. The characters are well-developed and each interesting in their own fashion. Highly recommended to cozy mystery buffs who enjoy a bit of a history lesson. I was so intrigued that I did some research (Googling) on Hedd Wyn and the Black Chair. It is not often that a fictional mystery captures my attention enough that I find I need to learn more. That makes Remembering the Dead a special novel, indeed.

Reviewer Notes: The author also writes the Shakespeare in the Catskills Mysteries

Reviewed 2019