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September 28, 2019

Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Earlier this month I read A Dangerous Engagement (read my review), book 6 in the Amory Ames series, but I hadn't read any other books in the serious. Since I enjoyed it so I looked at Netgalley to see if there were any other books coming up from Ashley Weaver and I saw that book 1 in the series was available. I thought it was good to see how it all started, and I'm glad I did because it didn't start where I thought it did.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

October 2014; Minotaur Books; 978-1250160348
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); cozy mystery
When I read A Dangerous Engagement, I assumed that the series started with Amory and Milo's wedding. But that is not when Murder at the Brightwell begins. In this first book, Amory and Milo have been married for 5 years, but from all appearances, it has mostly been a paper marriage.

We do get a bit of the backstory on Amory and Milo as jilted groom Gil shows up at Amory's country home to ask her help in persuading his sister that Robert Howe is not a good match. Milo has been away in Monte Carlo, and though he has just returned, Amory feels no guilt (okay maybe a bit) about packing herself off to the seaside hotel Brightwell. Deception is the name of the game during this holiday. More than one member of the holiday party has a secret.

Though there is mention of the economic turmoil plaguing the 1930s, life is still a rather gay event for those with money. Weaver highlights this with descriptions of the clothes, meals, walks on the beach, and dancing after dinner, yet there aren't any maids or valets. Though Amory has mentioned that her maid has recently left her employ and she hadn't taken the time to hire a new one.

Soon after she arrives at Brightwell and meets the other members of their holiday party, tragedy strikes. Robert Howe is found dead on the terrace at tea time. Of course, the prime suspect is Amory's ex-fiance Gil as he had come to the seaside with the expressed purpose to end the relationship between Robert and Emmaline. Amory uncovers more secrets than just who the murderer is.

If murder, and possible scandal, isn't enough for this tragic holiday, Milo shows up to provide more fodder for the gossip columns.

Except for Milo and Amory, none of the characters in Murder at the Brightwell appeared in book 6. Though the inspector and Gil were both mentioned. But that's okay as it still provides a good foundation of who Milo and Amory are.

The murder mystery is a good one and not one that is easily solved. I love the time period and the seaside provided a great backdrop. I'm not sure if I will read the other books in between book 1 and book 6 but I will keep my eye out for the next book in the series.

Buy Murder at the Brightwell at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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