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Ratings and Book Reviews (4 5 star ratings
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    Love, LOVE, LOVE this one!

    Kate Hamilton, Antique dealer, Mom, and widow flies from Ohio to Scotland to help her estranged sister in law, Elenor, who says she urgently needs Kate’s help. Staying at her late husband’s family estate, turned hotel, Kate has to face the loss of her husband here several years ago as well as the loss of her sister in law in less than 24 hours since her arrival. What was it that had Elenor so frightened? Unfortunately Kate never got a chance for Elenor to tell her. All she has is a book Elenor asked her to read, a few old newspaper clippings, and a note written in code that means nothing to Kate. While Kate and Elenor were never close, Kate feels she owes it to her sister in law to figure out what had her so frightened. 
Why was Elenor murdered? Was it a local upset when she announced that she was selling the hotel? Did it have something to do with a historic and unsolved murder that took place at the hotel centuries ago? Kate isn’t sure who to trust as everyone had a bone to pick with Elenor, but are they enough to kill over? It's been awhile since I've read a first book from a new author and been completely immersed right from the very start, but Connie Berry has changed that. The setting is dreamy, the characters are well defined and written and the mystery is well though out and full of red herrings. If you’re a cozy lover, the one is for you! Smart, snarky and totally relatable, I will be keep
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    Debut of A Kate Hamilton Mystery series

    A Dream of Death has an interesting premise and setting. Kate travels from Ohio to the Isle of Glenroth. If she had not promised her deceased husband, Bill that she would take care of Elenor if anything ever happened to him (I bet she is regretting it now) she would never set foot on remote island again since it is where her husband died in a sailing accident. Kate owns an antique shop in Jackson Falls, Ohio that her mother is currently watching while she is away. DI Tom Mallory is the only other guest at Elenor’s Glenroth House Hotel and Kate finds herself attracted to him. Elenor’s murder gives the pair the opportunity to spend more time together since Kate is determined to investigate despite being told several times to leave the case to the professionals. I admit to having a hard time liking our main character, but I am hopeful for improvement. Her behavior was off-putting at times as she jumped to conclusions and make sudden decisions based on little evidence or facts. Kate’s behavior reminds me of a younger woman instead of someone in their 40s (now, I am assuming she is in her 40s since she has two children in college. We are never really told her age). There are some lovely secondary characters that I liked, and I felt bad for Bo (such a sweet man). The Isle of Glenroth is a unique and beautiful setting. I loved the descriptions of this Scottish island. I found this sentence compelling “Isle of Glenroth rose before me like Brigadoon materializing in the Highland mist”. The mystery was clever and thought out with misdirection that will send readers down the rabbit hole. There is a lack of clues to help readers in solving the crime. I like how the two hundred year old unsolved murders were worked into the story. It added depth to A Dream of Death. I appreciated that all threads of the whodunit were wrapped up at the end of the book. The paranormal element was miniscule. I wanted more of it and I did not like how Kate wrote it off (disappointing). The “romance” between Kate and Tom was lacking. It needed more development or build up earlier in the book so what happened at the end would make more sense. The author was overly descriptive of food, clothing and mundane details (like washing hair, drying it with towel, combing it behind ears, putting on lotion, etc.). My favorite phrase from A Dream of Death is “don’t let your yesterdays define you”. A Dream of Death is a good beginning to A Kate Hamilton Mystery series. A Dream of Death has an intriguing mystery, quaint Scottish isle, disappearing antiques, a dashing inspector and a determined antiques dealer.
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    A perfect contemporary Scottish Highlands mystery

    This is my first book by Connie Berry but it sure won't be my last. A Dream of Death is a wonderfully presented balance between the cozy world and that of a modern gothic mystery. In addition to a well plotted mystery, Ms. Berry has given us characters to whom we can attach and for whom we will root. I look forward to seeing how the future plays out for Kate Hamilton and can't wait to see what characters might play a role in her future. The mystery allows us to see history played out in the island in the Scottish Highlands as we watch the American antique dealer try to solve the puzzle of her sister-in-law's death. There are so many people who had good reason to resent the woman that the suspect list is long. While Kate tries to suss out the suspect with the most motive for murder, she develops an ambivalent connection with an English detective on vacation who assists the local police in their investigation. In a world of character versus mystery A Dream of Death falls in to both worlds with fascinating characters and a complex mystery.
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    Excellent!

    cosy-mystery, law-enforcement, Scotland, amateur-sleuth, women-sleuths, murder, suspense I was hooked when Kate's luggage including the phone charger went to warmer climes well south of Cleveland instead of the Scottish Isles where they were supposed to go. A widowed antique dealer who grew up in Wisconsin, she has come at her self absorbed sister in law's begging to the place where she spent her honeymoon more than twenty years ago, and three years ago saw her husband die suddenly. Said sister in law is beloved by few, but there are many who remember Kate fondly. On her first night there she meets a vacationing CID detective inspector from Suffolk also staying at the inn. Later that night the first body is found and the danger and sleuthing begin. Well, the first murder this century. The characters certainly are and the plot twists and red herrings abound. An excellent read that kept me up way too late! Can't claim to be unbiased as Kate and I both come from Southeast Wisconsin, have ties to both Cleveland and the North Sea, and have a love for antiques. I requested and received a free ebook copy from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
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