The Shadow of Memory is the fourth Kate Hamilton village cozy by Connie Berry. Released 10th May 2022 by Crooked Lane Books, it's 352 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats.
Readers who enjoy British village cozy murder shopfront mysteries are in for a treat with this series. Series protagonist Kate is an American expat antiques dealer who is engaged to local Detective Inspector Tom Mallory. She came to England to enjoy a vacation some years prior and wound up staying. She's now a permanent resident and working on an art authentication project at a former sanatorium, now being converted into luxury townhouses.
I really enjoy murder mysteries built around long-ago cold cases which resonate down the decades to the present day, and this one is an exceptional example of the subgenre. With the addition of clever plotting, good pacing, and engaging background history, it's a winning combo.
I liked the characterizations here; the characters live and breathe and the dialogue was never clunky. There were several seemingly disparate plot threads which intertwined into a satisfying denouement and resolution. Despite being the fourth book in the series, it worked well as a standalone, though there are some minor spoilers for earlier books if read out of order. I was engaged enough with the writing and the mystery, that I've picked up the previous books in the series.
Four and a half stars. This is definitely one for British
village cozy readers. Very well written and constructed. Clean language
and mostly off-page violence. With four books extant in the series at this point, it would make a good choice for a long weekend binge read or buddy read.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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