‘It was amazing, really, what murder had done for my marriage.’
Amory Ames is looking forward to a tranquil period of reconnecting with reformed playboy husband Milo after an unexpected reconciliation. She hopes a quiet stay at their London flat will help mend their difficult relationship. However, she soon finds herself drawn into an investigation when Serena Barrington asks her to look into the disappearance of valuable jewellery 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 into the world of detection, enlisted by her 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 rumours swirl about Milo and a French film star.
Amory and Milo must work together to solve a mystery where nothing is as it seems, set in the heart of 1930s society London.
Set in London in 1932, Weaver's delightful second mystery featuring British socialite Amory Ames (after 2014's Murder at the Brightwell) finds Amory reluctantly agreeing to investigate a jewel theft for Serena Barrington, a friend of her mother's. Possible thieves include dashing and disreputable Lord Dunmore, a charming but sinister tennis player, and a pair of impecunious sisters. When Mrs. Barrington's hapless nephew is murdered at Dunmore's masked ball and stolen jewels are discovered in his lordship's pockets, Detective Inspector Jones asks for Amory's help in gathering information from upper-crust suspects. Meanwhile, she fends off advances from Dunmore and copes with her devil-may-care husband Milo's tabloid-fodder relationship with a French actress. Weaver peoples the novel with entertaining secondary characters, but a lack of backstory leaves questions about Amory's relationship with Milo unanswered, and the resolution to their marital difficulties seems hasty and unconvincing. Still, readers will hope to see a lot more of the sophisticated, elegant Amory.