Friday, May 01, 2009
THE COLD LIGHT OF MOURNING by Elizabeth Duncan
An unmarried Canadian woman who has settled in Wales for the past 25 years is the protagonist in this mystery which combines warmth, suspense, and even a bit of romance.
I found this an excellent mystery. The author began by introducing the main character—not by a description as much as by the character’s involvement with a close friend who had recently died. She then moved to another event in the small Welch village that only peripherally involved this character.
Then, of course, the two stories joined and the mystery evolved. Duncan’s character descriptions were excellent. I liked how she subtly showed changes in relationships by simply switching to a person’s given name from his surname, which had been used up to this point.
This was a simple story, simple in the most complimentary manner. The characters were real, they easily gained our sympathy, and the mystery was well presented. While the identity of the killer was kept a mystery until the very end, once revealed, we could look back and find numerous clues that would have helped us to solve the crime.
All in all, it was an excellent read. I recommend it most highly.
Note: Duncan is the first Canadian winner of the Minotaur/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Contest.