Review: A Dream of Death by Connie Berry

Title: A Dream of Death by Connie Berry
Kate Hamilton Mysteries Book One
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


On a remote Scottish island, American antiques dealer Kate Hamilton wrestles with her own past while sleuthing a brutal killing, staged to recreate a two-hundred-year-old unsolved murder.

Autumn has come and gone on Scotland’s Isle of Glenroth, and the islanders gather for the Tartan Ball, the annual end-of-tourist-season gala. Spirits are high. A recently published novel about island history has brought hordes of tourists to the small Hebridean resort community. On the guest list is American antiques dealer Kate Hamilton. Kate returns reluctantly to the island where her husband died, determined to repair her relationship with his sister, proprietor of the island’s luxe country house hotel, famous for its connection with Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Kate has hardly unpacked when the next morning a body is found, murdered in a reenactment of an infamous unsolved murder described in the novel—and the only clue to the killer’s identity lies in a curiously embellished antique casket. The Scottish police discount the historical connection, but when a much-loved local handyman is arrested, Kate teams up with a vacationing detective inspector from Suffolk, England, to unmask a killer determined to rewrite island history—and Kate’s future.


The first installment in the Kate Hamilton Mysteries series, A Dream of Death by Connie Berry is a suspense-laden cozy mystery.

Kate Hamilton is returning to the Isle of Glenroth, Scotland at the request of her estranged sister-in-law, Elenor Spurgeon. The two women were never close but since Kate’s beloved husband, Bill, passed away, they have not been in contact. Despite not particularly liking Elenor, Kate cannot refuse Elenor’s urgent request for her help. She is dismayed to discover she is even more disagreeable than ever and she is frustrated when Elenor puts off telling her why she needs Kate’s assistance. The next day, a shocking murder stuns Kate and the rest of the community.  The murder is eerily similar to one that took place hundreds of year ago and Kate is convinced there is a connection. When the police zero in on handyman Bo Duff, Kate begins her own investigation since she is certain he is not the killer. Will she uncover the murderer’s identity before it is too late?

Kate lives in Jackson Falls, OH where she owns an antique store. Her children are now grown and despite the passage of time, she still deeply mourns Bill’s death. Kate’s relationship with Elenor has always been tense, but she cannot ignore her promise to Bill to care for his sister.  She is hoping to quickly get to the root of the problem, but Elenor is focused on the upcoming Tartan Ball. She drops a bombshell on the attendees and then brushes off Kate’s questions. After the stunning murder, Kate puts her investigative skills to work in an attempt to catch the killer.

With an isolated setting, an intriguing murder and the tantalizing historic murders, A Dream of Death is an absorbing cozy mystery. The characters are vibrantly developed and quite appealing. Despite warnings from the police to stay out of the investigation, Kate just cannot resist trying to piece together the pieces of this perplexing mystery. With some well-placed red herrings and sneaky misdirects,  Connie Berry brilliantly keeps the perpetrator’s identity and motive for the crime cleverly under wraps until the action-filled denouement.  An enjoyable beginning to the Kate Hamilton Mysteries series that I highly recommend to readers of the genre.


Filed under A Dream of Death, Connie Berry, Contemporary, Kate Hamilton Mysteries, Mystery, Rated B+, Review

2 Responses to Review: A Dream of Death by Connie Berry

  1. Kate and I thank you for this wonderful review!