Cold Light of Mourning

Duncan, Elizabeth J. The Cold Light of Mourning. New york: Minotaur Books, 2009.

If you ignore the cliche title…
Cold Light of Mourning is one of those books where you are introduced to a slew of people right off the bat and, being a murder mystery, you want to remember every single one of them because you aren’t sure who is important to the plot and who isn’t. There is exceptional detail given to every single character as well and again, you want to remember it all in case there is a clue in there somewhere. Here are the first bunch of characters: Morwyn, niece of Mrs. Lloyd; Mrs. Evelyn Lloyd, regular customer of Peggy Brannigan, town manicurist; Emma Teasdale, deceased friend of Peggy, Meg Wynne Thompson, bride-to-be of Emyr Gruffydd; David Williams is best man to Emyr Gruffydd; Jennifer Sayles is maid of honor; Anne Davidson is a bridesmaid; Robbie Llewllyn is an usher; Philip Wightman is the funeral director; Reverend Thomas Evans is responsible for the Teasdale funeral and the Gruffydd wedding; Bronwyne is his wife. These are the people you meet in the first 25 pages of the book. By the end of the book you have met no less than 26 different characters (some important, others not so much).
So. You want to remember all these people (and more) because Meg Wynne goes missing on her wedding day, right after she gets a manicure. When she turns up murdered Peggy (remember her?) realizes the woman who came in to her have her nails done was not Meg Wynne. Thus begins the mystery. Who was the woman who had her nails done and what happened to Meg? Duncan takes us on a crazy ride. Her attempts to mislead us by introducing plausible murderers are feeble. I don’t think I am ruining the plot if I say neither the nurse nor hairdresser did it, but aside from that, it is definitely a fun read.

Reason read: Okay. So, this is a stretch. Let’s see if this makes sense: Cold Light of Mourning takes place in North Wales. Dylan Thomas was from Wales. Dylan Thomas died in November so I’m honoring Dylan Thomas by reading a book that takes place where he was from.

Author fact: Cold Light of Mourning is Elizabeth Duncan’s first book. She has a pretty interesting website as well.

Book trivia: Cold Light of Mourning is the first book in a series about manicurist Penny Brannigan.

BookLust Twist: From Book Lust to Go in the chapter called “Wales Welcomes You” (p 250).



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