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.
A LEGACY OF MURDER
SERIES: Kate Hamilton Mysteries #2
GENRE: Traditional/British Mystery
PUBLISHER: Crooked Lane Books
RELEASE DATE: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?