Cover Image: The Shadow of Memory

The Shadow of Memory

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Member Reviews

I have been captivated by Connie Berry's traditional mystery series, Kate Hamilton Mysteries, but the fourth book, The Shadow of Memory has stolen my heart. Just as the mystery evokes memories for Vivian, it reminds me of my teen years and how focus we were on our world and our own concerns. The fact that death closely touches this dear character makes the whole book touch my heart. 
Soon after Kate and Vivian come across a body in a cemetery, they learn that the victim is an old crush from Vivian's youth and that the death may be connected to a contract that Ivor has signed with a museum that had once been an asylum. 
I am thrilled to see Kate and Tom progress with their plans in spite of his mother! They make a wonderful couple.
My thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for allowing me to read an ARC of The Shadow of Memory, a truly awesome cozy mystery! It is a one of those special books that I couldn't put down until my eyes wouldn't stay open another minute.
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It’s been awhile since I gave a book I read five stars. And I’m happy to give them to this book. I have never read a book by Connie Berry and so I not read any of the Kate Hamilton mysteries.  This book has a little of everything in it. Kate is the main character but there are several others that easily take that role. Her fiancé is Tom. The characters are very well developed and don’t seem syrupy or fake. The storyline is also well done and easy to follow in an adult type way. Very good book. I will be reading more from this author and possibly more in this series.  Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an advance copy for my honest review.
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First Connie Berry book. Found the story slow, the characters and places were the best of this story. Ok read, not a favorite.  Loved the cover.
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Very likable characters in this Connie Berry mystery. The pace was a bit slow for me and the “mystery” not that interesting, in my opinion. I am in the minority with this review but none the less, I am thankful to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.
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This is the first book by Connie Berry I've read, and I definitely want to read her earlier books. Berry skillfully and carefully weaves several plots that come together in a surprise ending. American antiques expert Kate Hamilton, preparing to marry her British sweetheart, Detective Inspector Tom Mallory, is drawn into a grisly mystery from decades past that was never solved. The plot is enriched when Kate and Ivor Tweedy, an expert art appraiser, are asked to appraise a 15th Century painting attributed to the Dutch master Jan Van Ecyk. Also part of the story is renovations being carried out at the former Netherfield Sanatorium to create upscale apartments. Kate's friend, Vivian, is one of five friends from long ago who are being murdered one-by-one, and keeping Vivian safe is Kate's first priority. Berry ties together the plot lines in a cogent way that is not always the case in the hands of less skillful writers. This book kept my interest and was well-written. It is definitely an enjoyable and challenging read.
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This was the fourth in a series. I had never read this author before and will certainly read more. This book can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone. Good characterization, some red herrings and a plot that moved right along.
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My first in the series, will not be my last.  Well plotted, characters are relatable, great story all combine into a great read.
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Long Dead Secrets….
The fourth in the Kate Hamilton mystery series in which Kate uncovers some long dead secrets. Wholly immersive storytelling once again from this author with a compelling and interesting plot, red herrings aplenty, a likeable protagonist and a credible cast of characters. A worthy addition to this very enjoyable series.
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This was the fourth book in a series.  I’ve never previously read anything by Connie Berry so I don’t know how this compares with others she has written.

This worked well as a stand alone book even though it was obvious that the characters would have been well known to readers of previous books in the series.  It was written in the general style of Agatha Christie although with much more description, explanation and repetition.  And the pace was much slower.  It was an interesting travelogue in the British countryside where it was set.

I am very thankful to have received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, Crooked Lane Books , in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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American antiques dealer and amateur sleuth Kate Hamilton once again finds herself caught up in a mystery as she is attending a Hen Party for one of her friends in the English village where she is currently residing. Kate, with her insatiable curiosity and sense of justice, must find out why a man was found dead in a cemetery with a piece of paper near his body that has a friend’s name (Vivian) on it. 

Seemingly unrelated to this incident is the authentication of a priceless Van Eyck painting that the now defunct local sanatorium is selling and an unsolved murder from the 1960’s. But, that is where Kate, and her fiancé DI Tom Mallory, make the perfect crime solving team in uncovering details. What is happening to Vivian’s old chums as they seemingly die from natural causes?

With a sense of foreboding, many red herrings, and plot twists, this story has you quickly turning pages and trying to solve the case along with Kate. I loved the funny and dramatic antics of Vivian as she becomes a major key in helping to solve the mystery and avoid being the final victim. I was concerned for Vivian, hoping she wouldn't end up dead before Kate and Tom solve the case.

Not only are there these intriguing details and events, but there is the relationship between Kate and Tom.  I find this to be one of the story elements that keeps me engaged and hopeful there will be more stories of this perfect crime-fighting couple. The clean romance is a terrific and integral part of the story, but doesn’t overshadow the plot. na dis appropriate for all readers. 

Tying up all of the pieces of the various events was well done, and I had a sense of satisfaction that I was able to solve a part of the mystery. After all, isn’t that the allure to reading a mystery? Seeing if you can bring all of the clues together and be as clever as the sleuths? I enjoyed reading this latest book of Ms. Berry’s and highly recommend it. 

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a complimentary electronic copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
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The Shadow of Memory is the first Connie Berry novel that I have read.  It will definitely not be the last novel. The Shadow of Memory is the 4th book in a series about Kate Hamilton, an Ohio antique store owner, who solves mysteries in the UK.  I have now gone back and begun reading the first book in this series.  While obviously beginning with the first book is always nice, each of these novels can stand alone.

I really enjoyed The Shadow of Memory.  The protagonists are likable, as are their friends. The plotting moved along smoothly and cleaning and without confusion.  This was a fun novel.  British crime and mystery novels are my favorite books to read, and The Shadow of Memory does not disappoint.  There is some romance and a several red herrings to try and fool readers.  As I have already stated, I will read the rest of Berry's novel and count the days until the 5th book in the series is released.  Thank you to the author and Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for this ARC.  When The Shadow of Memory is published, I will post my review on Amazon and BN, plus Goodreads.
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American antiques dealer Kate Hamilton stumbles across a dead body in a graveyard - above ground. Near him is a note with her friend Vivian's name and address on it  Before long, Kate finds herself involved in a possible art forgery, the bizarre death of a doctor and his wife 60 years ago and the haunting memories of Netherfield Sanatorium. Vivian recalls her days as a teenager at a nearby holiday camp and the mystery game she played with four other teens. Now as one by one, those teens, seniors citizens today are found dead, Kate wonders what mystery the teens uncovered. An excellent additional to the Kate Hamilton series.
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This is one of a series written by this author featuring a female antique dealer and. her police detective boyfriend.  I read her previous novel set in the Scottish Highlands and  thoroughly enjoyed it.  This one did not disappoint   Back in England our main character becomes involved in more murders while also investigating the authenticity of art work.  Looking forward to the next in the series.
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While I was reading this the idea crossed my mind that this was the beginning of a new series for example number one. It wasn't until I posted my review that I noticed it was number four in the series. That this cozy mystery was so well executed in the flow of the writing it appeared to be even a stand alone British meets America sleuthing.

It is Tom Mallory who holds the official job as Detective Inspector soon to be offered a promotion to Detective Chief Inspector. The caveat as to whether he accepts the promotion has everything to do with where his fiance an American dynamic woman named Kate Hamilton from Ohio and him can decide which Country they want to both live after they get married.  Tom wants to please Kate and is willing to uproot his career and move to the United States if it will make Kate happy.  He gives her a family heirloom engagement ring,  Kate knows that their would be nothing of interest for a job for Tom in the United States.  With Kate's daughter settled in at Oxford University and her son involved in his own endeavor Kate feels the timing is right to marry Tom. Sometimes Kate would yearn to get feedback by sharing hr
her thoughts with her mother, but didn't have the heart to interfere with her mother's honeymoon. i loved her mother's philosophy that eighty years old is the new sixties. I really liked Kate and Tom together as a romantic couple. They seemed to have an ideal relationship. I loved how they interacted and how the narrative would seamlessly go from each of them working both separately but also Tom weighing in to advise Kate on how many coincidences were too much to ignore. The character development was brilliant.

Kate is by trade trained in antiques dealing and is assisting her male friend Ivor Tweedy in authenticating a rare painting using a scientific method which is done in real life. Even though a character with a vested interest in the painting gets nasty with Kate and tries to imply that Kate and Ivor's methods are so that they are going to risk their ethics. It gave the work that Kate and Ivor did a realism that's used in modern day authentication methods in their fields. I chuckled to myself as to who really is center stage acting in the capacity of the detective-Kate Hamilton or Tom Mallory? Or both of them as their actions and how they go about their investigations they are both capable and believable. I suppose if the series is called Kate Hamilton it's no small wonder that she is doing most of the sleuthing with her roommate Vivian Bunn in this latest installment.

In 1961, which interesting enough holds personal significance to me is also an important time line related to this cozy mystery. In 1963, five youths were vacationing together and did their own sleuthing with Vivian the main character. A man who is discovered dead in a heap on a gravestone with purple socks being the distinguishing characteristic that brings his corpse to Kate's attention it turns out he was potentially trying to warn Vivian before he was murdered.

Tom is investigating the crime and identifies the man that Kate discovered is a retired criminal Inspector named Will Parker. His murder is suspicious because he died of an allergic reaction to a bee venom and nobody can locate his epipen which he would carry with him and raises red flags. Kate and Vivian contact his family and learn that he received a package sent to him anonymously that had something to do with a 60 year old poisoning of a father and mother. Vivian tells Kate that Will Parker was her first boyfriend that she met at a Seaside Holiday resort and the youths were guilty of breaking into the abandoned home. In that home they also were playing amateur detectives coming up with theories of what happened to the dead mother and father of that home. When a second member of the five named Jack is at first ruled dead of a heart attack, Kate meets with his daughter and learns that Jack's daughter believes her father was murdered. Kate and Vivian visit the two siblings that survived from that abandoned home and start to question whether Vivian is next.

Kate was supposed to be appraising a fifteenth century painting with Ivor to verify that its provenance is really the artist Dutch Master Jan Van Eyck. Kate soon discovers clues that this painting holds a significant connection to the Netherfield Sanatorium and the property that is to be converted into separate residences. She sees patterns and parallels that seem sinister and makes the connection to the murders of the mother and father of the abandoned home that William, Jack, Vivian and Mary broke into while on Holiday 58 years ago. She gets embroiled in the 60 year old murders of the cold case and sets out to get to the bottom of these murders connected with Vivian and makes it her mission to keep Vivian safe.

I really enjoyed the discovery of this new series and was entertained in its multi-faceted plot. It was easy to follow and I liked Kate, Tom and Vivian and Ivor. I am happy learning that I can now buy the former three in this series and read them in order. This author kept me riveted and this was indeed a cozy feeling while reading. Nothing too heavy but was very interesting. Highly recommended to fans of the mystery genre. I will be keeping my eye out to also read which hopefully Connie Berry will write a new offering to continue this delightful series.

Publication Date: May 10, 2022

Thank you to Net Galley, Connie Berry and Crooked Lane Books Publishing for providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

#TheShadowofMemory #ConnieBerry #CrookedLaneBooksPublishing #NetGalley
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This is the first Connie Berry book that I have read.  The description of the story was interesting and I decided to check the book out.

The story starts quick— Kate Hamilton, Vivian Bunn and Lady Barbara were walking home from a bridal shower at the church and were walking through the church’s cemetery when Kate noticed a body leaning against a headstone.  The body ended up being the first boyfriend of Vivian’s when she was a teenager.  The story revolves around what the teenage group of kids found one summer many years before.  Intriguing mystery follows through out the story.  I enjoyed the book but not reading many books from England I don’t have knowledge of all the small counties, etc. in England.
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Sometimes, as you get further along in a book series, the plots get a little less interesting. That is definitely not the case with The Shadow of Memory. It’s the best one yet in the Kate Hamilton mysteries!

In this fourth installment, Vivian Bunn is at the heart of the mystery when a man from her past is found murdered in the churchyard. Having not seen him for over 60 years, she’s stunned to realize that the dead man is a part of her teenage past, specifically from a family vacation to a seaside resort in the summer of 1963. Vivian, the young Will, and three other teenagers broke into an abandoned house to try and solve the mystery of the parents’ mysterious death by poisoning two years prior, in 1961. What seems a game to them (a la the board game Clue) appears to have ramifications even 60 years later, as one by one, the other four participants besides Vivian die under mysterious circumstances, or barely escape death. But who would care about this unsolved case so many years later, and why? It’s up to Kate, Vivian, and DI Tom Mallory to figure out. 

Simultaneously, Kate and Ivor have commissioned an auction from the board members involved in a luxury townhouse project, renovating the historic Netherfield Sanatorium. Coincidentally — or is it? — Netherfield is close by the house where the mysterious poisoning occurred, and each board member seems to have ties to past and present puzzles involving the sanatorium and the Beaufoy family who owned the mystery house. 

With returning beloved characters from Long Barston and the engagement of Tom and Kate progressing nicely alongside the mystery, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I figured out a part of the mystery towards the end, but was wrong about other unexpected twists. Loved it! I look forward to the next one.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Excellent mystery series! I didn’t realize this book was part of a series, because it read so well as a stand alone book. A sanitarium being re-worked into new luxury condos, What could possibly go wrong? A lot, apparently! Kate Hamilton is an American widowed antique dealer, gone to England to help verify a priceless painting. She is also engaged to an English DI, with complications on where to live afterwards, as both have grown children. There are corpses, finding out many things are not as they appear to be, and sneaky and twisted characters who do their best to thwart her efforts. Add in a mother-in-law to be who appears to hate her guts, and you’re going down an entertaining road of mystery and thrills and fascinating characters. Everyone gets their due at the end. If you like mysteries and antiqued antics, you will enjoy this book. Now to go back and read the rest of the series.
Thank you to Connie Berry, Netgalley, and Crooked Lane Books for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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The perfect premise for a cozy mystery - a mature American woman with a love for art and an insatiable sense of curiosity has made her home in the English countryside.

Kate Hamilton has a good life that 8ncludes work she is passionate about, an attentive fiancee and friends to ma,e her laugh. The opportunity to work with a 15th century treasure has come to Kate. Unfortunately, the painting seems to cause family drama, professional intrigue and the revelation of long kept secrets.
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murder, murder-investigation, family-dynamics, friendship, law-enforcement, England, suspense, suspicion, art-fraud, small-town, antiques, cosy mysteries*****

A widowed antique dealer with a shop Ohio who grew up in Wisconsin, Kate is managing the antiquities shop in England with her elder friend Ivor. She is currently staying with another elder friend as well as slogging through the mire of wedding plans that are complicated by the fact that her intended is a DI in England. Enter the first corpse. Initially suspected to be natural causes, it soon proves otherwise. The man was a retired DCI and was coming to see her friend (and had been her first crush in 1963 when a group of summer friends stumbled upon a cold murder scene abandoned for three years). Let the sleuthing with due diligence begin! The characters are interesting and engaging, the investigation twisty and packed with misdirection, distractions, and the whole is simply riveting. Hope there's another book in the offing! I enjoyed the previous books in series so I can't really judge if it stands alone, but I think so.
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
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As Kate Hamilton plans her upcoming wedding to Detective Inspector Tom Mallory, she is also assisting her colleague Ivor Tweedy with a project at the Netherfield Sanatorium, which is being converted into luxury townhouses. Kate and Ivor must appraise a fifteenth-century painting and verify that its provenance is the Dutch master Jan Van Eyck. But when retired criminal inspector Will Parker is found dead, Kate learns that the halls of the sanatorium housed much more than priceless art. I have been a fan of this series from book one. I have really enjoyed watching the relationship between Kate and Tom grow and get to this point. Tightly plotted with believable dialog, this was a fabulous read. Looking forward to the next. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced readers copy for review.
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