Title: The Art of Betrayal by Connie Berry
Kate Hamilton Mysteries Series Book Three
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
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.
The Art of Betrayal by Connie Berry is an interesting mystery set in a quaint British village. Although this newest release is the third book in the Kate Hamilton Mysteries series, it can be read as a standalone.
Kate is manning Ivor Tweedy’s antique store in Long Barston while he undergoes much needed surgery. She is also enjoying her time with her long distance significant other Detective Inspector Tom Mallory who is unfortunately tied up working an important case. While attending the May Fair, the festivities come to a shocking end following a murder. Kate is stunned to discover the victim was attacked in Ivor’s storeroom and a valuable pottery jar has been stolen. When she is hired to value the victim’s expensive and expansive art collection, Kate notices some troubling inconsistencies. Will she and Tom unmask the killer?
Kate owns an antiques business in the United States and she is well-versed in antiquities. So, filling in for Ivor is no hardship. What she does not expect is for a customer to bring in a rare and expensive pottery jar for her to sell on consignment. The client is a little mysterious and Kate feels a bit uneasy about the woman. Trying to focus on what the sale would mean for Ivor, she pushes aside her doubts.
Kate has been involved in two other murder cases so she promises Tom she will stay out of this latest murder investigation. Of course, she does pass on her observations to Tom when they arise. Kate continues valuing the victim’s estate, but she becomes very curious about some of the discoveries she makes. Despite her best efforts to remain on the sidelines, Kate cannot resist looking into some of the things that are troubling her. Will she discover any new information that might identify the murderer?
Kate is an amiable woman who never expected to fall in love after her husband unexpectedly passed away. Since she lives in the United States and Tom in England, she never believed their relationship would become serious. Although they have spent limited time together, Kate (reluctantly) admits to herself she is in love with Tom. But is there any future for them together?
The Art of Betrayal is a clever cozy mystery with a wonderful cast of characters. The village is a lovely setting that is quite atmospheric. The storyline is interesting and while initially a little slow, the pace soon picks up steam. With a jaw-dropping plot twist, Connie Berry brings this engaging mystery to an exciting conclusion. Old and new fans of the Kate Hamilton Mysteries series are going to love this newest addition.