Monday, November 9, 2015

Review: Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver

Description (from cover):

'Amory Ames is a wealthy young woman who regrets her marriage to her notoriously charming playboy husband, Milo. Looking for a change, she accepts a request for help from her former fiance, Gil Trent, not knowing that she'll soon become embroiled in a murder investigation that will test not only her friendship with Gil, but will upset the status quo with her husband. 

Amory accompanies Gil to the Brightwell Hotel in an attempt to circumvent the marriage of his sister, Emmeline, to Rupert Howe, a disreputable ladies' man. Amory sees in the situation a grim reflection of her own floundering marriage. There is more than her happiness at stake, however, when Rupert is murdered and Gil is arrested for the crime. Amory is determined to prove his innocence and find the real killer, despite attempted dissuasion from the disapproving police inspector on the case. Matters are further complicated by Milo's unexpected arrival, and the two form an uneasy alliance as Amory enlists his reluctant aid in clearing Gil's name. As the stakes grow higher and the line between friend and foe becomes less clear, Amory must decide where her heart lies and catch the killer before she, too, becomes a victim.

Ashley Weaver's Murder at the Brightwell is a delicious mystery in which murder invades polite society and romance springs in unexpected places.'

My thoughts:

Most cozy mysteries have a romance story where everything is perfect and hunky dory. The author tried something a little different with this book and it it really worked. Amory and Milo's marital relationship is anything less than ideal or perfect. They barely communicate or live together. Most books that you read have the perfect relationship where the heroine can depend on her boyfriend or husband. It was a nice change to read this book where everything was less than ordinary. I really enjoyed this book, however, I struggled a little with it at the beginning. The author seems to overwhelm the reader with a lot of characters and it took me a while to figure out who was who. Other than that, this book was a good cozy mystery that I enjoyed.

Amory Ames is a society madam in 1930's England. She is married to Milo, who is known as a philanderer and ladies' man. Her marriage is a farce and she is dreadfully unhappy. When an old flame approaches her to ask for her help in keeping his sister from marrying another rogue, Amory, jumps at the chance to help. Gil and Amory set off for a seaside holiday at the Brightwell Hotel. When Amory arrives she is in awe of the beauty and relaxation the Brightwell has. Little does she know that her peace and quiet will soon become a distant dream. Amory stumbles across the dead body of Gil's sister's romatic interest, Rupert. Amory sets out to decide who wanted Rupert dead and it seems that everyone around her is suspect. She must solve the crime before someone else or even herself ends up dead.

I liked the way that this author writes and I have to say it was nice to read a cozy mystery that doesn't exactly fit the mold. I mean that in a good way. There is a lot to like about Amory and the reader cannot help but like roguish Milo as well. This book seems to herald the beginning of a wonderful new historical cozy series. I am now reading the latest installment of this series, Death Wears a Mask, and I am curious to see how things turn out and whether this book is as good as the first.

Overall Rating: 4

Title:  Murder at the Brightwell
Author:  Ashley Weaver
Series:  Amory Ames Mystery #1
Publisher:  Minotaur Books
Publication Date:  October 14, 2014
Pages:  336
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

3 comments:

  1. I enjoy a good cozy mystery now and then, and one that stands out and is a bit different especially intrigues me. I know what you mean about love relationships in books like this--they are usually pretty good. I'm glad the author strayed from that and went her own way. I will have to look for this one!

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  2. I didn't like this one as much as you did. I was expecting Nick and Nora from the Thin Man movies. I found it difficult to like the characters and don't really remember much about this book.

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  3. I thoroughly enjoyed both Avery Ames books and look forward to installment #3! I appreciate the mystery/murder but am engrossed in the romance between Milo and Avery! What the "bajeebers" is going on, Milo?

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