Thursday, June 3, 2021

ARC Review: The Art of Betrayal by Connie Berry

The Art of Betrayal

Connie Berry
Series: Kate Hamilton Mystery (Book 3)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (June 8, 2021)

Description: In Connie Berry's third Kate Hamilton mystery, American antique dealer Kate Hamilton's spring is cut short when a body turns up at the May Fair pageant.

Spring is a magical time in England--bluebells massing along the woodland paths, primrose and wild thyme dotting the meadows. Antiques dealer Kate Hamilton is spending the month of May in the Suffolk village of Long Barston, enjoying precious time with Detective Inspector Tom Mallory. While attending the May Fair, the annual pageant based on a well-known Anglo-Saxon folktale, a body turns up in the middle of the festivities.

Kate is even more shocked when she learns the murder took place in antiquity shop owner Ivor Tweedy's stockroom and a valuable Chinese pottery jar that she had been tasked with finding a buyer for has been stolen. Ivor may be ruined. Insurance won't cover a fraction of the loss.

As Tom leads the investigation, Kate begins to see puzzling parallels between the murder and local legends. The more she learns, the more convinced she is that the solution to both crimes lies in the misty depths of Anglo-Saxon history and a generations-old pattern of betrayal. It's up to Kate to unravel this Celtic knot of lies and deception to save Ivor's business.

My Thoughts: Kate Hamilton is spending the month of May in Long Barton helping run her friend Ivor Tweedy's antique shop while he has hip replacement surgery. It also gives her a chance to spend time with her boyfriend Detective Inspector Tom Mallory. When a local recluse comes in with a very valuable Chinese funeral vessel and asks Kate to take it on consignment, she is pleased since Ivor's stint in a care home is really depleting his savings. 

However, soon things take a turn for the worse when the recluse is stabbed to death and the vessel is stolen from the shop leaving Ivor on the hook for its value. Kate is determined to solve the mystery and get the vessel back. 

There are lots of suspects. The crime scene was discovered by the owner of the local Chinese restaurant but his timeline for his evening doesn't quite match up and leaves him a suspect along with his son who has recently immigrated from China. Then there is the recluse's missing daughter who left home after a family argument which resulted in her father's death and her mother's blame for the event eighteen years earlier. The police aren't able to locate her but they do find an Australian nephew who might be a suspect since he figures he'll inherit some of the art treasures in the house. 

Meanwhile, Lady Barbara is in danger of losing her stately home if she can't convince the National Trust to take it on. She decides to sell some of her treasures by consigning them for auction at the new local auction house run by a retired realtor and his son and his son's good friend to hold her over until the trust makes up its mind. Kate wants them to do a test consignment before entrusting the auction house with a very, very valuable antique Chinese tray.

And Tom is very involved in an investigation of the growing drug problem that has been taking over the county along with his work on the murder investigation. His mother is still doing her best to ruin Tom's relationship with Kate even going so fat as to import Tom's recently divorced sister-in-law who is a dead ringer for his deceased wife.

This was a nice mystery with loads of clues and red herrings. I did have a good idea about what happened and who the villains were but it was still fun to follow along as Kate solved the mystery.

Favorite Quote:
Every couple needs at least one common interest. Why did one of ours have to be murder?
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. This mystery series sounds like a good one. Thanks for the post.


I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity.

Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!