In A Small Hill to Die On, Elizabeth J. Duncan reveals that even cozy Welsh villages are not immune to the crimes of the current world. Strangers in Llanelen stir up interest, and murder soon follows.
Penny Brannigan and her business partner, Victoria Hopkirk, have just opened The Llanelen Spa, and they're getting it up and running. Penny is still disturbed that a body had been found in the ductwork, that of a young woman who went missing in the 1960s. Her uneasiness increases when Mai Grimstead walks into the spa. Mai's Vietnamese family is the talk of the town because they moved into Ty Brith Hall, an estate that had been in the same family for decades. Now, Penny fears the town might be talking even more. Mai wanted to warn the owners of The Llanelen Spa that she was expanding her chain of nail bars into North Wales, opening up a nail bar and tanning salon called Handz and Tanz.
After meeting Mai, Penny is surprised when Mai's nineteen-year-old daughter shows up at the spa for a manicure. But, it's that manicure that leads to the young woman's identification when Penny's dog finds her body.
Penny promises Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Davies that she won't get involved in the murder investigation. But, the older case of the young woman whose body was found in the building of the spa leads her to Ty Brith Hall, and into the greatest danger of her life.
Like yesterday's book, A Fatal Winter, there's very little surprise in this book. However, Elizabeth J. Duncan's readers will welcome this fourth book in the series, and the return to the North Wales town of Llanelen. The characters are the appeal in this series, beginning with Penny, Davies, and the villagers. They're lively, often funny, characters, who truly care about each other and the small village. And, Penny Brannigan, with her understanding of human nature, and her kind heart, is the perfect amateur detective for this series and the latest book, A Small Hill to Die On.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
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