4 out of 5 stars.
I would like to thank Crooked Lane Books for providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley. The decision to read this book is my choice and any reviews given are obligation free.
So here I am finally leaving a review, almost a year after reading it… but don’t worry, I took notes. Plus my neuro divergent nature means I remember things I’ve read for a long time, it’s like I read it yesterday.
And what can I say about “A Dream of Death”‽ Well, I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would! Harsh to say I know.
The thing is, I have read some pretty dull stories about American widows heading to the United Kingdom and the magical, murderous mysteries they then have. You know? Those cookie cutter books where everything is perfect, the protagonist is perfect, there is romance, and so on… And, from the blurb I was half expecting this book to be like that. Thankfully I was woefully incorrect.
“A Dream of Death” may appear to be like this, until you begin to read. There are a lot more details, emotions, history and depth in it than said dull books. It fits more closely to the true Crime genre than to the cosy crime genre one would expect. And, as I happen to enjoy a bit of the True Crime genre, I loved the storyline.
The flow of the Story was smooth, easy to follow (even the excerpts into the past), and the characters a good mix of gritty realism and uniqueness that made them easy to tell apart and relate to.
What I mean by that is, sometimes, books of this genre have characters so poorly described, or not described at all, that you often forget who they are and get them mixed up with each other. Not the case with Ms Berry’s writing! Clear, well defined individuals all caught up in the story together. And I don’t mean that there is a page long bio/ introduction to each character. No, I mean Ms Berry is skilled enough to weave together an interesting tale made up of people, places, past and present. Try saying that five times fast!
From the book nerd side of things I found the story well edited, already perfectly formatted, and all the usual high standards I expect from this publisher were met. It may have been sent as an ARC, but it was already good enough to go live.
All in all, I enjoyed “A Dream of Death” so much, found the two main characters so engaging, that I went out and bought the next few books in the series! I can’t really give a higher praise than that. I’m a frugal reader and rarely buy books when I get so many for free. To buy the next in the series just shows you how much I truly enjoyed this first book of the series.
Lovers of crime fiction – I highly recommend this book. It’s more a true crime/ historical crime fiction hybrid. . . But I feel that’s what makes it so appealing.
Until next time,