Sunday, October 6, 2019

ARC Review: A Legacy of Murder by Connie Berry

A Legacy of Murder
Author: Connie Berry
Series: A Kate Hamilton Mystery (Book 2)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (October 8, 2019)

Description: American antique dealer Kate Hamilton's Christmastime jaunt to a charming English village leads to an investigation of a missing ruby...and a chain of murders.

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 in Connie Berry's second Kate Hamilton mystery, a treasure for fans of traditional British mysteries.

My Thoughts: Kate Hamilton is in England to visit her daughter Christine who is an intern at Finchley Hall. She is on a tour of the estate while waiting for her daughter to finish orientation when the tour group comes upon the body of a young woman in a lake.

The young lady is Tabitha King who is another intern and who was in charge of organizing a exhibition of the Finchley Hoard which is celebrating its 200th anniversary of being rediscovered. The hoard is a collection of Anglo-Saxon artifacts and is literally priceless. The fees for the exhibition will go a long way to keeping Finchley Hall in the possession of almost-blind Lady Barbara.

Lady Barbara convinces antiques dealer Kate to take over the final organization of the exhibition. Kate is also busy, along with her boyfriend Detective Inspector Tom Mallory, trying to find out who murdered Tabitha. Kate is also dealing with relationship drama with her daughter Christine and her boyfriend Tristan who is being vamped by another of the interns. Christine has a very difficult, prickly personality.

Also raising tensions is an organized group of thieves who are targeting nearby stately homes and stealing assorted small but very valuable items - just the sort of thing that the Finchley Hoard is known for.

This was an engaging mystery in a great setting. I loved all the distinct characters. I was almost certain I had figured out who the murderer was by the middle of the story and was pleased to be correct. I was intrigued by the relationship between Tom and Kate which had a number of impediments including the fact that the two live in different countries.

Fans of British cozy mysteries will enjoy this one.

Favorite Quote:
"No need. Mrs. Hamilton will lend me her arm, won't you, Kate?"

"Very good, madam." Mugg backed out of the room. None too pleased. He shot me a look that said bring her back in one piece or you'll answer to me."

Lady Barbara reached for my arm.

In the light of the mirrored wall sconces, her pale-blue irises looked opaque.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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