Nov 4, 2019

Legacy of Murder by Connie Berry

Hello my cozy friends,

Legacy of Murder” is book two in the “A Kate Hamilton Mystery” series by Connie Berry, this was my first time reading a book by this author and I was pleasantly surprised. This can be read as a stand-alone but I found myself wishing I had previously read the first one.

It's Christmastime and antiques dealer Kate Hamilton is off to visit her daughter, Christine, in the quaint English village of Long Barston. Christine and her boyfriend, Tristan, work at stately-but-crumbling Finchley Hall. Touring the Elizabethan house and grounds, Kate is intrigued by the docent's tales of the Finchley Hoard, and the strange deaths surrounding the renowned treasure trove. But next to a small lake, Kate spies the body of a young woman, killed by a garden spade.

Nearly blind Lady Barbara, who lives at Finchley with her loyal butler, Mugg, persuades Kate to take over the murdered woman's work. Kate finds that a Burmese ruby has vanished from the legendary Blood-Red Ring, replaced by a lesser garnet. Were the theft and the woman's death connected?

Kate learns that Lady Barbara's son fled to Venezuela years before, suspected of murdering another young woman. The murder weapon belonged to an old gardener, who becomes the leading suspect. But is Lady Barbara's son back to kill again? When another body is found, the clues point toward Christine. It's up to Kate to clear her daughter's name...
I loved the setting of the village of Long Barstow in Suffolk , Berry’s descriptions made me feel like I was in the UK again learning about the problems of trying to keep these old large estates viable. I also enjoyed learning a bit about antiques but mostly it had quirky characters as often found in small villages. I especially liked the duelling pubs the “The Three Magpies” and “The Finchley Arms”, which brought some humour to the story. Protagonist Kate is a strong, independent woman who is trying to rebuild her life after the death of her husband 3 years ago. She is level headed, kind hearted and very talented at seeing little details and putting clues together to solve crimes. I found her daughter Christine to be a bit much with her tantrums but Berry does try to explain why she acts the way she does. I really liked the side characters of Ivor Tweedy , Lady Barbara, Vivian and Fergus (pug). I found myself engrossed in the story and reading it in one sitting. I did suspect the killer early on but there were lots of twists and turns I started second guessing myself. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good traditional British cozy mystery with a historical background. I requested and received an Advanced Readers Copy from Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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1 comment:

  1. Well done! I do like a good mystery and set it in England always works for me. P.D. James was my favorite...Good writing though will draw me to most any genre.


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