Murder is an unintended consequence when Antiques Cymru comes to a Welsh town.
The denizens of Llanelen have been busy turning out their attics ever since they got the news that the popular TV appraisal show will come to their town. Canadian expat Penny Brannigan, who owns the local health and beauty spa, is helping to organize the event. When the great day arrives, Catrin Bellis is disappointed with the value of her quilt. Farmer Haydn Williams is amazed to find that his long-case clock, complete with half a hidden treasure map, is worth £12,000. The biggest shock comes for Florence Semble, who culled sketches from the trash when she worked at the Liverpool College of Art. Her drawings by Stuart Sutcliffe and John Lennon are assessed at £80,000. Even this excitement is soon overtaken by the discovery of Catrin Bellis dead in her home, her devalued quilt missing. Penny’s romance with DCI Gareth Davies may have faded, but he still values her opinions about crimes (Slated For Death, 2015, etc.). So when she’s out on a sketching expedition with her latest beau, art appraiser Michael Quinn, and they see a solitary woman Penny recognizes carrying the quilt, they give chase—only to get Michael injured by a careless biker. Even though she’s rumored to have been enjoying an affair, it’s hard to imagine who would kill Catrin. But Penny knows that something small was hidden in her stolen quilt and is mindful of the missing half of Haydn Williams’ treasure map. Could all these little clues add up to a reason for murder?
Whatever else you can say about appealing Penny, she doesn’t let romance distract her from her search for a killer. Information about appraisals and local color enhance the story’s charm but fail to make it very mysterious.