The Shadow of Memory by Connie Berry

The Shadow of Memory (Kate Hamilton Mysteries, #4)

Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Series: Kate Hamilton Mysteries #4
Publication Date: 5/10/22
Period: Contemporary Suffolk, England
Number of Pages: 352

When the past comes back to haunt us, it can leave a twisted trail of dead bodies. American antiques dealer, Kate Hamilton, and her friend Vivian Bunn are returning home from a ‘Hen Party’ when they discover a man’s body. The man is a stranger in their quiet village of Long Barston because nobody recognizes him. So, why is he laying dead on a pathway in their cemetery? He’s in his seventies, maybe he had a heart attack – or not.

When Kate’s fiancée, DCI Tom Mallory shows up to investigate, they can’t find any identification on the man, nor any sign of his car. Yet, the autopsy shows he died from a bee sting – natural causes then – or not.

While Tom is busy investigating the man’s death, Kate and local fine antiques dealer Ivor Tweedy head to the coast to do some appraisals and perhaps secure a commission to auction off some of those antiques – including an almost priceless painting. Unless that painting is really genuine – or is it?

When the body is identified as someone who had been a friend of Vivian’s sixty years ago, Kate and Vivian want to know more about him and why he was in Long Barston. Over sixty years ago, a teenage Vivian and her family spent time at a coastal resort each summer. There, Vivian, along with four other friends, discovered an abandoned house that appeared to be the scene of a crime. The friends went back to the home several times collecting ‘evidence’ and trying to deduce what had happened. Vivian had a crush on the boy who had found the abandoned house and who acted as their leader. Vivian had never forgotten him – and now – he was lying dead in the local morgue.

As Kate begins to try to learn more about the man, she learns that others from that group have just recently met their end. Could all of those current deaths be related to the events of sixty years ago? They were just kids – and they certainly didn’t learn anything – why would someone be coming after them now? Kate didn’t know, but she did know she had to keep Vivian safe.

Tom and Kate are trying to plan their wedding and decide where they’ll live – in the US or England – while also trying to solve the many mysteries that are cropping up in this case.

I can highly recommend this read. The characters are so very likable and I’ve come to love them as I’ve learned more about them. I love that Tom and Kate are older and have an appreciation for the life they have and the love they now share. You’ll love the mystery because it really is filled with twists and turns and you won’t guess the culprit until the end.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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