Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Murder at the Brightwell

Murder at the Brightwell

A Mystery

An Amory Ames Mystery (Volume 1)

Ashley Weaver

Minotaur Books

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Hardcover

Shortlisted for the Edgar Awards

Ashley Weaver’s debut mystery, Murder at the Brightwell, is a delicious, stylish novel in which murder invades British polite society and romance springs in unexpected places, and a wonderful testament to the enduring delight of the traditional mystery.

“An elegant Christie-esque 1930s romp.” —Deborah Crombie

“If you love Downton Abbey, you'll adore Ashley Weaver’s charming debut.”—Susan Elia MacNeal

“A witty and charming debut mystery with a believably spunky sleuth and a compelling story of love that never runs smoothly.” —G.M. Malliet

“It’s more terrible than you think, Mrs. Ames. It appears that Mr. Howe was murdered.”

Amory Ames, a wealthy young woman questioning her marriage to her notoriously charming playboy husband, Milo, is 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 not only test her friendship with Gil, but also will upset the status quo with her husband.

Amory accompanies Gil to the luxurious Brightwell Hotel in an attempt to circumvent the marriage of his sister, Emmeline, to Rupert Howe a disreputable ladies man. There is more than her happiness at stake, however, when Rupert is murdered and Gil is arrested for the crime. Matters are further complicated by Milo’s unexpected arrival, and as 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.

Also out now in the Amory Ames mysteries: Death Wears a Mask and A Most Novel Revenge

Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Guide to the 100 Best Books of the Year

EXCERPT

1

KENT, ENGLAND 1932



IT IS AN impossibly great trial to be married to a man one loves and hates in equal proportions.

It was late June, and I was dining alone in the breakfast room when Milo blew in...

Reviews

Praise for Murder at the Brightwell

“Shades of ‘Downton Abbey' in this light, energetic tale about a group of wealthy eccentrics. A juicy scandal, petty disagreements and snobbery fuel the plot that, at its heart, is the story of a marriage.” —The Sun Sentinel, "Best Mystery Novels of 2014, Notable Debut"

“It's all very Downton Abbey…. Weaver lays the foundation for a solid series in her first novel as she channels the ambience and spirit of British society during the post-World War I years.” —Associated Press

“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.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

“This debut novel by a librarian lays the foundation for a stylish series with Milo and Amory channeling Nick and Nora Charles.” —Booklist

“Fans of plucky female amateur sleuths will welcome Amory Ames, the heroine of Weaver's pleasing debut set in 1932 England... the affable Amory could carry a series.” —Publishers Weekly

“A spunky heroine, a tense romance and red herrings galore make Weaver's debut a pleasant read for nostalgia buffs who miss Agatha Christie.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Lovers of Agatha Christie and Jacqueline Winspear will enjoy this elegant murder mystery set on holiday at the English seaside. What starts out as a lark, intended to make Amory Ames's misbehaving-but-oh-so-delicious husband jealous, turns into a dangerous and deadly game of whodunit for Amory and her friends. Love, jealousy, and revenge are tangled together in this smart and sophisticated British mystery reminiscent of the genre's golden age.” —October 2014 LibraryReads List

“This is a pleasant, light, and surprisingly thoughtful read.” —Mystery Scene Magazine

Murder at the Brightwell is an elegant Christie-esque 1930s romp that will delight fans of Rhys Bowen's Lady Georgie series with its wit, charm, and strong independent heroine. With its dash of romance, Amory Ames and her rakish husband Milo might just be the new Nick and Nora Charles.” —Deborah Crombie, New York Times bestselling author of To Dwell in Darkness

“If you love Downton Abbey, you'll adore Ashley Weaver's charming debut novel, set amidst the upper-crust of British society at a posh seaside resort in the 1930s. There are handsome cads, gorgeous gowns, and red herrings galore as our winsome heroine Amory Ames puts all the clues together to find the murderer--as well as love.” —Susan Elia MacNeal, New York Times-bestselling author of the Barry Award-winning Maggie Hope series.

“A charming mystery including all my favorite elements--a grand seaside hotel in 1930s England with a background love story.” —Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author of the Molly Murphy and Royal Spyness mysteries

“Ashley Weaver's debut novel delivers the goods--an appealing heroine, an abundance of suspects and enough red herrings to satisfy the most demanding of readers--all rendered with an expert hand.” —Carol K. Carr, national bestselling author of the Madame of Espionage mysteries

“A witty and charming debut mystery with a believably spunky sleuth and a compelling story of love that never runs smoothly. I was caught up by the author's subtle humor and gift for dialogue. I hope we see more of Amory Ames in the future.” —G.M. Malliet, Agatha Award-winning author of the St. Just and Max Tudor mysteries

“An engaging mystery that kept me guessing right up to the end. I especially enjoyed the playful and at times snarky banter between Amory and Milo, which had me rooting for them not only to solve the murder, but to realize how perfect they are for each other. I hope they will continue on in the vein of Nick and Nora Charles, for I would happily follow them on the trail of future mysteries!” —Jennifer Delamere, author of An Heiress at Heart

“This lively debut traditional mystery features a captivating pair of bantering amateur sleuths capable of carrying a series.” —Stop, You're Killing Me

“A posh hotel that specializes in good wines, fine foods, and servants that cater to every whim in this charming period piece will appeal to Downton Abbey fans.” —Oline H. Cogdill, Fisher Island Magazine

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Ashley Weaver

ASHLEY WEAVER is the branch manager at Oberlin, the headquarters branch of the Allen Parish Libraries in Louisiana. Weaver has worked in libraries since she was 14; she was a page and then a clerk before obtaining her MLIS from Louisiana State University. She lives in Oakdale, Louisiana. Murder at the Brightwell is her first novel.

Ashley Weaver

© Amelia Lea

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