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.
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.
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been replaced by a chair from Emyr’s library.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.
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.
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.
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