Friday, April 19, 2019

A Dream of Death by Connie Berry: Review and Giveaway!

A Dream of Death

(A Kate Hamilton Mystery)
by Connie Berry

About the Book

Traditional Mystery
1st in Series
Crooked Lane Books (April 9, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1683319877
ISBN-13: 978-1683319870
Digital ASIN: B07H7P2KTS
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.

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.

Author Links


Twitter @conniecberry

My Thoughts

A Dream of Death by Connie Berry is the first book in A Kelly Hamilton Mystery series.  It is late October when Kate Hamilton arrives on the Isle of Glenroth in Scotland. She received a call from her sister-in-law, Elenor Spurgeon asking her to come because she was in trouble and needs Kate’s assistance.  Kate arrives the day of the Tenth Annual Tartan Ball without a dress since the airline lost her luggage.  The island is the last place Kate wishes to be since it is the scene of her husband’s death three years earlier, but she made a promise to her husband.  Elenor is unable to talk with Kate when she arrives.  She does show Kate, who is an antiques dealer, a beautiful antique casket with marquetry that gives Kate a killer message and Elenor promises to tell her the full story after the ball.  At the Tartan Ball, Elenor makes two announcements that upset the attendees.  The next morning, Elenor is found dead.  She was murdered in a fashion to a two hundred year old unsolved crime which was featured in a book that Elenor left for Kate to read.  When Bo Duff, an old friend of Bill’s, is accused of Elenor’s murder, Kate sets out to solve the crime with the aid of vacationing Detective Inspector Tom Mallory.  There is no shortage of suspects since Elenor was not well liked and extremely self-centered.  Kate believes the key to solving the whodunit lies in the past.  The killer seems determined to thwart Kate’s attempts at solving the crime, but Kate has no intention of giving up her quest.  Will Kate be able to pinpoint the killer or will become the killer’s next target?
See the source image
Similar one in Glenroth Historical Society in book
A Dream of Death has an interesting premise and setting.  Kate travels from Ohio to the Isle of Glenroth.  If she had not promised her deceased husband, Bill that she would take care of Elenor if anything ever happened to him (I bet she is regretting it now) she would never set foot on remote island again since it is where her husband died in a sailing accident.  Kate owns an antique shop in Jackson Falls, Ohio that her mother is currently watching while she is away.  DI Tom Mallory is the only other guest at Elenor’s Glenroth House Hotel and Kate finds herself attracted to him.  Elenor’s murder gives the pair the opportunity to spend more time together since Kate is determined to investigate despite being told several times to leave the case to the professionals.  I admit to having a hard time liking our main character, but I am hopeful for improvement.  Her behavior was off-putting at times as she jumped to conclusions and make sudden decisions based on little evidence or facts.  Kate’s behavior reminds me of a younger woman instead of someone in their 40s (now, I am assuming she is in her 40s since she has two children in college.  We are never really told her age).  There are some lovely secondary characters that I liked, and I felt bad for Bo (such a sweet man).  The Isle of Glenroth is a unique and beautiful setting.  I loved the descriptions of this Scottish island.  I found this sentence compelling “Isle of Glenroth rose before me like Brigadoon materializing in the Highland mist”.  The mystery was clever and thought out with misdirection that will send readers down the rabbit hole.  There is a lack of clues to help readers in solving the crime.  I like how the two hundred year old unsolved murders were worked into the story.   It added depth to A Dream of Death. I appreciated that all threads of the whodunit were wrapped up at the end of the book.  The paranormal element was miniscule.  I wanted more of it and I did not like how Kate wrote it off (disappointing).  The “romance” between Kate and Tom was lacking.  It needed more development or build up earlier in the book so what happened at the end would make more sense.  The author was overly descriptive of food, clothing and mundane details (like washing hair, drying it with towel, combing it behind ears, putting on lotion, etc.).  My favorite phrase from A Dream of Death is “don’t let your yesterdays define you”.  A Dream of Death is a good beginning to A Kate Hamilton Mystery series.  A Dream of Death has an intriguing mystery, quaint Scottish isle, disappearing antiques, a dashing inspector and a determined antiques dealer.
See the source image
My image of Isle of Glenroth
A Dream of Death is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Indiebound.  There is a giveaway of one signed copy of  A Dream of Death (US Only).  Please click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below.  I hope you take the time to visit the other stops on the tour for guest posts, author interviews, reviews and character interviews (schedule below).  Thank you for stopping by today.  I hope you have a spellbinding day.  Tomorrow I will share my thoughts on Sifting through Clues by Daryl Wood Gerber.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Tour Participants

April 15 – The Editing Pen – GUEST POST

April 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

April 16 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 16 – I'm All About Books – GUEST POST

April 17 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT*

April 17 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

April 18 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

April 18 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 19 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

April 19 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW

April 20 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 20 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

April 21 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 22 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

April 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

April 23 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

April 23 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 24 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 24 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

April 25 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 26 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 26 – My Devotional Thoughts – SPOTLIGHT

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your review on "A Dream of Death" by Connie Berry and for being part of the book tour.

    Can't wait for the opportunity to read this book which is on my TBR list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net