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Posted March 21, 2012
Posted February 20, 2012
Delicious, Malicious Mystery!
This is an absolutely delightful Christmas “cozy,” bursting with all of the motifs I crave when the weather is cold and the days are short—“holly bushes in the hedgerows, bursting with red bright berries displayed against their backdrop of glossy, pointed leaves,” glittering Christmas trees, even a production of A Child’s Christmas in Wales. The book takes place in a somewhat exotic locale—in this case a small town in North Wales, complete with thatched cottages, tearooms, and old-fashioned shops decorated for the season. The weather is bitter, with plenty of “icy pellets of sleet,” snow, and frost to send shivers up readers’ spines. In contrast, the living rooms are warmly lit with candles and gas fireplaces.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Penny Branningan, the amateur sleuth in her fifties, is the engaging, believable owner of the Happy Hands manicure salon. I’d love to meet her the next time I get my nails done. I’d definitely join her Stretch and Sketch Club and scramble over the Welsh hills to find stunning landscapes to paint. The book deftly probes the relationships among various denizens of Llanelen and, of course, the tumult that ensues when an American (!) man suddenly enters their lives. Several of the women are involved in romantic entanglements with men, but the strongest and most interesting relationships seem to be friendships between women, which is refreshing!
The perfect Christmas dinner (I can’t get myself to say “lunch”) of roasted turkey, Brussels sprouts, and roasted potatoes is interrupted by the shocking news that someone has acted on his or her darkest impulse. Sigh…no rest for the local constabulary.
Perhaps what I like best is being able to experience the ordinary details of everyday life, the cups of tea, the buttered scones, the cobbled stones of the town square, the warm sweater to wear under the raincoat, the linoleum on the kitchen floor, all of the minutiae that make it possible to believe in the murder and mayhem!
Posted January 13, 2012
This third book in the series did not disappoint. The characters are likeable and interesting and the mystery keeps you interested. I am really enjoying this series and I recommend it if you like a nice cozy and a good mystery.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 8, 2011
The third Welsh Brannigan cozy is a delightful whodunit
As Christmas nears, the worst snow in a quarter of a century compounded by ice makes life difficult in Llanelen, Wales. Although there have been delays and not just because of the weather, business partners Penny Brannigan and Victoria Hopkirk continue with preparations for the grand opening of their new upscale spa overlooking the River Conwy.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
American dance instructor Harry Saunders arrives in Llanelen and charms Widow Evelyn Lloyd while teaching ballroom dancing at the community center. However, though he appears to be a nice fellow, many residents suspect the outsider is taking Evelyn to the cleaners. They prove right when he persuades her to give him money in a sure shot investment. As soon as she gives him the loot, he vanishes. However, Saunders fails to get very far as his murdered corpse is found near Conwy Castle with a horde of people of interest since the Stretch and Sketch Club and other locals had the opportunity, but the weapon belongs to the fleeced widow. Knowing she is the prime suspect as she had the motive, the opportunity and the means, Evelyn pleads with Penny, who has solved murders before (see The Cold Light of Mourning and A Brush with Death), to prove her innocence.
The third Welsh Brannigan cozy is a delightful whodunit as it takes a village to convolute a murder investigation. The Canadian expatriate protagonist makes the story line entertaining as she remains a somewhat accepted outsider busy with the spa opening, but works an amateur sleuth investigation as well.
Posted January 10, 2014
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Posted October 31, 2013
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