A Legacy of Murder: A Kate Hamilton Mystery by Connie Berry
Interview with Kate, lead character in A Legacy of Murder
Hi Kate. After stumbling across two bodies in less than a month, are you concerned about the same occurring on your next antiquing expedition?
Have you been talking to my mother, Diane? Linnea Larsen may be logical and down-to-earth, but even she is beginning to wonder about my bodies, as she calls them. Nonsense, of course. The Isle of Glenroth’s murky past had been simmering below the surface for generations. I just happened to be there when it finally erupted. And that’s not likely to happen again, is it?
Just in case, can you tell me where your next travel destination is and your approximate date of arrival so I can avoid it?
My next destination is Suffolk, England, a historic and perfectly safe county northeast of Cambridge. Just look at that photo! My flight from Cleveland will arrive the morning of December 5th, so I’ll be in England for all the pre-holiday celebrations (something I’ve always dreamed about). I plan to drive directly from Heathrow to Finchley Hall, the historic country house in the village of Long Barston, where my daughter, Christine, has an internship between terms at Oxford University. DI Mallory, as it happens, lives in the nearby village of Saxby St. Clare, and I’ve promised to spend as much time as possible with him—so no drama this time, please. By the way, please don’t avoid Suffolk! It’s definitely off the tourist track, but I know you would love the quaint villages and fascinating Anglo-Saxon history.
How would you characterize your relationship with English Detective Inspector Tom Mallory? Friend, boyfriend, or something more?
You do ask hard questions, don’t you? I’ve spent the past month trying to answer that question. Tom is certainly a friend, but I have to admit our relationship goes a long way beyond friendship. After Bill’s death, I thought I’d never fall in love again. After all, love is risky. Safer to live in the past. But by the end of my time in Scotland last October, I knew that Tom had captured my heart. That’s the problem—how can a transatlantic relationship ever work? His family, his job, his life are in England. Mine are in Ohio. Hopeless, right? Tom doesn’t think so, and I’ve agreed to take the next step—meeting his mother, the one who doesn’t like Americans. Yikes.
Do you think it was fate that you met Tom through careless driving on both your parts, even though he is a policeman and ought to know better?
Don’t blame Tom. I was the one distracted by memories of the island and Bill’s horrific death. Was it fate that brought us (literally) together? I’m not ruling it out. Things like that do happen—like the first automobile crash ever recorded in the United States. In 1895 there were only two automobiles in Ohio, and they managed to collide. Explain that.
Finally, is there any way to train to be an antique whisperer like yourself? Whenever I’m in a houseful of junk, I never seem to find the lone treasure.
My dad was the one who called me “an antique whisperer.” He said I was drawn like a magnet to objects of great age and beauty. An exaggeration, obviously, although (just between the two of us) I will admit to having a kind of sixth sense, almost as if I can perceive the emotional atmosphere in which an antique existed. I never talk about it, so please keep it to yourself. As far as training goes, you could certainly be trained to recognize and evaluate fine antiques, but it will take years of experience. I had the blessing of being raised by my parents, both experts in the field.
Well, it’s been lovely chatting, Diane, but I’ve got lots to do at the antique shop. If you’re ever in Jackson Falls, Ohio, stop in to see me at Antiques at the Falls!
Don’t forget to read my review of this book here and enter a giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card below!
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.
About Connie Berry
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.