A visit with Evelyn Lloyd from the Penny Brannigan mysteries set in North Wales
by Elizabeth J Duncan
Bore da, as we say in Wales. I’m Evelyn Lloyd and I’ve been asked to tell you a little about myself and the town where I’ve lived all my life.
Home for me is Llanelen, a market town in North Wales. Until my retirement, I was the town’s post mistress, and there wasn’t much went on in the town and around and about that I didn’t get to hear about. Of course, the post office is all changed now. People don’t send nearly as many letters as they used to, what with email and everything, but I still like to keep abreast of local news, just as I did back in the day when I was stood behind the counter in the post office.
I’m a widow. I live in the house on Rosemary Lane I shared with my late husband, Arthur. It’s a pretty house, but a little too big for me, rattling around in it on my own, so a few years ago I invited Florence Semble to move in with me. We rub along nicely, the two of us, and I do enjoy her companionship. Did I mention Florence is a champion cook? Her raspberry jam is second to none and as for her baking! Well, my waistline can tell you all about that. This year, Florence entered her raspberry jam, marmalade, and carrot cake in the annual agricultural show and things went from bad to worse. There’s not nearly enough room here to tell you what happened, but you can read all about it for yourself in The Marmalade Murders.
Our main claim to fame here in Llanelen is the seventeenth century bridge spanning the River Conwy. With its three arches, the bridge is an elegant structure and we’re rightly proud of it. But over the past few years our town has acquired another claim to fame: murder. We used to have very little crime – and certainly no murders – until, oh, the past ten years or so. Why is that, I ask myself. And here’s something else that strikes me as peculiar – when these murders happen, Penny Brannigan isn’t far behind, asking questions and ferreting out the killer. Don’t get me wrong. I like Penny. She’s a Canadian, but she’s lived here for a long time and for all intents and purposes she’s one of us, except for her accent, of course. But when there’s a mystery to be solved, there she is … isn’t that what the police are for? Still, it’s the results that count, I suppose.
People think nothing ever happens in towns and villages … but if they only knew what really goes on, they’d be shocked. And as for Penny, to be fair, she wouldn’t be nearly as successful in her sleuthing without my help. After all, I’ve got the local knowledge. And if all those years in the post office taught me one thing … there’s a lot of truth in the old saying that old sins cast long shadows.
The Marmalade Murders: A Penny Brannigan Mystery by Elizabeth J. Duncan
About the Book
Cozy Mystery 9th in Series
Minotaur Books (April 24, 2018) Hardcover: 288 pages
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, jams and jellies, along with vegetables, fruit and flowers. But this year, there’s a new show category: murder.Local artist, Spa owner, and amateur sleuth Penny Brannigan agrees to help with the intake of the domestic arts entries and to judge the children’s pet competition on show day. When the president of the Welsh Women's Guild isn’t on hand to see her granddaughter and pet pug win a prize, the family becomes concerned. When a carrot cake entered in the competition goes missing, something is clearly amiss.A black Labrador Retriever belonging to the agricultural show’s president discovers the body of the missing woman under the baked goods table. A newcomer to town, a transgender woman, is suspected, but amateur sleuth Penny Brannigan believes her to be innocent. She sets out to find the real killer, but when a second body is discovered days later, the case is thrown into confusion, and Penny knows it’s up to her to figure out what happened—and why.
About the Author
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