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A Killer's Christmas in Wales (Penny Brannigan Mystery #3)
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A Killer's Christmas in Wales

(Penny Brannigan #3)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  660 ratings  ·  110 reviews
As the townsfolk of the Welsh valley town of Llanelen settle in for the snowiest winter in twenty-five years, an American stranger arrives. Harry Saunders charms the ladies, one of them in particular: Evelyn Lloyd, the town's former postmistress, who was left comfortably off after the death of her husband. After Mrs. Lloyd invests a good deal of money with him, Harry goes ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Minotaur Books
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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Connie G
Nov 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: wales, mystery, holidays
The residents in a small Welsh town are bustling around with their Christmas preparations when a charming American man sweeps the widow Evelyn Lloyd off her feet. He vanishes with a large sum of money that Evelyn gave him to invest. When he is found murdered outside Conwy Castle the police interview Evelyn and other people who were visiting the castle. Penny Brannigan, a local spa owner, helps investigate to try to clear Evelyn's name.

"A Killer's Christmas in Wales" is a slow-moving cozy
Dixie Goode
Sep 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was excited to win this advance reading copy but when I got it and started , "on a dark, gloomy morning" the old jokey first line "it was a dark and stormy night" came to mind. It started slowly and I might have quit but felt I wanted to be able to review it so I plodded through the first pages.

I am so glad I did. This book was a warm, delightful blend of "murder she wrote" or the "cat who" books with the charm and wonderful characters of Rosamund Pilcher. Once Into the story, I could not
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
I suppose I should start by saying this is the first book in the series that I've read. It was easy enough to get into and although a bit of the plot referred to previous events I didn't find it confusing. (Except Penny and Victoria's relationship puzzled me. They're opening a business together but didn't seem to like each other much.) Unfortunately I didn't find the plot particularly interesting. It's a quick read and the Welsh setting was nice - there were a few words and phrases thrown in ...more
Lillian Agosto
Read the "advanced copy" of this book and really enjoyed it. This is the perfect book for those lovers of the "whodunnit" genre. Also, I have always enjoyed reading stories where the "backdrop" is a foreign country, in this case the beautiful country of Wales. Mingling the culture in the story line i.e, food, holiday traditions, etc. makes the reader feel like a traveler. After I finished the book I was looking forward for some mince pie and hot chocolate!
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sometimes you just need a "Murder She Wrote" type book and this is one of those. I really enjoyed cozying up with this book during the busy Christmas season. I plan to read more in this series.
Dec 21, 2018 rated it liked it
What is nicer than a Welsh village at Christmas time, where everybody knows one another and gathers to gossip and celebrate together? Only a foreigner can break that peace of snow, carols and traditions, especially when he’s a charming cheater who seduces lonely women and can provoke strong, negative feelings to the most sensitive, weaker ones. Penny Brannigan, the heroine of this whodunit series, is just about to open her new spa when she gets involved into the murder investigation of such a ...more
Elizabeth (Liz)
***I won this ARC through a giveaway here on Goodreads***

A Killer's Christmas In Wales by Elizabeth J. Duncan (3rd in series)

- The Synopsis -

As the townsfolk of the Welsh valley town of Llanelen settle in for the snowiest winter in 25 years, an American stranger arrives. Harry Saunders charms the ladies and one in particular–Evelyn Lloyd, the town’s former post mistress who was left comfortably off after the death of her husband. Harry convinces Mrs. Lloyd to invest money with him. Then he goes
May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-cozy, mystery
The heroine in this book Penny Brannigan, borders on being one of those TSTL cozy heroines. She's more restrained in this book, which leads me to be more accepting of her small lapses in this book. She does seem to get sidetracked into investigating the murder of a con man that came to town and neglecting her duties in the new spa she and her partner are opening. But at least she doesn't just go off an interrogate everyone she suspects and doesn't put herself in what could be perilous ...more
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, christmas
A Killer's Christmas in Wales is the third book in the series, but the first I have read. The Christmassy village is described as the archetypal Welsh village in winter I was in Christmas heaven as the whodunit was played against a background of Christmas activities. So much everyday detail – cups of tea, decorated shop windows, holly berries, a village play – yet the detail was not so great that your eyes glaze over in the minutia. The person who was murdered was dispatched in a satisfactory ...more
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the third Penny Brannigan mystery set in Wales. It's written by a Canadian who lives part of the year in Wales. She has really absorbed the culture and the country and writes well. I've enjoyed all her books. I loved the references in this one to good table manners! It's fun to follow her on facebook as she always has interesting photos of the countryside in Wales. Read on my kobo.
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed visiting with Penny in her cozy little town in Wales. She is in the process of opening her new spa when a new man in town raises eyebrows by getting close to an older woman. When he is found dead, and his lady friend is implicated, Penny does what she can to crack the case. This book was Christmas cozy, wintry, snowy and fun. I loved it!
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book in the goodreads give away.

I was concerned about reviewing this as it started out very slow, but am glad I stuck with it. it was a charming mystery, with wonderful small town characters. This was a great way to spend an afternoon curled up on the couch.
Nov 19, 2014 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
William Jolly
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
this book was enjoyable from start to finish.
Mystereity Reviews
This is such an enjoyable series, with cute characters, a gorgeous location and the plots move along quickly.
Nov 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Light easy mystery set in Wales. Look for her other titles The Cold Light of Mourning and A Brush with Death.
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
After Reading this book I am Defenatly going to the book store and geting some other books by Elizabeth J. Duncan. It was Just that goodI received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads
Sep 15, 2011 marked it as to-read
I won this book from the first reads giveaways and I am so excited to read it. Thanks.
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
This is the third book in the series. When an American man named Harry comes into town, he does an excellent job of charming Evelyn, even convincing her to open a joint account for investment. Her housemate is suspicious, as is her bank manager, but Evelyn proceeds. Unfortunately, she finds out that he has absconded with the money. When he ends up dead, apparently from a fall from the castle wall in a nearby town, there are numerous potential suspects. Penny gets involved to try and clear Evelyn ...more
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy this series more with each book possibly because one gets to warm up to the characters and to know them better with time. Some of the new characters as well as the regulars in the previous books are included in this book, and I especially enjoy reading about Florence, a down to earth, interesting, and a nurturing character, as well as an ex-con, Jimmy, from a nursing home. In spite of their advanced ages, they are both so feisty, quirky, and full of life. Also the story about Mrs. Lloyd’ ...more
Liz V.
Oct 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Penny is settling into her newly inherited cottage, and she and Victoria have joined forces to renovate a building and turn it into a full spa. Their plan is to open in time for Christmas, but there's the skeleton in a heating duct and other distractions, including small thefts. Among the holiday festivities, there are competitions for holiday decorations and dance classes given by a new man in town, with whom Mrs. Lloyd, if not everyone else, is smitten. Regardless of how busy Penny is, she ...more
2.5 stars. Cute. And I've been watching a TV show set in Wales so I can do the accents in my head.
The 198(5?) movie adaptation of Dylan Thomas's poem is probably my favorite Christmas movie. I've been saving this book until after Thanksgiving, but I didn't wait long.
The extremely old-fashioned gender roles are the reason this series doesn't get better ratings from me, but at least it's done in a way that makes sense for characters of that age and time.
Ann Boytim
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Penny and her business partner Victoria are getting ready to move into their new spa building and trying to get organized but workmen uncover bones when they are remodeling. Penny is still working at her old shop and one of her clients has met a "charming" man who seems to good to be true and ends up romancing her out of a lot of money to invest in one of his schemes. This man then is murdered and Penny feels help is needed to find his murderer and get her client off the suspect list.
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
I’m not sure if there’s any other books in the series, but I probably won’t continue with it anyway. This was a nice little mystery, but just too slow-paced or I am just too impatient for this type of book right now. The characters are likable enough, but there just doesn’t seem to be much depth or emotion.
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this for my mystery book club and found it quite enjoyable. Mrs. Lloyd an older woman meets a charming slightly younger man. Even though her friends warn her she is swept off her feet and lends him a large sum of money. Later he is found dead, there are numerous suspects but with help from her friends Pennyy Brannigan managed to figure things out.. I would read more from this author.
Meg Morden
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it
A fun addition to the series. Penny and Victoria are judging the shop windows in Llanelen when am American comes to town setting the hearts of many of local ladies a flutter with his smooth ways and ballroom dancing lessons. Why is he in town? Just to relieve them of their cash and virtue or does he have a history in town?
Becky Tatar
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
As Penny and Victoria plan for their new spa opening, one of their clients, Evelyn Lloyd, meets up with a charming American, Harry Saunders. After getting her to invest with him, he ends up murdered! Mrs. Lloyd asks Penny to help her, since she is under suspicion.

Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy, 2019-challange
Elizabeth J. Duncan writes a good story. I like DCI Gareth Davies, Penny Brannigan's significant other, the best. If this series ever goes to tv, the English actor Ardal O'Hanlon, from the show Death in Paradise, must play the part. He would be perfect!
Kathy Nealen
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I prefer to read a Christmas mystery during the Christmas season, I more strongly prefer to read a series in order. I had parts of this mystery figured out but not all of it. I am liking this series set in Wales more and more.
Donna Schmidt
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a fun mystery. Love the characters and locations!
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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, and as a public relations practitioner.

A two-time winner of the Bloody Words Award for Canada's best light mystery, she is the author of two traditional mystery series, Penny Brannigan set in North Wales and Shakespeare in the Catskills

Other books in the series

Penny Brannigan (10 books)
  • The Cold Light of Mourning (A Penny Brannigan Mystery #1)
  • A Brush with Death (A Penny Brannigan Mystery #2)
  • A Small Hill to Die On (Penny Brannigan, #4)
  • Never Laugh As a Hearse Goes By (Penny Branigan #5)
  • Slated for Death (Penny Brannigan Mystery, #6)
  • Murder on the Hour (Penny Brannigan, #7)
  • Murder Is for Keeps (Penny Brannigan, #8)
  • The Marmalade Murders
  • Remembering the Dead (A Penny Brannigan Mystery #10)