FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25.
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
The Cold Light of Mournin... has been added to your Cart
+ CDN$ 6.49 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ships from the USA. Please allow 14-21 business days for delivery. Book shows minor use. Cover and Binding have minimal wear, and the pages have only minimal creases. Free State Books. Never settle for less.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Cold Light of Mourning: A Mystery Mass Market Paperback – Jun 29 2010

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
CDN$ 9.99
CDN$ 9.99 CDN$ 0.01

Gifts For Dad

Frequently Bought Together

The Cold Light of Mourning: A Mystery + A Brush with Death: A Penny Brannigan Mystery + A Killer's Christmas in Wales: A Penny Brannigan Mystery
Price For All Three: CDN$ 40.41

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (June 29 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312533454
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312533458
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.1 x 16.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #199,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


A gentle delight...sure to please fans of the classic English mystery. (Kirkus Reviews)

A runaway bride is the linchpin of Canadian writer Duncan's delightful debut...The scenic Welsh backdrop, village personalities and a budding romance for Penny add color and interest. (Publishers Weekly)

Admirable and appealing...combines a worthy plot, a congenial heroine and a sure sense of place--Duncan's depiction of village life is spot-on--to produce a story that nears perfection. Readers will want to see more of Penny--and more of Duncan's pleasing prose. (Richmond-Times Dispatch)

Duncan lulls readers with her soothing prose and depiction of small-town life in Wales and then startles them with a shocker of a denouement. Readers who enjoy Louise Penny, another Canadian mystery author of note, and Charlaine Harris's Aurora Teagarden mysteries will love this one. (Library Journal)

Well-developed characters and a nicely delineated Wales setting are what make this stylish cozy work. (Booklist)

[S]torytelling with polished exposition, pacing and edgy dialogue. Characters sparkle, and the dark side that lurks just at the edge of most innocent scenes is drawn with skill and depth. A must-read. (Hamilton Spectator)

Duncan has a fine eye for detail, plays fair with the clues, and creates engaging characters. (Globe and Mail)

This is a debut novel worth taking a risk on, order a copy today, you will not be disappointed. (Armchair Interviews)

Lyrical and lovely, The Cold Light of Mourning launches an enchanting series that mystery readers will cherish. A warm welcome to Elizabeth J. Duncan, who writes with grace and charm. Sheer delight. (Carolyn Hart, author of Ghost at Work)

From the Back Cover

Marriage. Murder. Nail polish...One woman's would-be wedding has an entire Welsh town on edge in Elizabeth J. Duncan's The Cold Light of Mourning--winner of the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition.

The picturesque North Wales market town of Llanelen is shocked when Meg Wynne Thompson, a self-made beauty who has turned out to be something of an unpopular bride, goes missing on her wedding day--and turns up dead.

The last person believed to have seen Meg alive is local manicurist Penny Brannigan, who vows to find the killer. Seems that several people--including those on the guest list--had reasons to wish Meg dead. But when the trail leads Penny to the groom, a red-hot secret threatens to shake the small town to its very core…

"Admirable and appealing...a worthy plot, a congenial heroine."--Richmond-Times Dispatch

"Duncan lulls readers with her depiction of small-town life…then startles them with a shocker."--Library Journal

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Myfanwy on Feb. 4 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I was given book # 3 in this series (A Killer's Christmas in Wales) and then went back to read the first two for added context. This is the first in a series of mysteries set in a small town in North Wales. Being Welsh I was interested to see how the area and culture were described, and Elizabeth J. Duncan did a wonderful job. She obviously spends a lot of time on research. The characters were also well drawn and the plot kept me interested.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By Ronald E. Dines TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 3 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Well it seems we have another Canadian winner. Nice easy-flowing style. Great setting in rural Wales and a really fun and interesting protagonist. Perhaps a bit along the style of the old Miss Marple, but in a modern day setting.
Penny seems to be plodding along in a comfortable (but a bit mundane and boring) existence when her good friend dies. It intrigues me as to how neat it was that even in death Emma could play such a vital role in the identification of the killer. Neat premise.
I wonder just where Penny and Gareth will go. Will we continue to see all the action in LLanelen or will she move to Llandudno or elsewhere to be with Gareth, or will it all just come and go and Penny will carry on by herself. Having just inherited Emma’s house, it seems she will want to stay put – at least for a while.
I really look forward to the next book.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Great Fun!! Aug. 11 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Delightful English mystery set in a small village in Wales. The characters are well developed and the storyline is intriguing. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would not hesitate to recommend it to any cozy mystery lover.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Marlene Homer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The publisher's blurb set the scene:

"The picturesque North West market town of Llanelen is shocked
when Meg Wynne Thompson, a self-made beauty who has turned out
to be something of an unpopular bride, goes missing on her
wedding day. The last person believed to have seen her is
manicurist Penny Brannigan, an ex-patriate Canadian . . . .
After seeing a photograph of Meg in a local newspaper, Penny
realizes that the well-groomed woman who presented herself at
her salon was an imposter."

The title appealed to me as did the fact that the
author won an award for this book. I expected more than I
got, promising but, . . . so four stars instead of five.

I found the prose slow and stilted. And I had hoped
to see Wales in wonderful historical detail through the eyes of
this author-journalist. I did not. However, I did learn that
Welsh Rose Gold, the rarest in the world, was discovered in
1854 and is used in the wedding bands of the British Royal
Family. (Large Print Edition. Page 152).

I liked some of the names of the local businesses,
such as the Red Dragon Hotel and the local pub, The Leek and
the Lilly. But, speaking of names, I found the constant use
of the victim's first and middle name annoying. "Meg Wynne"
rather than "Meg" tripped me up. Ruined the story's flow.
And I was confused by the name, "Reverend Evans" on one
page and "Reverend Thomas" on another. The man's name:
Thomas Evans.

For me, the author's character sketches saved the
book. I liked her villagers. So did she. The main ones
were: Penny, of course, who is a manicurist and an artist;
Evelyn Lloyd, former postmistress and present busy body; Morwyn
Lloyd, niece of Evelyn and news reporter; Victoria Hopkirk, the
house-mate of Penny and harpist; Reverend Thomas Evans and his
wife, Bronwyn; and, finally, a possible love interest for Penny,
Detective Chief Inspector,Gareth Davies, and his much younger
partner, Detective Sergeant Bethan Morgan.

Character sketches follow:

(1)Penny: "She had had a difficult, complicated childhood
in Nova Scotia, in and out of foster homes, and found affection
hard to give and harder to receive, although she certainly tried to
be kind and considerate in a genuine, sincere way. . . . Her boy
friends wondered vaguely why she always seemed to sell herself short,
and why she had apparently settled for so little. But her life was
what she had made it. {Pages 100-101}

(2)Gareth: "The Detective Chief Inspector was tall, in
his mid-fifties, with a handsome head of grey hair neatly but not
fussily trimmed. His face had a kindly, understanding look about
it, which made him seem approachable, congenial even, but prime
suspects in the past had learned the hard way that he was not the
collegial fellow he seemed." {Page 116}

(3)Bethan: "Detective Sergeant Bethan Morgan was
considerably younger and blessed with a head of dark curls and
a ready smile which gave her a fresh, uncomplicated look. She
was keen to get on in her career and radiated the kind of enthusiasm
that her superiors found both endearing and mildly alarming."
{Page 116)

(4)Victoria: "The two women smiled shyly at each other.
They were about the same age, but Victoria was slightly taller, with
a somewhat serious, anxious look about her. Her blond hair was
pulled back and held at the nape of her neck with a large black
bow that matched black leather court shoes that looked expensive
and well cared for. . . . 'Well,' said Penny, 'why don't you tell
me what you're really doing here.' 'That's easy,' said Victoria,
'I'm getting over a bad divorce. . . . I guess I'm a bit age-
sensitive because my husband left me for a younger woman, an
American he met on a flight to New York." {Pages 168, 238]

A second book in the series is: A BRUSH WITH DEATH.
It seems to me there are many story lines, more waiting to
be said, so I shall give Duncan a second chance. thank you.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Good enough for a quick read. Aug. 4 2010
By J. Lesley - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The character aspect of this novel was not quite as well developed as I would have expected, especially from a novel which was a competition prize winner, but it was interesting enough for me to finish the book. I don't feel as if I really ever got to know Penny Brannigan except that she was originally from Nova Scotia in Canada and had just happened to settle in the Welsh village of Llanelen on a whim. She met Emma Teasdale who was pleasant to her one day, kind to her the next day and evidently used those meetings as reasoning to settle down there. I'm not really sure I understand that, even though it is stated that Penny and Emma became very close friends, because by the time the novel begins Penny is the owner of the only manicure shop in the town and her relationship with Emma all took place in the past. Everyone in town is excited about the big wedding taking place at the weekend and Penny will have her part to play by doing the manicures for the two bridesmaids and, on the day of the wedding, for the bride. The fact that the bride waited until the actual day of the wedding to get her manicure is the device which drives the entire plot. After the manicure is finished Penny closes up her shop and goes out to paint landscapes. It is the next day before she finds out the wedding never took place because the bride went missing.

This book didn't rise to the ranking of a 4 star book for me because I really did figure out who one of the guilty parties was without much trouble at all, and the second person was someone who was obvious once the author revealed the twist in the story. I did not understand the motive until the author revealed it. I didn't feel that there were enough suspects presented. Even though there were some other characters, they were so lightly touched upon that it would have been impossible for them to have been the guilty party. In future books Penny is probably going to need to change quite a bit in her life. Reading about changing appointment times and canceling appointments became rather mundane and repetitive stuff after the first few times of Penny re-scheduling clients so she could go off investigating.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Strange Story Aug. 29 2012
By Annova - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm surprised this book won an award. As someone else mentioned, the dialogue is stilted and I had a difficult time picturing the town's layout and where the estate was located in relation to the town. And we never found out why Emyr met a certain person on the pier. I'll try another of her books ('cause I'm getting desperate trying to find some "cozy mysteries" without recipes, knitting instructions, crossword puzzles, and other themes taking over the storyline).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining and light cozy with wonderful Wales setting June 18 2013
By Avid reader - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was a wonderful story with a mature lead character set in a village in Wales. It was so refreshing for a character that doesn't got out into a dangerous setting and get bashed over the head. I really enjoyed the intelligence and logic the character portrayed and her working with the police as apposed to against them. It was a very entertaining book.