Monday, October 21, 2019

A Legacy of Murder - Mystery Review

Goodreads: A Legacy of Murder (Kate Hamilton Mysteries #2) by Connie Berry

Rating: Good
Source:  NetGalley

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.

Genre: Mystery

Why I Picked This Book: An Antique dealer and a mystery in in Elizabethan house are just too good to pass up!

My Impression: I do love a murder that is tied to secrets from the past!  And throw in a stately manor house with a museum exhibit in the works and I couldn't be more excited.  I liked that the main character was slightly older with grown children and slowly reentering the dating world after a long time away.   I also liked seeing her thoughts with dealing with her adult daughter Christine.   Honestly, Christine is a difficult character to like but I did sympathize with her and I sympathized with Kate as the book went along.  Kate loves her daughter but sees her for who she is.  It felt authentic. 

The mystery was interesting - just what happened to the intern and how did it connect to a murder that took place 25 years before?  It took longer then I liked to really pull the past connections into the present but the whole story of the manor house was intriguing.  I especially loved when Kate started working on the exhibit and talking about all the artifacts. 

While the action started pretty much immediately I found the pacing a little uneven.  There's a lot going on between the murder investigation, the drama among the interns,  Kate and Tom's dating issues, and getting the museum exhibit ready on time.  It was never confusing or cluttered but with all the switching of focus and large cast it took several chapters to really become invested with the characters and the mystery itself. 

This was an entertaining and solid mystery with a fantastic setting and a likable main character.  I'm looking forward to visiting Kate's world again in future (and the past) books. 

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?   Absolutely!  I'm really looking forward to going back and reading the first book in the series. 

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy mysteries - especially British mysteries this is an enjoyable series. 

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. I like the sound of the setting of this book.

  2. I like mysteries involving secrets of the past too. Like Stefanie, I'm quite taken with the setting of this one. I would read it just for that. :-)

  3. This does sound really good, love the idea of the house and the relationships plus the mystery. Killed by a garden spade. Yuck!!