Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Dream of Death by Connie Berry

Posted April 15, 2019 by meezcarrie in Connie Berry, contemporary, giveaway, mystery/suspense / 28 Comments


about the book

SERIES: A Kate Hamilton Mystery #1
GENRE: Traditional Mystery/British
PUBLISHER: Crooked Lane Books
RELEASE DATE: April 9, 2019
PAGES: 320

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.

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“On the Isle of Glenroth, memories and regrets lay as thick on the ground as yellow gorse in autumn.”

I love traditional British mysteries – they’re a different level of cozy mystery because you just want to cozy up with them in front of a roaring fire and a warm quilt. Debut novelist Connie Berry has crafted a delicious, atmospheric mystery with rich language, a relatable heroine, and a tangible setting. Did I mention it’s set on an island in Scotland and there’s a yummy British detective who is staying at the inn too?

The opening sentences (including the one I quoted above) immediately drew me in, and the pages that followed kept me riveted to the almost poetic word-crafting and the complex & intriguing plot. Antiques dealer Kate Hamilton is a middle-aged heroine who is returning to the island where her husband died a tragic death three years before, returning after a frantic summons from her estranged sister-in-law. But before Elenor can explain why she needed Kate’s help, more tragedy strikes and soon Kate finds herself drawn into an investigation where “every question raised others. Every clue deepened the confusion.” Berry cleverly weaves together a tapestry of suspects that kept me guessing every time I thought I had it figured out, and readers shouldn’t relax until the very last word has been read. There’s also a bit of a split-time angle as well that serves to further enhance both the atmosphere and the mystery.

Bottom Line: Berry’s debut novel is a warm, cozy delight from start to finish, embodying everything that is lovely about British mysteries while adding an American flair as well, courtesy of the easy-to-love heroine Kate Hamilton. I am definitely looking forward to more books in this series, to seeing where Kate’s amateur sleuthing – and relationships – take her next, and to the treat of every well-placed word and subtle notes of grace in future books by this author.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / A must-read!

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about the author

Like her main character, Connie Berry was raised by charmingly eccentric antique collectors who opened a shop, not because they wanted to sell antiques but because they needed a plausible excuse to keep buying them. Connie adores history, off-season foreign travel, cute animals, and all things British. She lives in Ohio with her husband and adorable Shih Tzu, Millie.

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This giveaway is hosted by Great Escapes VBT, not RimSP
Follow along with the tour HERE

What about you? What interests you most about this book?

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28 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Dream of Death by Connie Berry

  1. Diane Buie

    I think I am interested in this book because it is set in Scotland. My father’s family ancestor’s hail from that lovely island! Thanks for the chance to enter.

  2. Melissa Andres

    Sounds interesting! From the setting, Scotland 😍, to the plot, love the idea of a reenactment of an unsolved murder! I’d love to read this one!

  3. Kay Garrett

    That you for your review on “A Dream of Death” by Connie Berry and for being part of the book tour.

    Sounds like a fabulous book! You at me at Scottish and antiques. Can’t wait for the opportunity to read it.

  4. Faith Creech

    Book sounds good. I love any book that takes place in Scotland! Such a beautiful country.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  5. Dianne Casey

    I like that the book is set in Scotland. I like reading mysteries set in foreign countries. Really enjoyed the description of the book, sounds like a great read.

  6. Janice Moore

    Wow! I love the setting, plot, the castle and the high rating of 5! Can’t wait to read this!

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