Wednesday, May 2, 2018

"The Marmalade Murders"

Elizabeth J. Duncan is the award-winning author of the well-established Penny Brannigan mystery series set in North Wales and a second series, Shakespeare in the Catskills.

The new Penny Brannigan mystery is The Marmalade Murders. Kirkus Reviews describes it as, “One of Duncan’s best mysteries, with plenty of suspects and motives but no easy answers to whodunit.”

Duncan applied the Page 69 Test to The Marmalade Murders and reported the following:
From page 69:
Penny looked more closely at him, as if she were seeing him for the first time in a long while. There was something different about him, but at first she couldn’t place it. And then she realized he was wearing new glasses and had a slightly different haircut. He exuded that same cared-for look that she’d recognized earlier in Carwyn Lewis. Gareth was spoken for, Penny realized. She knew he’d been seeing a woman from Edinburgh, but she hadn’t realized the relationship had reached the point where his new flame was sprucing him up.

How different our lives are now, she thought. A year ago, Gareth would have been the lead detective on the case, and I would have been eagerly offering suggestions and helping in any way I could, whether he wanted that help or not. And now he’s sitting here in a marquee at the end of the day, waiting for the police to arrive. She wondered how he felt about that.
Plot and sub plot collide on page 69, so the passage is representative of the book, and by extension, the series. Penny Brannigan, the amateur sleuth protagonist, has just discovered a body in the marquee at the annual agricultural show, and while she and her on-again, off-again flame, Gareth Davies wait for the police to arrive, Penny ponders their relationship. She realizes that it’s now officially off -- he’s moved on, and although she’s wobbled before, she accepts that this time their relationship has really run its course. Before his recent retirement, Gareth Davies was a detective chief inspector with the North Wales police, and Penny wonders how he feels about not being involved in this investigation. Does her concern indicate that she still has feelings for him? Or is that just her Canadian niceness coming out?
Visit Elizabeth J. Duncan's website.

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Writers Read: Elizabeth J. Duncan.

--Marshal Zeringue