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A Brush with Death (A Penny Brannigan Mystery #2)
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A Brush with Death (Penny Brannigan #2)

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  383 ratings  ·  64 reviews

When Penny Brannigan inherits a charming, old-fashioned cottage in the North Wales town of Llanelen, she soon realizes she has come into more than what real estate agents like to describe as a desirable period property: She’s also acquired memories, mystery, and an unsolved, decades-old crime.

As Penny sorts through the belongings of her benefactor, a deceased teacher

ebook, 272 pages
Published July 20th 2010 by Minotaur Books (first published July 14th 2010)
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When we are jealous our feeling of self-worth is low. Some would wish that others fail so that they might be deemed greater. Some might wish that the genius not only fail, but that they are removed from the picture altogether…

Set in an idyllic Welsh village, this second installment in the Penny Brannigan mystery series is the perfect cozy for a crisp fall evening. We first met Penny in The Cold Light of Mourning which won the Malice Domestic First Traditional Mystery Competition.

Penny is a pain
❂ Jennifer (reviews on BookLikes)
This book was ok. I didn't much like the relationship between the protagonist and her "best friend", Victoria. I thought this relationship was too accelerated in the first book and in this one, I found it annoying, stilted, and a bit herky-jerky. I'm not against reading a third one, if released, but I'm not going to rush out to get it on publication.
This book felt a little flat to me, unlike The Cold Light of Mourning, which was quite wonderful. I liked the personal developments for the various characters, but the mystery itself seemed not that mysterious. Still, I liked the story well enough. I will likely read the next one, when it comes out.
Linda Smatzny
This is the second book in the Penny Brannigan Mystery series. The series is set in Wales in the present time and features Penny and her friends who help her solve mysteries. This time Penny has just moved into a cottage she inherited and learns that former owner had lost her special friend over thirty years ago in a hit and run accident. Naturally Penny wants to solve the case. At the same Penny and her business partner and friend, Victoria, have bought an old building and plan on converting it ...more
A Brush with Death is the second in the Penny Brannigan series set in Wales. This book picks up right where the first one left off. Penny is living in the cottage she inherited from her close friend, Emma. She stumbles upon a mystery from Emma’s past and feels compelled to follow it to the end. I quite enjoyed the first in this series, however this one fell somewhat flat for me.

The positives are the character descriptions and the setting. Well executed to the point that the reader can “see” the
Not quite a “cozy” mystery, but also not quite the complex, thoughtful and substantive mystery I grew up to know and love. Those types of mysteries seem to be in very, very short supply these days – or maybe, I’m just not looking in the right places.

This is a “cozy” in the sense that the heroine is sticking her nose into an old murder and neglecting her business, friends and prospective lover in the process. In a way, her concentration and focus is something to be admired. However, she is not a
A Brush With Death is as engaging as the first book in the Penny Brannigan series(The Cold Light of Mourning). Its the perfect cozy mystery to lose yourself in.

Apart from the whole mystery angle, there is depth to the novel too. The author has dealt with certain relevant social issues. Underneath the cloak of respectability, lie so many secrets - the author has captured that so well.The characters are very realistic Moreover the book captures the social changes that the world has undergone in th
Cute, but again, too much detail in some places while not enough detail in some of the important places. But still very enjoyable.

(view spoiler)
#2 in the Penny Brannigan series. Penny has a nail salon, which would hardly qualify her as an amateur detective, BUT, not unusually for a 'cozy', she has a romantic interest in a detective inspecter (see #1 The Cold LIght of Mourning (2009)). When Penny gets interested in a cold case from 1970 with anti-lesbian overtones, you can bet she will persevere.

Penny Brannigan has inherited a cottage from her late schoolteacher friend, Emma Teasdale. When Penny and Det. Insp. Gareth Davies discover a st
Artist-manicurist Penny Brannigan is cleaning out the Welsh cottage she inherited from her elderly friend, Emma. One of the paintings on the wall is by an artist unknown to Penny--A. Jones. As Penny finds out more about the artist's relationship to Emma, she also finds that the painter was the victim of a hit-and-run accident many years ago. Enlisting all her friends, from the vicar and his efficient wife to the gossipy retired postmistress, Penny tries to find out more information about the acc ...more
This mystery surprised me with its basis in Liverpool’s art world in the late 1960’s (many references to John Lennon’s early art training, residence etc.), a lesbian relationship that had to be kept secret from a disapproving world, and a murder mystery that snaked its way to unexpected revelations. Set in a small tone in Wales, the characters come together to lend their hand to solving this 30+ year murder mystery. I thought their willing collaboration was a bit of a leap, but their courage to ...more
Diane Heath
Since I read book 3 prior to books 1 and 2, I had already met two characters who play a role in solving a hit and run from 1967. The mystery of the hit and run is almost a subplot as Penny is getting settled in her new cottage.
This was a fun little cozy, and I enjoyed it and will continue the series. However, in spite of taking place in northern Wales, it didn't have a strong Welsh feel to me. Also, the main character only has a few years on me, but she felt much older, and I had a hard time getting a good picture of her and other characters in my mind.
This was the second in the Penny Brannigan series. I am thoroughly enjoying these books. The characters are engaging and the mysteries are interesting. The setting is also a plus. In this book Penny is cleaning out, her friend Emma's cottage which Penny inherited. While cleaning out she learns of a hit and run accident, killing a local artist and friend of Emma's. The death is suspicious and Penny decides to investigate. She begins to uncover a number of mysteries related to this accident and th ...more
Kathy Moberg
I really liked the first book in this series, The Cold Light of Mourning. This second one, however, was a disappointment. The characters are not nearly as interesting and well drawn. Some of the exchanges between them are wooden or silly, and there were paragraphs here and there that struck me as filler material. The mystery itself was good enough that I had to finish the book, because I did want to find out what happened, so that is a plus. I skimmed as fast as I could from the middle to the en ...more
Kimberly Robbins
This was a nice cozy mystery to read on a snow day. A fun part was spotting the title of Beatles songs in the text.
Jeanne Quigley
I enjoyed this second book in Elizabeth Duncan's Penny Brannigan series. The mystery involves a long ago hit-and-run death that Penny believes wasn't an accident. With the help of friends, Penny learns the murder might be tied to art theft. I like this quiet series set in Wales. Penny is a gentle, quiet woman, not prone to fits of hysteria or dramatics. Elizabeth Duncan does a fine job portraying Penny's determination to solve a case that affected a beloved friend, as well as showing the sorrow ...more
Erica Hall
I mostly liked this book, and still quite like the author. However, I was uncomfortable with the focus on ethnic differences in this book. Some of the discussion was important to the story and probably realistic given the small, homogeneous town setting. But some of the comments, especially by Penny herself (who, as a Canadian should have more experience with people of different backgrounds) was a bit disconcerting and off putting, and made me wonder about the writer herself. I'll give her anoth ...more
Penny Brannigan has inherited a small cottage in the northern part of Wales. She is making the place her own when she finds a packet of letters that reveals a mystery involving the woman who owned the cottage before her. A young artist was killed in a hit and run accident over thirty years ago and Penny feels that she must solve the mystery to put the memories that the cottage has to rest. It is an interesting read and I enjoyed it. Penny is a warm character and her relationship with the police ...more
A fast and pleasant read. Ready for the next one.
I love this series and how Penny is sort of the Cold Case queen of the village.
This is the second bookk in the Penny Brannigan series.

Penny has moved into the house that her friend left her. In cleaning the years of accumulation that her friend had left and a many year old murder that was never solved. In learning more about the murdered woman and more about her friend, she comes to realize that sometimes you never know as much as you wish you knew about them to start with, Penny wants to solve this not just for her friend, but for the murdered woman's family. This has int
Makes me want to spend time in Wales.
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
I really enjoyed this well-crafted murder mystery. Penny Branningan is a likable sleuth in the old tradition. Her friends/relationships are at the pace you would find in a 'Christie' styled novel. Since it is set in Wales this isn't surprising.

The book dealt with murder/ social mores and human weaknesses. It was realistic. Also, the author is blending the 21st century into the somewhat time-capsuled 20th century of the village. That is very interesting and well done.

I hope this series lasts a lo
Continuing on the cozy mystery trip...Elizabeth Duncan returns to the North Wales town of Llanelen in this second book with manicurist/detective Penny Brannigan. This time, Penny investigates a thirty-year-old cold case involving art fraud and a hit-and-run. I truly did enjoy these books more for reading them in order and think I may go back and reread the third book and see if I like it better now. Currently though, so many books, so little time!
Penny, manicurist turned sleuth, is back in this easy reading cozy set in Wales. This time her sights are set on learning more about a mysterious death of a promising young artist--an unsolved hit and run case from 1970--and how it relates to her dear friend's past. The Liverpool/Beatles connection adds a fun dimension and the cast of characters is expanding. Very Agatha and well done.
I usually give four or five stars if the story interests me and I like the characters. The characters in this book were flat and uninteresting. I finished the book… The last 20 pages were better than the rest… I wouldn't recommend it to anyone and I don't think I'll try any of her others - way overpriced for a short ebook. The author can, however, write so I gave two stars.
Having inherited a cottage from Emma, her dear friend of many years, Penny sets about to solve the 30-year old mystery of a local hit-and-run that killed Emma's artist friend Alys Jones. The pacing is perfect and the plot suspenseful. It doesn't hurt that a romance is budding between Penny and Chief Inspector Davies.
Cheri Stringer
Second novel about manicurist/artist Penny Brannigan. Surprisingly astute amateur detective. I hope to find other titles by this author.
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After graduating from Carleton University, Ottawa, with a BA in English, Elizabeth J. Duncan worked as a writer and editor for some of Canada’s largest newspapers, including the Ottawa Citizen and Hamilton Spectator.

Elizabeth divides her time between Toronto, Canada and Llandudno, North Wales.
More about Elizabeth J. Duncan...

Other Books in the Series

Penny Brannigan (6 books)
  • The Cold Light of Mourning (A Penny Brannigan Mystery #1)
  • A Killer's Christmas in Wales (Penny Brannigan Mystery #3)
  • A Small Hill to Die On (Penny Brannigan, #4)
  • Never Laugh As a Hearse Goes By (Penny Branigan #5)
  • Slated for Death: A Penny Brannigan Mystery (Penny Brannigan Mystery, #6)
The Cold Light of Mourning (A Penny Brannigan Mystery #1) A Killer's Christmas in Wales (Penny Brannigan Mystery #3) A Small Hill to Die On (Penny Brannigan, #4) Never Laugh As a Hearse Goes By (Penny Branigan #5) Slated for Death: A Penny Brannigan Mystery (Penny Brannigan Mystery, #6)

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