In Duncan’s workmanlike 10th mystery featuring spa owner Penny Brannigan (after 2018’s The Marmalade Murders), Penny’s friend Emyr Gruffydd asks her to help organize a party that Emyr is hosting at Ty Brith Hall in Llanelen, Wales. The highlight of the evening will be a viewing of the newly restored Black Chair, a Welsh national treasure that’s making a brief stop at the Hall before continuing on its way to its final installation at the Hedd Wyn museum at Yr Ysgwrn. For the dinner party, which will be “the highlight of the Llanelen social calendar,” a platoon of extra staff is hired. After dinner, the guests repair to the library to discover that the Black Chair has disappeared. Minutes later, Penny literally stumbles upon the body of a dying waiter. Her investigations take her to Dublin before she returns in time to curtsey to the Prince of Wales. Readers should be prepared for bizarre motives and even odder coincidences. This one’s strictly for series fans and lovers of Welsh history and lore. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary. (Sept.)
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