Title: Murder at the Brightwell
Author: Ashley Weaver
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Historical Mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5
Amory Ames fell head over heels in love with Miles, and she left her then-fiance, Gil, in order to marry the rogueish playboy. Now, Amory regrets her hasty marriage, and when Gil comes asking Amory for a favor, she can’t resist her old love. Gil and Amory travel to the seaside resort the Brightwell Hotel, posing as lovers, but when Miles shows up unexpectedly, it complicates the facade that Amory has thrown up. What’s more, when a man is murdered at the Brightwell and Gil is the main suspect, Amory takes it upon herself to find the killer while also trying to discover what exactly Miles is up to and why.
A delightful murder mystery with an atmospheric 1920s setting, Murder at the Brightwell features the delicious relationship between Miles and Amory Ames at its center. Readers will come for the gripping mystery and stay for the witty banter between these two characters.
A lighthearted murder mystery set in the 1920s? If it sounds like the perfect fun, effortless read, then you’d be right—Murder at the Brightwell is full of whimsy and delight as Amory Ames sets herself on the trail of a murderer. Weaver did a wonderful job with the atmosphere in her debut novel. The banter and wit has the elegance of this time period; readers will be able to hear the waves crashing on the rocks by the Brightwell and smell the salt in the sea air as they read this novel. It’s got a great sense of time and place that readers will truly enjoy.
Sometimes it’s hard to write characters in these types of mystery novels; authors want their characters to be investigative and proactive, rather than reactionary, but they don’t want them to seem nosy. Amory strikes a great balance between the two; she feels a measure of culpability in the police suspecting Gil, so it’s understandable why she takes a personal interest in the murder. But she is never nosy or annoying; she’s smart, capable, and just a lot of fun.
The best part about Murder at the Brightwell isn’t Amory, though, nor is it the gripping storyline. No, it’s Miles Ames, or rather, the relationships between Miles and Amory. It sizzles with passion; you can tell that these two care for each other quite a bit, but Miles’ rogue behavior keeps Amory from trusting him. However, the reader gets the sense that there is more to Miles than meets the eye; could his playboy nature all just be an act? Is it possible that Miles really and truly loves Amory? It’s so great to watch these two banter and work together; readers will be left wanting much, much more of these two, so here’s hoping Weaver is already at work on a sequel.