Her first novel, The Cold Light of Mourning, won the William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic 2006 Grant for Unpublished Writers and the 2008 St. Martin’s/Malice Domestic Award for best first traditional mystery and was nominated for an Arthur Ellis award in Canada and an Agatha Award in the United States.
Duncan's fourth novel, A Small Hill to Die On won the 2013 Bloody Words best light mystery (Bony Blithe) and the fifth book in the series, Never Laugh as a Hearse Goes By, was nominated for the same award in 2014.
Duncan applied the Page 69 Test to Slated for Death, the sixth Penny Brannigan mystery, and reported the following:
From page 69:Visit Elizabeth J. Duncan's website and blog."(The wind rattled the) windowpane and fat raindrops, barely visible through the condensation, raced in rivulets down the glass.Page 69 falls at the end of chapter 12 and contains just five sentences. Rebeccah Roberts, whose sister Glenda was recently found dead down the local slate mine, has just returned from the senior's home where the body of her mother was discovered a few days later, just before her birthday party. Rebeccah's nephew, Peris, has come to stay with her for a few days.
"Well, yeah. First Mam and now Nain. They must have left something between them and it'll come to us now, won't it? How much do you think we'll get?"
"Do you know, Peris, I haven't given that a thought. I'm still trying to get my head around the fact that my mother died today."
The death of her mother has stirred a lot of emotional turmoil in Rebeccah. Old memories and hurts re-surface. She knows that her mother preferred Glenda over her and she isn't sure what she feels, or indeed what she should feel, when her mother dies.
The mother-daughter relationship is often difficult, filled with resentment, misunderstanding, and unresolved issues. In Slated for Death, it lies at the heart of an unspeakable tragedy.
Coffee with a Canine: Elizabeth J. Duncan and Dolly.
The Page 69 Test: The Cold Light of Mourning.
The Page 69 Test: A Brush with Death.
The Page 69 Test: Never Laugh As a Hearse Goes By.