Murder at the Brightwell
2014, 325 pages
This traditional mystery starts in Kent, England, in 1932. Amory Ames is fed up with her playboy husband, Milo, who keeps going off to Europe to gamble, leaving her at home. After five years of marriage, she sees him so little, she wonders if they should even stay together. Her ex-fiancé, Gil Trent, asks her a favor. Gil’s sister Emmeline is engaged to another playboy. Gil dislikes him intensely, and hopes that Amory can talk to Emmeline and persuade her not to marry him. (Amory could use her own faltering marriage as an example is the implication).
Amory and Gil travel to the south coast, near Brighton, to the glamorous Brightwell Hotel. Emmeline, her fiancé and a group of friends are there for a seaside vacation.
Emmeline’s fiancé is murdered, and Gil is arrested. Amory is determined to help Gil and clear his name, so she begins to look into the crime. And then her wayward and charming husband Milo turns up to make things even more difficult for Amory.
Ashley Weaver’s debut is new, but it reads like an old-fashioned mystery, full of characters from high society, and featuring a spirited and likable heroine. I look forward to reading more of Amory’s adventures.
Robbin Bailey Concord Public Library
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