Remembering the Dead

Crooked Lane. (Penny Brannigan, Bk. 10). Sept. 2019. 304p. ISBN 9781643851136. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781643851143. M
For the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I, Emyr Gruffydd, owner of Ty Brith Hall in Llanelen, Wales, is planning a dinner party with an exhibit from the war years. The highlight of the evening will be the unveiling of the Black Chair, a chair presented posthumously to the winning poet, Hedd Wyn, at a national competition in 1917, when the young man had just died on a battlefield in Belgium. Emyr asks Penny Brannigan, owner of the local spa, to plan the event. Everything goes smoothly until the Black Chair is discovered to have been stolen. While the guests wait for the local police detective, Penny comes upon a young waiter who was struck down outside the hall. As she asks questions of a former thief, an art expert, and community members, Penny connects the dots in a complicated plan to steal from the Welsh heritage.
VERDICT With a mystery involving a poet’s chair and Irish Travelers, the award-winning author of Murder on the Hour focuses on the culture of Wales in her latest cozy. The charming characters will appeal to Jane K. Cleland’s readers.

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