Elizabeth J Duncan Books

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Elizabeth J. Duncan is a Canadian author of mystery and thriller novels. She is a graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Carleton University and has also worked as an editor and also a writer for some prominent Canadian newspapers including Hamilton Spectator and Ottawa Citizen and as a public relations practitioner. Elizabeth currently teaches in The School for Writers Program at Humber College and resides in Toronto Ontario, Canada and often spends time abroad each year in Wales.

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Order of Penny Brannigan Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Cold Light of Mourning 2009 Description / Buy
2 A Brush with Death 2010 Description / Buy
3 A Killer's Christmas in Wales 2011 Description / Buy
4 A Small Hill to Die On 2012 Description / Buy
5 Never Laugh As a Hearse Goes By 2013 Description / Buy
6 Slated for Death 2015 Description / Buy
7 Murder on the Hour 2016 Description / Buy
8 Murder Is for Keeps 2017 Description / Buy
9 The Marmalade Murders 2018 Description / Buy
10 Remembering the Dead 2019 Description / Buy
11 On Deadly Tides 2020 Description / Buy

Order of Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Untimely Death 2015 Description / Buy
2 Ill Met by Murder 2016 Description / Buy
3 Much Ado About Murder 2017 Description / Buy
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Madam Elizabeth became a published author in 2009 when, The Cold Light of Morning, the first book in Minotaur Books was published. In 2015, the author published Untimely Death, which became the debut book in Crooked Lane Books.


The Cold Light of Morning, the debut novel in Elizabeth’s Minotaur series was nominated for the Arthur Ellis Awards and Agatha Award in 2009. Subsequently, the fourth Minotaur series installment, A Small Hill to Die On was the winner of the Bony Blithe Award in 2013 while the fifth novel in the series, “ as A Hearse Goes By’ was a nominee for the same award in 2014.


These are some of the best books written by Elizabeth J. Duncan.

The Cold Light of Morning: Elizabeth J. Duncan weaves a charming tale of intrigue and murder marking a brilliant series debut. The scenic North Wales town of Llanelen is ultimately shocked when Meg Wynne Thompson, a young self-made lady who has turned to be something of uncommon bride goes missing during her wedding day and winds up dead. The last person who was seen with her was Penny Brannigan, a manicurist and a Canadian who has resided in North Wales for over two and half decades. When Penny figures that something is entirely not as it seems during the funeral of her friend, she becomes invested and sets out to conduct investigation.

Apparently, it seems that many people, including the bride’s abusive father, had all the reasons to wish Meg dead. However, when the clues lead to her groom’s home, a volatile secret will shake the small northern Wales town.

With is picturesque Welsh setting, and beautifully woven characters, The Cold Light of Morning is a pure delight to the most diehards of traditions mystery. Starting out with a vast cast of characters in a small town, the author has added layers to them making them an incredible cast.

For example, it is revealed that Penny had a troubled past as a youth in Canada something that made her to be an adult who prefers to be in her own company, however, despite this, she is genuinely a caring person and also observant. Then there is Detective Sergeant Bethan Morgan and Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Davies the kind of detectives officers that you would wish they would show up in your local town to search for a missing person. Davies later learns to appreciate Penny’s eye for detail.

For the main character, Penny is not the typical amateur sleuth you have always known. When she feels that she has important information that could help the cops solve the mystery, she immediately calls them. It is quite refreshing to have such an amateur sleuth be sensible and level-headed, and it is also amazing to watch the inspector take her to shine.

A Small Hill to Die On: The small north Wales town is abuzz when a new family settles in Ty Brith Hall. However, it is not long before the family business undergoing has the local folks thinking to them, “what really goes on in that house on the hill?”

Things take a twisted turn when Penny, spending her midwinter afternoon sketching the beautiful views that surround the local town stumbles the body of the new family’s teenage daughter. Many dark secrets lie buried in this shallow grave alongside with the little girl, who Penny immediately identifies by the manicure she had received at her salon.

When an old lady returns to the small north Wales town to take care of her sick brother, Penny finds out the shocking truth about another death in Ty Brith Hall, one that hits close to her home. Even though DCI Gareth Davies warns her to keep off, Penny cannot resist getting involved and offers to help even though that puts her in ultimate danger.

Untimely Death: This is the first book in the A Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery series. The book sees a Catskills resort doing a production of William Shakespeare’s classic play – Romeo & Juliet.

The play takes a wicked turn when, in an awful bit of irony, the leading lady is poisoned and stabbed. While Lauren, the actress playing Juliet, had her fair share of enemies – murder is never the answer.

Charlotte Fairfax is the at the center of this tragedy and she is working as the costume designer for this production. In her role making costumes, she has become close to everyone in the production and she could be the key to solving this crime and finding out who done it. The only problem is, the killer knows this as well, and they ight be coming for her next.

Ill Met By Murder: This is the second book in the Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery. This year the company is performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of the wedding celebration for the wealthy widow Paula Van Dusen’s daughter. When a wedding guest and rival of the Van Dusen’s is found murdered with a prop from the play, costume designer Charlotte will be forced to look into things once again.

When Does The Next Elizabeth J Duncan book come out?

Elizabeth J Duncan doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is On Deadly Tides and was released on November, 10th 2020. It is the newest book in the Penny Brannigan Series.


1 thought on “Elizabeth J Duncan”

  1. I actually had a couple of emails from Ms. Duncan after I finished reading her series on Penny Brannigan and she did advise that On Deadly Tides was the final book in that series…very disappointing but disappointed also in that it does not seem she is bringing out anything new at all.

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