Book Review: The Art of Betrayal – Tantalizing Twist of History and Mystery

The Art of Betrayal

A Kate Hamilton Mystery

By Connie Berry

The Art of Betrayal is a tantalizing twist of history and mystery. It begins on a beautiful spring day in the small village of Long Barston, in Suffolk, England. Kate Hamilton is minding The Cabinet of Curiosities, the antique shop that she has worked in since arriving from the U.S. An odd customer ventures in with a rare ancient Chinese funerary jar that she wants to sell at auction. Kate’s acceptance of the jar is the catalyst that begins in theft and ends in deception and murder.

While the village is holding an annual fair based upon a folktale, the jar is stolen from the shop in a break-in. Simultaneously the woman who brought it to Kate is murdered during the pageant, uttering one word before collapsing and dying. Leading the theft and murder investigation is Tom, who happens to be the local cop and Kate’s love interest. Because she is an expert in antiquities, she is called upon by the police to catalog the remainder of the treasures in the home of the murdered woman. The arrival of the eccentric dead dowager’s long-lost daughter brings more questions than answers. Something just isn’t adding up, even with Kate and Tom teaming together to solve the case. Will someone else die before they figure it out?

This is the third book in the Kate Hamilton Mystery series. It is the first one I have read. It works well as a standalone novel, I was never confused or “lost” for not having read the previous two in the series. I love the characters. They are interestingly quirky as you might expect in a quaint English town. It is a solid, interesting mystery that had me guessing

who the killer was until the last pages. The history of the antiquities Kate encounters along the way adds another level of interest to the story. I can’t wait to read the previous two books in this series and will be watching for the fourth to debut soon.

Connie Berry’s debut novel, A Dream of Death, was the first Kate Hamilton Mystery, winning the IPPY Gold Medal for Mystery award for it. It was also a finalist for the Silver Falchion and Agatha awards. Ms. Berry lives in the U.S. and studied in Germany and the UK. Her love and knowledge of antiques stems from her parents. She says she was “raised by charmingly eccentric high-end antiques dealers who instilled in her a passion for history, fine art, and travel”.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from publicist Maryglenn McCombs in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2021 Laura Hartman

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