This cozy mystery novel by Elizabeth J. Duncan has all the elements of a cozy mystery: amateur detective, a murder that isn’t described in grizzly details, and lovable side characters. Yet, I felt this book was missing the excitement that keeps you on the edge of seat reading this book into the night. I could easily put it down and go to bed.
First, the author did pull me into her main heroine, Penny, life when she working at the spa she co-owns with her business partner, Victoria. Penny’s friends say she cannot help herself when one of her friends are hurt or in trouble so when Penny friend Doreen’s daughter get murder she jumps right into the case to find out what happens to the daughter.
Second, in true cozy mystery history we are not given any vivid description of the murder that took place off center stage in this novel. However, when the medical examiner was talking to the police about the examination he did; he got a little gory in describing the murder wound.
Third, there are some lovable side characters in this book, especially the ones at the nursing home. One of them, Jimmy, stayed in my mind long after the heroine did because he was written so flamboyantly as a lovable old scamp.
Last, the reading pace of this story flows in a leisurely pattern throughout this book. This is what killed any excitement and motivation I had in finding out who the killer was in this novel. It also has left me with no urge to go find other books in the “Penny Brannigan” mystery series.
Can Penny discover the killer of Glenda Roberts, a woman in her North Wales village of Llanelan?
When the body of well-liked and respectable Glenda Roberts is discovered at the bottom of a former slate mine, now a busy tourist attraction, pandemonium erupts in the North Wales town of Llanelen. Penny Brannigan finds herself drawn into the investigation when jars of her house-brand hand cream are found among counterfeit inventory Glenda and her sister were selling.
Police are convinced that the mine operator whose asthmatic son suffered an almost-fatal attack due to the merchandise is responsible for Glenda's death. But Penny's not so sure. A visit to Glenda's mother only deepens her conviction that a hidden family secret is the real reason for the murder.
Elizabeth J. Duncan's Slated for Death is a wonderful traditional mystery with snappy dialogue, lively characters and an enchanting setting.