If you watch much tv, read many magazines or watch many movies you would think that the world consists of 23 year old beautiful people. I'm so glad that mystery writers have bucked that trend and actually give us people who have a little experience with life. In The Cold Light of Mourning we get a heroine who is middle-aged and doesn't mind being so. I personally am glad to see more mystery writers writing characters in this age group.
Penny, a Canadian ex-pat manicurist living in Wales, has just lost her best friend Emma. However, Emma's death seems to be overshadowed by the upcoming wedding of the son of the local squire. He's brought his bride-to-be back from London and the wedding should be the event of the year. Until the bride disappears on the day of the wedding, that is. Penny had done the bride's nails that day and so gets sucked into the investigation.
As with any mystery involving an amateur sleuth, there are moments when you shake your head and say, "No one would do that" or "The police would never let them get away with that." There are times when things come a little too easy. There isn't a strong sense of atmosphere which is my favorite characteristic in a book. I think some of these flaws come from it being the first in a series. I like the characters well enough that I will be back for more. A masterpiece it's not. A fun piece of entertainment it is.