Sunday, September 22, 2019

Murder at Brightwell by Ashley Weaver

Title: Murder at Brightwell
Author: Ashley Weaver
Publication: St. Martin’s/Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 2014
Genre: Historical mystery/series
Setting: 1932 England
Plot: Amory Ames is a confident member of society who is unhappy in her marriage, although she doesn’t know what changed after she fell in love with dashing Milo.   When her former fiancĂ© Gilmore Trent asks her help to prevent his sister from marrying a similar marriage to a charming but unreliable man, Amory feels it is her duty to help Gil discourage Emmeline’s relationship with Rupert Howe. Amory does not realize that joining a group at the Brightwell Hotel on England’s south coast without her husband may damage her reputation.  Even worse, when Howe is murdered, Gil is suspected, Milo appears, Emmeline is devastated, and Amory feels she must help the police find the killer.
My Impressions: This is an entertaining mystery set in a seaside hotel, a variation of the English manor house where everyone is a suspect after a mysterious death and forbidden to leave.  If the reader initially roots for Gil to rescue Amory from her lonely marriage, it is soon clear that Milo is hiding some secret that has forced him to keep Amory at distance.  The murder itself was less interesting than the cause of their estrangement, which has not been revealed.  It is painful to see their flawed relationship but author Weaver does a great job keeping their interaction sparkling and unpredictable.  They aren’t as charming as Tommy and Tuppence but it will be interesting to how Amory and Milo develop in the series.   Amory also develops an odd rapport with the detective investigating the murder, although her investigative efforts often go awry:
In the novels, it always seemed best to keep the suspect talking.  Inevitably, help would arrive.  I really held out no hope for such an opportune occurrence, but it seemed the best course of action would be to distract [] until I could determine what to do. 
Loreen and I explored Warwick's Bookstore in La Jolla
Off the Blog: Just returned from a fun weekend in San Diego, to visit my college roommate and to cheer on Harvard Football in its first game of the season (we lost).   On Friday, I asked to visit Warwick's, the oldest family-owned bookstore in the country.  I could have spent hours there!

Source: Library.  There are now five books in the series so I had to read this before I got gammoned!  One quibble: Amory’s name bothered me as it did not seem authentic for the era but I can’t believe an author who is also a librarian would not have researched usage.

1 comment:

GSGreatEscaper said...

F. Scott Fitzgerald did use Amory (Blaine) for one of his male characters in the '20s....Is it in This Side of Paradise?