Mistletoe and Murder by Connie BerryMistletoe and Murder by Connie Berry
Series: Kate Hamilton Mysteries #4.5
Published by Crooked Lane Books on October 17, 2023
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 144
Format: eARC
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three-half-stars

In Connie Berry’s festive holiday novella Mistletoe and Murder , American antiques dealer Kate Hamilton has a long way to go before she gets down the aisle, but will someone stand in the way of her happily ever after?

Five days before her wedding to Detective Inspector Tom Mallory, Kate Hamilton finds her friend Sheila in need of her help. Sheila, a soon-to-be bride herself, needs Kate’s help to get Carl Curtis, her fiancé, out of Venezuela. His passport was taken from him by the authorities, and they say he owes them money. Carl says it’s a bribe, but he’s unable to leave unless it’s paid.

Sheila decides to sell her grandfather’s coin collection, including a valuable gold coin presented by Queen Victoria to her great-grandmother. Among her grandfather’s stored possessions is a letter from the Queen. When someone breaks into Sheila’s house, all signs point to even more foul play. As Kate deals with a disturbing number of wedding-plan hitches, a fire in town reveals a body. Unfortunately, the burned-out flat is next to the bridal salon where Kate’s dress is being altered. Can the cleaners really eliminate the odor of smoke?

As the clock ticks down to Kate and Tom’s “I do”s, Kate goes to Sheila’s house to help her search for the royal letter, but she’s nowhere to be found. The house has been torn apart, and Sheila is missing. Could Sheila’s disappearance be connected to the death in town? Kate will have to piece together the clues.

I can never pass up a Christmas cozy. In Mistletoe and Murder, American-born antique dealer Kate Hamilton is all set to marry her English detective fiancé Tom Mallory in just a few days on Christmas Eve. Her dress is ordered, local friends have planned the ceremony and reception and family is flying in from near and far. Of course, nothing is ever easy and Kate and Tom are soon mixed up in a missing person case. And flights are delayed. And there’s a fire and Kate’s dress may have some lingering smoke smell.

I read this as a stand alone and felt like the characters and setting were introduced well. I liked Kate and Tom and would consider picking up more in the series. For a novella, the mystery was well done with enough clues and suspects to keep it interesting.

About Connie Berry

Connie Berry is the author of the Kate Hamilton Mysteries, set in the UK and featuring an American antiques dealer with a gift for solving crimes. Like her protagonist, Connie was raised by antiques dealers who instilled in her a passion for history, fine art, and travel. During college, she studied at the University of Freiburg in Germany and St. Clare’s College, Oxford, where she fell under the spell of the British Isles. Besides reading and writing mysteries, Connie loves history, foreign travel, cute animals, and all things British. She lives in central Ohio and northern Wisconsin with her husband and adorable Shih Tzu, Emmie.

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