Title: The Cold Light of Mourning
Author: Elizabeth J. Duncan
Release Date: April 28, 2009
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Penny Brannigan is mourning the death of her dear friend Emma. Though Emma was much older than her, the two were kindred spirits. A manicurist, Penny distracts herself by listening to her customers discuss the upcoming wedding between local darling Emyr Gruffud and his fashionable fiancée, Meg Wynne Thompson. But when Meg Wynne goes missing the morning of her wedding and Penny is apparently the last one to have seen her, she finds herself in the middle of a puzzling mystery.
I’m always in the mood for a good mystery, and The Cold Light of Mourning was perfect for that! The twists and turns were very well written. I couldn’t see them coming and was extremely surprised by many of the revelations in the novel. Despite this being her debut novel, Duncan knows how to keep readers hooked, clamoring for more. The setting of Wales is also great for the story. It really gives the entire novel that perfect “cozy mystery” vibe.
Penny is an absolutely wonderful main character. She’s smart and resourceful, and it’s really astonishing how her mind works. She has the ability to take two completely disparate events and tie them together in very creative ways. As a result, she becomes indispensible in the investigation of Meg Wynne’s disappearance. The secondary characters are also intriguing, though not as well developed. Penny’s friend Victoria really sparked my interest, and I can’t wait to learn more about her in a sequel.
The Cold Light of Mourning is the first in a series; the sequel A Brush With Death has already been released, and I am absolutely sure I will be reading it. Elizabeth J. Duncan is a talented new voice in mystery writing and I’m so glad she’s on the scene.