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The Marmalade Murders: A Penny Brannigan Mystery

(Penny Brannigan #9)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  262 ratings  ·  74 reviews

The latest book in an award-winning mystery series, celebrated for its small-town charm and picturesque Welsh setting and starring amateur sleuth Penny Brannigan.

The competition is friendly and just a little fierce at the annual Llanelen agricultural show as town and country folk gather for the outdoor judging of farm animals and indoor judging of cakes, pies, pastries, chutneys,

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published April 24th 2018 by Minotaur Books
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  262 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Penny Brannigan finds herself volunteering at the local agricultural fair, checking in entrants to the culinary competition and judging the childrens' pet competition. But shenanigans are afoot when Penny's friend Florence learns her entries have gone missing, and even more troubling, a Women's Guild member is also missing and later found dead. All Penny has to do now is sort out who sabotaged Florence's entries and how her cake ended up under a table with a dead woman.

This one was a fun, light
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 9th entry in the Penny Brannigan series. Penny is doing volunteer work at the annual agricultural fair at the town in Wales where she lives. She is checking in the cooking submissions and is a judge at the children's pet contest. She is surprised by how cut throat the competition can be to win. Some one has called a well known baker and told her that the submission date has been changed to the next day. When the judging happens, 2 of 3 of that baker/cook entries are missing from the ...more
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, cozy
It’s time for the fair, and Penny has been encouraged to volunteer her services. Fairs should be fun with friendly competition, but this one turns deadly. Seemingly unrelated but unusual occurrences have Penny’s thought processes working overtime. Questioning people, she tries to determine what is pertinent to the crime and what is not. And that is not an easy task! Besides interesting characters, this cozy is intriguing for the clues that Penny digs up and for her theories that are formed and d ...more
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
Mar 09, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: canlit
A cozy mystery series where the main character has a brilliant first name? A must read! :-)
Lisa Morin
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Marmalade Murders by Elizabeth J. Duncan is an intriguing story that will keep you guessing.

Penny Brannigan and businesses partner Victoria are helping out at the agricultural fair.
Penny is dismayed by the competitiveness of the participants.
It seems everyone has a secret and when a particular participant is found dead, Penny just has to find the answers.
This story played out well, the mystery kept me guessing and it wasn't until the very end that I figured it o
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Marmalade Murders by Elizabeth J. Duncan is the ninth book in A Penny Brannigan Mystery series. Mrs. Lloyd has wrangled Penny Brannigan into assisting with the annual Llanelen agriculture show. Penny and Victoria Hopkirk co-own Llanelen Spa in Llanelen, North Wales. They are accepting the domestic arts entries and get their instructions from Joyce Devlin, president of the show committee. A half an hour before the deadline, they notice that Florence Semble has yet to drop off her entries and ...more
This is the ninth book in a series, but it was the first one I've read and it can be read as a stand alone.

This is about a spa owner named Penny, who volunteers at the local agricultural show checking in entries to the pastry and jam contests. What should've been a friendly competition quickly turns deadly. Someone's trying to sabotage Penny's friend Florence, and a dead body is found under the cake table. Penny tries to piece together the mystery of who tried to sabotage her friend
Carole Jarvis
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Reviewed at The Power of Words:

The Marmalade Murders by Elizabeth J. Duncan is a well-written, utterly satisfying cozy mystery, book #9 in one of my favorite series. The author has a gift for conveying the beautiful Welsh scenery and making you feel the setting with your senses. The main characters could be someone you’d meet in your neighborhood, and the mystery is well crafted as backstories are slowly revealed. Although part of a series, this story stands alone.

As a lead
#9 in the Penny Brannigan series. This 2018 series entry by author Duncan in another pleasant visit to rural north Wales with the Canadian expat, now half owner of a spa and a talented watercolor artist. The regional color is entertaining, the plot is convoluted and confusing, and there is not sufficient character development to keep the numerous cast members distinct. Two of them even confuse Peggy. Red herrings abound and normally level headed Peggy gets enmeshed in suppositions about embezzle ...more
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another first for me with this book. Reading these types of books makes me remember why I do enjoy reading cozy mysteries. When executed correctly, these types of books can provide enjoyment. I am happy to report that I got this outcome while reading this book.

I have participated in my local country fair several times and luckily, the competition has never been so fierce that someone was killed.

Penny, Florence, and Mrs. Lloyd were great. Although, they were not the only characters in this book
Lisa B.

As cozy mysteries go, I found this to be pretty entertaining. The main character, Penny, is quite the sleuth when trying to discover who murdered a competitor at the local agriculture show. Slowly but surely she connects the dots by asking simple questions of the townspeople involved in the show.

Penny is smart and the characters in this book are very likeable. This was a light, easy read. I've jumped in at book #9 of the series and thought it worked well as a stand alone. It was
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good Penny Brannigan mystery by Elizabeth J Duncan set in Wales. I found it rather confusing with the marmalade bit, but maybe I was reading too quickly and missed the point. I always learn some history from her books and this time it was about Speke Hall in Liverpool. Google it to see this lovely building.
May 16, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cosy-mystery
As a cosy mystery it ticks the boxes. But for me Penny is the most smug lead character l have come across in a book. I think it might be the way Elizabeth Duncan writes her. I like all the other characters and the village of Llanelen but Penny. It was nice to get more of Mrs.Lloyd and Florence in this book.
Penny and Victoria run a “spa” in Northern Wales. For those of us in the US, that is full service beauty salon.

Both women are helping with the annual agricultural show. The show is like a county fair with competition in everything from horses to jams. Penny and Victoria together will register the entries in the food and flower tent. And on the day of the show, Penny is judging the small animal/pet competition. Everyone gets an award so that every child can go home happily.

When Penny
Verity W
*****Copy from Netgalley in return for an honest review*****

I wanted to like this more than I did. I liked the British setting for this and I like small town cozies. That said, in reality, I thought the dialogue in this was quite stilted and I spent a fair bit of the last part of the novel worried about who the culprit was going to turn out to be be, for reasons that I'll explain in spoiler tags below. I didn't think the resolution was quite as good as it could have been - it seemed
Diane Hernandez
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Marmalade Murders is an enjoyable cozy mystery set in a small North Wales village.

Penny and Victoria are partners in the village spa. When they get roped into checking in contestants for the local food competition, they discover some irregularities. Why did someone call Florence telling her to check in too late? How did a person’s marmalade win when she missed the deadline? There is a definite small town vibe as everyone is in everyone else’s business.

While this is th
Susan Johnston
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Princess Fuzzypants here: Ex-pat Penny Brannigan is back in her bucolic village in Wales where she and her partner run the local spa. The two of them are enlisted to help out during the local fair where animals and edibles are the stars. Little does Penny realize how competitive and cutthroat it is until one of the local entrants is murdered and Penny’s friend’s cake and marmalade disappear entirely.
Florence, the friend, had been told by a mysterious caller to bring her wares to the ground
It's fair time and Penny Brannigan has been roped in to helping out. She's going to judge the children's pet contest (where everyone wins) and also help log the entries in the cooking competition. Like any small town, the competition is fierce. Penny's friend Florence, an incredible cook, gets a call telling her that the deadline is the day after the actual deadline but she gets her jam, her cake, and her marmalade in on time. Gaynor Lewis, another top contender, wasn't as lucky and her entries ...more
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Welcome the the 9th entry in an excellent cozy mystery set in Wales. If you are new to this series, no worries, this one can be read as a stand alone. It's time for the local fair and everyone ramps up their competitive efforts - to be the best is the goal and somebody is playing deadly.
Penny is a Canadian transplant to the lovely Northern Welsh town of Llanelen but she is still considered an outsider. When she is asked to volunteer she says yes. Her friend, Florence (one of my favorite charact
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, 2018
Why I chose this book:

I enjoy cozy mysteries, so when I saw this book on a Goodreads giveaway, I had to enter. I am excited to have won, as I really enjoyed this book!


A spa owner and amateur detective solves a murder case at a Welsh agricultural show.

Competition is fierce between the women entering cakes and marmalades in a local agricultural show, and some of the entries of Penny Brannigan's friend disappear. When she starts to investigate t
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, cozy
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

Penny is a spa owner who has solved quite a few mysteries, and has now been asked to help out at her town's agricultural show. But when something fishy happens with the entries, and a dead body is found, Penny finds herself drawn into the mystery.

The setting really is an integral part of the story. It's a place where they hold
Claudia Cheyne
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Penny and Victoria are checking in home made baked goods, jellies and flower arrangements for Llanelen's annual agricultural show when they realize their friend Florence has only ten minutes left to meet the deadline. A quick phone call allows her to bring her cake and jams in the nick of time. A female voice had called Florence earlier in the day to tell her not to bother bringing her entries in until Saturday morning - which would have been too late for them to compete.
While Penny is judging
Penny and Victoria run a “spa” in a smaller community in Northern Wales, so they think they know most of the residents and much of the gossip. Although not being born there, Penny is still considered an outsider after thirty years. The annual agricultural show is like our county fairs, in the U.S. and is dependent on many, many volunteers.
Not being the "handiest" homemaker, Penny is recruited to be a children's pet judge and for the simple task of receiving food items for judging. These seeming
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This was a delightful cozy mystery. I love the characters in this book, and despite this being the 9th book in the series, I had no problem picking up and feeling like I really knew the characters. This story is set in North Wales, where the annual agricultural show is getting ready to begin. Penny, our protagonist, owns a local salon. Although she has lived in town for 30 years, some still consider Penny an outsider. Penny volunteers to help at the agricultural show. She also discovers a dead b ...more
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When the annual agricultural fair rolls around the locals put on their competitive hats and go for the win! From the kitchen to farm, the locals vie to win their chosen areas. When Penny Brannigan, local spa owner and transplant from Canada, is asked to help out, she willingly agrees to pitch in and be part of the community.

When one of the competitor’s marmalade and cake goes missing and another is found murdered, Penny is in the thick of it. Are the two events connected or just a co
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the ninth book in the series, Penny gets involved in solving a murder that takes place during an agricultural show Penny and business partner, Victoria, help organize. This time, not only Penny doesn’t have her ex-boyfriend, Gareth who recently retired from the police force, to help her with the insider information, but she finds her relationship with Bethan Morgan, who just got promoted, significantly changed. The murder mystery is not a complex one, but the author’s vivid descriptions of th ...more
May 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-wales
I've liked other entries in this series better, but the fact is, I think I'm getting tired of Duncan's voice--this book seemed rather verbose and overly descriptive. Penny Brannigan is helping at the annual agricultural show, when a body is found in the tent with the display of food, vegetables and flowers. There were a number of people who didn't like the dead person, and Penny, her business partner Victoria, and their friends Mrs. Lloyd and Flo come up with different theories. But when there's ...more
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another satisfying mystery solved by ex-pat Canadian Penny Brannigan in the little town of Llanelen, Wales. When a body is found at the annual agricultural show, Penny and her co-worker Victoria are on hand to identify it as that of the president of the Welsh Women's Guild. Amateur sleuth Penny quietly investigates the murder by questioning friends and guild members about their comings and goings on the night before the show. When a second body is found a few days later, the town is in ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How About a Cup of Tea, Pet?

This is my first encounter with Penny and her friend Victoria despite it being their (Penny's?) ninth adventure, but I never felt lost in the wilds of Wales as friends from previous novels were clearly explained and introduced. In the midst of an agricultural competition (what would be considered a County Fair in my neck of the woods), the cooking competition turns deadly and observant Penny helps unlock the mysteries behind the murder as we learn about T
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Marmalade Murders is the 9th Penny Brannigan mystery by Elizabeth J. Duncan. While it is the ninth in the series, The Marmalade Murders can be read as a stand alone novel.

The one thing that I demand from a cozy mystery is that it be well written. The Marmalade Murders definitely is. It is a delightful story for those who like cozy mysteries.

The setting is always important as well. The Penny Brannigan series is set in Wales. I have never been to Wales but I feel like I
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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 t

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 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 (Penny Brannigan Mystery, #6)
  • Murder on the Hour (Penny Brannigan, #7)
  • Murder Is for Keeps (Penny Brannigan, #8)
  • Remembering the Dead (A Penny Brannigan Mystery #10)