The Art of Betrayal

Crooked Lane. (Kate Hamilton Mysteries, Bk. 3). Jun. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781643855943. $26.99. M
American Kate Hamilton is spending May in Suffolk, England. She’s running her friend Ivor Tweedy’s antiquities shop while he recuperates from surgery. She’s also spending time with Detective Inspector Tom Mallory. The reclusive Evelyn Villiers wants to sell a priceless Chinese artifact, a jar from the Han dynasty. Kate hides the jar at the shop; then on the night of the town’s May Fair, Evelyn collapses, having been stabbed in the abdomen. Tom and Kate follow a trail of blood back to Ivor’s shop, where the door is open and bloody footprints lead inside. Kate discovers that the jar is missing; the theft could destroy Ivor’s business. While Tom juggles the murder investigation and a major drug case, Kate inventories Evelyn’s collection of antiquities. She’s convinced that the murder and the missing jar are linked to the Villiers family tragedies and local legends.
VERDICT Like Jane K. Cleland’s “Josie Prescott” mysteries, this novel contains details of antiquities and history. Berry’s follow-up to A Dream of Death is a meaty, traditional mystery that combines British legend with a contemporary story of crime and betrayal.
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