It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (Reads) GIVEAWAY: A Legacy of Murder (+ guest post)

Posted December 3, 2019 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christmas, Connie Berry, contemporary, cozy mystery, giveaway, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Reads) 2019, mystery/suspense / 38 Comments

today’s book: a legacy of murder by connie berry

Christmas is only 22 days away according to Google (if we get to Dec 25th and we have days left over, blame Google, not me lol.), BUT now ’tis the season when I start craving cozy Christmas reads. (Okay – I crave them all year round but now’s when I can get away with talking about them LOL) This year I’m continuing my annual blog series spotlighting new and recently-released Christmas reads, and I’m super excited! Christmas books make me happy!

So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your own bookish Christmas list! Oh… and did I mention there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)

Today’s next featured book is a delightful cozy mystery set in a quaint English village + a post  from the author, sharing some of her family’s Christmas traditions.

SERIES: Kate Hamilton Mysteries #2
Traditional/British Mystery
Crooked Lane Books
October 8, 2019

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.


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dreaming of christmas

by Connie Berry, author of A Legacy of Murder

In A Legacy of Murder, my protagonist, Kate, arrives in the quaint Suffolk village of Long Barston in time for the Christmas season. She’s always dreamed of a real English Christmas—snow falling softly outside; carolers in Victorian garb strolling along the high street; the yule log blazing in the hearth; a steaming cup of wassail, filling the house with its spicy aroma. The image, Kate says, came from an Ideals magazine she saw at her grandmother’s house as a child. As it happens, my grandmother had a subscription to Ideals magazine, and I loved the romanticized images inside.

The holidays don’t always live up to the pictures in our head, do they? With family in close proximity, tensions ramp up. The turkey is dry and the dressing too salty. For those without families or coping with loss, Christmas can be the loneliest time of the year. My beloved father died in late November of 1989. My mother came to stay with us that year and, determined to prove she could still celebrate the birth of Jesus, coped by decorating my house within an inch of its life and baking more loaves of Amish Friendship Bread than I had friends to give them to. Kate’s Christmas is less than ideal, too. As she struggles to complete the exhibition of a priceless Anglo-Saxon treasure trove, a gang of thieves circle ever closer to Finchley Hall. And bodies start turning up. So much for romantic traditions.

One tradition in my family never disappoints. This year will be the 110th Anniversary of the Geraldson Family Christmas Party, held in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. My mother was born into a Norwegian-Danish family, so Scandinavian traditions rule. Gifts are opened on Christmas Eve. Loaves of fragrant sweet cardamom raisin bread are sliced and buttered. Trays of cookies tempt everyone to take more than they should—Fattigman’s Bakkels (poor man’s buckles), Pepperkaker (thin spicy cut-outs), Krumkaker (pressed with a decorative iron and rolled around a tapered wooden dowel), Spritz (always piped in wreaths or S’s—no one knows why). In the old days, Christmas included a play, written and presented by the children; a display of musical talent (my cousin Mark’s tuba rendition of Silent Night will never be forgotten); and the reading of the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke. We still read the Christmas story every year, but these days the party is held at a golf club with a catered dinner. The Geraldsons, once a family of three, now numbers 138—with one on the way. We’re not all Scandinavian anymore, and we’re not all named Geraldson. But we still bring the special cookies. And everyone who joins the family is welcomed and given honorary Scandinavian heritage.

God Jul!

Like her protagonist, Connie Berry was raised in the antiques trade. After teaching theology for twenty-five years, she took up writing mysteries featuring high-end antiques and the legacy of the past. Connie loves history, cute animals, travel with a hint of adventure, and all things British. She lives in Ohio with her husband and adorable dog, Millie.

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Connie Berry is offering one of my readers a signed, print copy of A Legacy of Murder! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What interests you most about A Legacy of Murder by Connie Berry? How does your family’s heritage play a role in your Christmas traditions?

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38 responses to “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (Reads) GIVEAWAY: A Legacy of Murder (+ guest post)

  1. Brandi

    I am interested because I have not read this author before and I love Christmas tales and British mysteries. Seems like a win-win. My heritage does not impact our traditions so much as growing up in Germany does. I have many beloved traditions that impact my decorations and celebrations.

    • We all have our treasured family traditions and foods. I think immigrants especially hold on tightly to memories that remind them of “home.” I attended college in Germany, so I love German traditions, too! Hope you pick up the books (and like them)!

  2. Yes! Food especially reminds us of family. I enjoy regional cookbooks, especially the ones published by small church circles. I have several that my Danish grandmother and her friends contributed to–absolutely guaranteed to taste wonderful.

  3. Dianne Casey

    Our family traditions consists of preparing both Dutch and Polish foods for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

  4. Faith Creech

    Our heritage is German so I make a lot of German cookies. We also eat German strudel. Thanks for the chance to win!

  5. John Smith

    “What interests you most about this Christmas read?” It would be a fun cozy mystery!

    “How does your family’s heritage play a role in your Christmas traditions?” I know that presents are opened on Christmas Eve and anything else is wrong, wrong, wrong!

  6. Anne

    Your British mysteries are captivating and unique. I read a great deal of British novels. This story sounds unforgettable and memorable. Traditions are important and give me hope.

  7. Debra Branigan

    What interests you most about this Christmas read? I like the setting and I am always up for a good murder mystery.
    How does your family’s heritage play a role in your Christmas traditions? It doesn’t really. Our traditions have changed a bit since the kids have grown and established their own homes. The Christmas meal has remained the same.

  8. Julie Waldron

    I think this sounds like a good book, I love books that take place at Christmas time. My mother in law makes Suet Pudding every Christmas, it was something her mother in law made for Christmas.

  9. Kathryn Brooks

    What interests me most about this read? The murder mystery, for one! I’ve always been a fan of mysteries. Also the fact that it’s a British mystery. I don’t know, I just love a good British story!

  10. Bernice Kennedy

    The cover caught my attention and then reading what you wrote got me curious! Suunds very interesting!

  11. Marilyn

    This sounds like a great read. We always open our gifts on Christmas Day. Our family has always done that.

    • Most families open gifts on Christmas morning. We open them on Christmas Eve, which (I think) is a Scandinavian tradition. Hope your Christmas morning is wonderful.

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