Monday, March 2, 2015

REVIEW: Murder at the Brightwell (Amory Ames Mystery #1) by Ashley Weaver~ BEA 2014

Murder at the Brightwell (Amory Ames Mystery #1) by  Ashley Weaver
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Source: ARC received from Publisher at Book Expo America 2014
Guest Reviewer: Doris aka La Chiquita
Buy it at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

*This book was received from the publisher, but it did not influence this review in any way *

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

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 fiancĂ©, 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 Ru[pert 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.

I really wanted to like this book more than I did. All the ingredients were there, 1930's era, British characters, murder mystery and a very alluring cover. All I could think of though was this is an interesting retelling of the movie "Clue."

The story is told by Amory Ames, an elite whose who of 1930's England who is married to Milo Ames, international playboy and wayward husband. I use wayward lightly. Milo is one of my favorite characters. Now don't judge me yet, read his lines first then tell me you don't want to smirk every time his name comes on the page.

"I hadn't expected to see you back so soon," I said. His last letter, an offhanded attempt at keeping me informed of his whereabouts, had arrived three weeks before and hinted that he would probably not return home until late July."Monte Carlo grew so tedious; I simply had to get away.""Yes," I replied. "Nothing to replace the dull routine of roulette, champagne, and beautiful women like a rousing jaunt to your country house for toast and coffee with your wife."
Without really meaning to do so, I had poured a cup of coffee, two sugars, no milk and handed it to him."You know, I believe I've missed you, Amory."Pg.2 

Amory fell in love with Milo when she was suppose to be planning her wedding to another. Now five years later she finds that the grass indeed wasn't greener on the other side. Amory is faced with the truth of her actions when she is asked a favor from her ex, Gil Trent. The pretense is that Gil wants Amory to go with him to The Brightwell Hotel to convince his sister away from mysterious and flirtatious Rupert.

The story tests the strain on Amory's marriage to Milo and her actual feelings for Gil. She is put in situations where she takes liberties that she knows she shouldn't but she feels she must to protect Gil from being prosecuted as the murder of Rupert. As the mystery is being unraveled Amory discovers that those things she felt were so black and white are really variant shades of gray. This is not just with the other characters in the book but with herself to.

The book has a steady pace, good character voices but nothing that really made it stand out as a contender. I found myself talking to Amory on occasion, begging her to listen to reason and not do or say the things she was about to. Also suppressing a giggle when the reality of the situation hits her and "all the pieces fall into place." I really wanted to just scream it was Mrs Plum in the hallway  with the candle stick!

This is book one for Ashley Weaver's series "Amory Ames Mysteries". Will I look for book two when it comes out? Of course! Why? Well I'm a sucker for Milo Ames and any dosage of him and his antics will help the simple plot line go down. 

1 comment:

  1. I don't know how you do it but I also find books I've never heard of before show up on your blog, which is super cool, keep it up c;

    Little Moon Elephant


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