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

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 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: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #300,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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.
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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.
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By gm on Sept. 28 2015
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
a good one day read. The detail of North Wales was interesting.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9ba5700c) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ba6ca50) out of 5 stars 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.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ba6caa4) out of 5 stars Good enough for a quick read. Aug. 4 2010
By Judy 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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ba6cd80) out of 5 stars 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
HASH(0x9ba6f2b8) out of 5 stars 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.
HASH(0x9ba6f2d0) out of 5 stars Cuzy mystery! April 26 2013
By Alison B. Oconnor - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
If you look in the dictonary under "cozy mystery," this book should be in there. It was a great mystery and whodunnit, but the characters are so adorably BRITISH that you just want to enjoy their dialogue. I am going to see if I can get my hands on some more books in the series . . .