Tag Archives: Kate Hamilton Mystery

Review: The Metropolitan Affair, by Jocelyn Green

Cover art for The Metropolitan Affair, by Jocelyn Green

The Metropolitan Affair, by Jocelyn Green (Bethany House, 2023)

New York City in the 1920s—glamour, prohibition, and corruption. And “Egyptomania”—the fascination with all things to do with ancient Egypt after the recent discovery of King Tut’s tomb.

Dr. Lauren Westlake is the underappreciated assistant curator of Egyptian Art of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. An expert in her field, she longs to visit one of the dig sites in Egypt. She also longs for her archaeologist father’s approval.

Suddenly, her long-absent father is back in her life—along with long-time friend Joe Caravello. Now serving as a detective with NYPD, Joe recruits Lauren to help identify forged antiquities. As Lauren grows closer to Joe, she struggles to overcome the barriers that keep her from trusting her father.

The Metropolitan Affair is a gently-told mystery and romance with themes of family, loyalty, faith, trust, and betrayal. The art details add an interesting element. I did find it hard to keep up with the large number of secondary characters, but I enjoyed the story.

Favourite lines:

Dead people were easy to talk to. It was the living ones that often gave Lauren trouble. Even her father. No. Especially him. [From the opening.]

So while Lauren had wanted to run, she had stayed. And she had only survived the staying because of the people who stayed with her. [Chapter 37.]

Jocelyn Green is an award-winning and bestselling author of historical fiction and nonfiction. For more about the author and her work, visit jocelyngreen.com.

[Review copy from the public library.]

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Review: A Legacy of Murder, by Connie Berry

A Legacy of Murder, by Connie Berry

A Legacy of Murder, by Connie Berry (Crooked Lane Books, 2019)

My new favourite mystery series!

A Legacy of Murder is one of those books I don’t want to end: a clean and satisfying mystery, an engaging protagonist, quiet humour, complicated characters, charming English-village setting, evocative description, food, family dynamics, romance … and the promise of more books to come.

American antiques expert Kate Hamilton has an eye for details and patterns that helps her notice clues. She’s in Suffolk, England, to visit her daughter, Christina, who’s interning at historic Finchley Hall. When another intern is found dead, Kate has more than curiosity prompting her to look for suspects—she wants to protect her daughter from becoming the next victim.

Kate’s other reason to visit the area is to see Detective Inspector Tom Mallory, who she met in Scotland in the previous book. Who’s she kidding, though? What chance does a trans-Atlantic romance have when both parties love their jobs and are rooted in their communities? Not to mention having family members who disapprove.

As much as I enjoyed the story and the characters, it’s the descriptive language that encouraged me to linger on each page. I want to write like Connie Berry when I grow up.

Some samples:

The scent of beeswax polish mingled with the mustiness of old wood, the dust of the ages, and a hint of mildew—an antique dealer’s perfume. [page 15]

His hair, shaved at the sides, fell in a mop over his eyes. He looked like someone who might bring a manual typewriter to a coffee shop for the effect. [page 22]

In a time when current cozy mysteries often feel like light snacks, A Legacy of Murder is a full-course meal. Highly recommended!

A Legacy of Murder is Book 2 in the Kate Hamilton Mystery series. For more about Connie Berry and her work, including book discussion questions, visit connieberry.com.

[Review copy from my personal library.]

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