Murder Is for Keeps (Penny Brannigan #8)

Murder Is for Keeps (Penny Brannigan #8) by Elizabeth J. Duncan 

29939069Between 3 and 4 stars.  Read through this one quick as this series is always a good read a
nd gets me motivated to read more books.  I missed this one when it came out, and after reading the latest book in the series, I backtracked to this one.
The main plot, the death of John Hardwick, felt like it stewed in  the background until the AHA moment came.  I also liked the side plot of the 90 year old cold case of the skeleton unearthed on the property. And I enjoyed it but it seemed a bit…off.  Maybe because Garth is newly retired, so Penny wasn’t exactly in the thick of things. Maybe because the characters seem to be growing and progressing. But it all took a backseat to Penny’s cold dark heart and her seeming indifference to Gareth finally giving up on her and taking off to be with a woman he’d just met. While it could be perceived as making Penny a bit unlikable, I think it uncovers how little Penny has been fleshed out as a character. She has stagnated, but the other characters haven’t. Hmm.
And am I the only one who thinks of Mrs Lloyd as Hyacinth from Keeping Up Appearances? And Florence as Hyacinth’s neighbor Cynthia? Can never shake that image.
Anyway, an enjoyable book but one that highlighted the shortcomings of the series.  And frankly Gareth, I think you’re better off.

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