Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Small Hill to Die On by Elizabeth J. Duncan

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.

Elizabeth J. Duncan's website is

A Small Hill to Die On by Elizabeth J. Duncan. St. Martin's Minotaur. 2012. ISBN 9781250008244 (hardcover), 259p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Jane R said...

Ohhh, this sounds like a series I'd like. I'm going to keep an eye out for it and (of course) I've added it to my book list. Thanks!

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Jane! I really like Duncan's series and the setting.