THE AMORY AMES SERIES
Murder at the Brightwell
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 fiancé, 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.
Murder at the Brightwell is a delicious mystery in which murder invades polite society and romance springs in unexpected places. Weaver has penned a debut in the tradition of Jacqueline Winspear.
Death Wears a Mask
Amory Ames is looking forward to a tranquil period of reconnecting with reformed playboy husband Milo after an unexpected reconciliation following the murderous events at the Brightwell Hotel. Amory hopes a quiet stay at their London flat will help mend their dysfunctional relationship. However, she soon finds herself drawn into another investigation when Serena Barrington asks her to look into the disappearance of valuable jewelry snatched at a dinner party.
Unable to say no to an old family friend, Amory agrees to help lay a trap to catch the culprit at a lavish masked ball hosted by the notorious Viscount Dunmore. But when one of the illustrious party guests is murdered, Amory is pulled back into the world of detection, enlisted by old ally Detective Inspector Jones. As she works through the suspect list, she struggles to fend off the advances of the very persistent viscount even as rumors swirl about Milo and a French film star. Once again, Amory and Milo must work together to solve a mystery where nothing is as it seems, set in the heart of 1930s society London.
Death Wears a Mask is the second novel in Ashley Weaver's witty and stylish Amory and Milo Ames mystery series.
A Most Novel Revenge
“Well, darling, who do you suppose will turn up dead this time?”
With two murder investigations behind them and their marriage at last on steady ground, Amory and Milo Ames intend to winter quietly in Italy. The couple finds their plans derailed, however, when Amory receives an urgent summons to the English countryside from her cousin Laurel. At Lyonsgate, the country house of Laurel’s friend Reginald Lyons, Amory and Milo are surprised to discover an eccentric and distinguished group of guests have also been invited, led by the notorious socialite Isobel Van Allen.
After years of social exile, Isobel has returned to England to write a sequel to her scandalous first book, the thinly fictionalized account of a high society murder at the very country house to which the Ameses have been called. Her second incriminating volume, she warns the house’s occupants—all of whom were present when one of their companions was killed years ago—will tell everything that really happened that fateful night. But some secrets are meant to stay buried, and when a desperate person turns to murder, it’s up to Amory and Milo to sort through a web of scandal and lies to uncover the truth, and the identity of a killer.
The Essence of Malice
“For pity’s sake, darling, let me finish my coffee before you begin concocting schemes.”
When Amory Ames’s husband Milo receives a troubling letter from his childhood nanny, Madame Nanette, the couple travel to Paris where they become embroiled in a mystery surrounding the death of a famous parfumier. Helios Belanger died suddenly, shortly before the release of his new, highly anticipated perfume, and Madame Nanette, who works for his family, is convinced that her employer’s death was not due to natural causes.
The more Amory and Milo look into the motives of industry rivals and the Belanger heirs who are vying for control of his perfume empire, the more they are convinced that Madame Nanette may be right. When secrets unfold and things take a dangerous turn, Amory and Milo must work quickly to uncover the essence of the matter and catch a killer before the scent goes cold.
An Act of Villainy
"So you've gotten yourself involved with another murder, have you?"
Walking through London’s West End after a night at the theater, Amory Ames and her husband Milo run into wealthy investor and former actor Gerard Holloway. Holloway and his wife Georgina are old friends of theirs, and when Holloway invites them to the dress rehearsal of a new play he is directing, Amory readily accepts.
However, Amory is shocked to learn that Holloway has cast his mistress, actress Flora Bell, in the lead role. Furthermore, the casual invitation is not what it seems—he admits to Amory and Milo that Flora has been receiving threatening letters, and he needs their help in finding the mysterious sender. Despite Amory’s conflicting feelings—not only does she feel loyalty to Georgina, but the disintegration of the Holloways’ perfect marriage seems to bode ill for her own sometimes delicate relationship—her curiosity gets the better of her, and she begins to make inquiries.
It quickly becomes clear that each member of the cast has reason to resent Flora—and with a group so skilled in the art of deception, it isn’t easy to separate truth from illusion. When vague threats escalate, the scene is set for murder, and Amory and Milo must find the killer before the final curtain falls.
A Dangerous Engagement
As they travel by ship to New York for her childhood friend Tabitha's wedding, Amory Ames gazes out at the city's iconic skyline, excited by the prospect of being a bridesmaid. Her husband Milo, however, is convinced their trip will be deadly dull, since Prohibition is in full swing. But when a member of the wedding party is found murdered on the front steps of the bride's home, the happy plans take a darker twist.
Amory discovers that the dead groomsman has links to the notorious--and notoriously handsome--gangster Leon De Lora, and soon she and Milo find themselves drawn into another mystery. While the police seem to think that New York's criminal underworld is at play, Amory feels they can't ignore the wedding party either. Tabitha's fiancé Tom Smith appears to be a good man, but he has secrets of his own, and the others in the group seem strangely unaffected by the death of their friend . . .
In an unfamiliar city, not knowing who they can trust, Milo and Amory are drawn into the glamorous, dangerous world of nightclubs and bootleggers. But as they draw closer to unraveling the web of lies and half-truths the murdered man has left in his wake, the killer is weaving a web of his own.
A Deception at Thornecrest
Amory Ames is alone at her country house Thornecrest, enjoying her last few weeks of peace and quiet as she prepares for the imminent arrival of her baby. Her husband, Milo, is in London on business, and Amory is content to catch up on her correspondence, organize the nursery, and avoid the well-meaning if rather overbearing company of the ladies in the village as they prepare for the Springtide Festival. But then a woman appears on her doorstep, also claiming to be Mrs. Ames, Milo’s wife.
Amory's marriage has had its ups and downs in the past, but her faith in her husband has been restored, and Milo has been nothing but thrilled about becoming a father. Though the supposed second Mrs. Ames seems earnest, Amory is convinced she must be mistaken, a belief that Milo confirms upon his homecoming. However, when a second unexpected visitor arrives at Thornecrest, secret identities and whirlwind romances appear to be becoming par for the course.
It's not until the day of the festival, when Milo's stable hand Bertie is found dead, that the strange characters appearing in town begin to seem more sinister, and Amory is determined to uncover the killer in the crowd.
Reviews for The Amory Ames Mysteries
“With a profound nod to the Golden Age of the British whodunit, Weaver creates a classic mystery, complete with a fashionable setting, a cast of upper-crust Brits, and witty prose.”
“The Ameses make a beautiful pair, stylish and clever, and Weaver infuses her story with all of the Golden Age splendor a reader could want . . . This is an excellent entrée into a delightful (librarian-penned) series.”
"A spunky heroine, a tense romance and red herrings galore make Weaver's debut a pleasant read for nostalgia buffs who miss Agatha Christie."