Thursday, April 12, 2018

Marmalade Murders

Who knew baking contests could be so deadly? Penny Brannigan and Victoria Hopkirk, co-owners of the Llanelen Spa, are asked to assist with the entries in the jams, marmalades and cakes categories at the annual agricultural show. In The Marmalade Murders by Elizabeth J. Duncan what could go wrong with this simple task?

On the Friday before the show opens, Penny and Victoria dutifully log in the entries, but realize their friend Florence's entries have not been turned in yet. Penny calls her and Florence races to the tent with her entries. She says someone called her and told her not to bring in the entries until the morning. Stumped by this situation, they decide it must have been a prank. But Penny recalls the whispered words she heard that night about not wanting someone to win. Worrisome.

The next day after the awards have been distributed, Penny discovers Florence's beautiful carrot cake is no where to be seen and her marmalade is missing as well. Although she won for her raspberry jam, Florence is disappointed that her other items are missing.

When they find her carrot cake, they also find the body of Gaynor Lewis tucked under the table. There had always been stiff competition between Gaynor and Elin Spears over their baking skills, but it escalated when Gaynor divorced husband Carwyn Lewis and Elin snatched him up. Another possible suspect is Joyce Devlin, the organizer of the show and sister-in-law to Gaynor and also not a fan.

Penny tries to question the quiet, unassuming assistant Barbara Vickers but she claims not to know anything. When another person dies, Penny is more determined than ever to solve the case.

The Penny Brannigan Mystery series is an excellent adventure in small town living. I always enjoy the descriptions of life in Wales. 

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