Sunday 13 June 2021

The Art of Betrayal (Kate Hamilton Mysteries #3) by Connie Berry

In Connie Berry's third Kate Hamilton mystery, American antique dealer Kate Hamilton's spring is cut short when a body turns up at the May Fair pageant. 

Spring is a magical time in England--bluebells massing along the woodland paths, primrose and wild thyme dotting the meadows. Antiques dealer Kate Hamilton is spending the month of May in the Suffolk village of Long Barston, enjoying precious time with Detective Inspector Tom Mallory. While attending the May Fair, the annual pageant based on a well-known Anglo-Saxon folktale, a body turns up in the middle of the festivities.

Kate is even more shocked when she learns the murder took place in antiquity shop owner Ivor Tweedy's stockroom and a valuable Chinese pottery jar that she had been tasked with finding a buyer for has been stolen. Ivor may be ruined. Insurance won't cover a fraction of the loss.

As Tom leads the investigation, Kate begins to see puzzling parallels between the murder and local legends. The more she learns, the more convinced she is that the solution to both crimes lies in the misty depths of Anglo-Saxon history and a generations-old pattern of betrayal. It's up to Kate to unravel this Celtic knot of lies and deception to save Ivor's business.  (Summary via Goodreads)

The Art of Betrayal by Connie Berry is the third book in her Kate Hamilton Mystery series and even if this is the first book you pick up in the series, you will have no problem catching on quickly.  The Art of Betrayal could be a stand alone book leaving the reader to miss nothing.

The Art of Betrayal follows Kate Hamilton as she is on an extended visit to Suffolk village of Long Barston helping her friend and father figure Ivor Tweedy in his antique store, The Cabinet of Curiosities.  Ivor is having hip surgery so he has asked her to be there to take care of the business while he is laid up.  Of course Kate agreed to do it as she has developed a relationship with her boyfriend, Detective Inspector Tom Mallory who lives there as well.  Even though she lives in Ohio and has her own antique business there to deal with, she has left that in the capable hands of her mother and friend so that she can stay in England to help Ivor and see where her relationship with Tom will go. 

While tending the store a woman comes in with a very valuable antique and specifically wants Ivor to handle the sale of it.  Unfortunately soon after leaving the piece with Kate, the store is broken into, the piece is missing and the woman is murdered.  When they look into the woman's history, they find a mansion full of valuable antiques, missing jewelry, and a lot of questions.  The woman had been a recluse for over 18 years after her husband died for which she blamed their daughter and she sent her daughter away to live with an aunt.  Kate is asked by the police to go through the house and inventory the antiques but it doesn't stop there with Kate.  She cannot help but look into the family history and try to find the daughter.

Readers will be drawn into this mysterious story and will be along side Kate throughout the entire ordeal.  Kate has a lot of great friendships in Long Barston as well as the relationship you see throughout with her mother.  And we cannot help wondering what Kate will do about her growing feelings for Tom......and the way that Berry ends the story readers will be counting the days until the next installment in this series to see what develops.  

Review by Missi M.

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