Edgar Award-shortlisted author Ashley Weaver returns with the fifth installment in the Amory Ames mystery series.
An Act of Villainy is an a gem, set in 1930s London and filled with style, banter, and twists that traditional mystery fans will positively relish.
"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.
Also out now in the Amory Ames mysteries: Murder at the Brightwell, Death Wears a Mask, A Most Novel Revenge, and The Essence of Malice.
At the start of Weaver's elegant fifth mystery set in 1930s England (after 2017's The Essence of Malice), London socialite Amory Ames and her husband, Milo, run into their friend Gerard Holloway, who invites them to attend the dress rehearsal of a new play he's producing. Amory admires Gerald and his wife's successful marriage, since she and charming, cavalier Milo have had difficulties in the past. So Amory is shocked to hear that Gerard is having an affair with his beautiful leading lady, Flora Bell. Someone has been leaving threatening letters in Flora's dressing room, though Milo thinks the threats are inconsequential until Amory finds Flora's body hanging from a curtain rope. Suspects include Flora's dissolute brother, her ex-lover costar, and her jealous understudy. When it comes to theater folk, the best way to uncover a killer is to put on a show, and with the collaboration of Milo and canny Detective Inspector Jones, clever Amory devises a drama to force a confession. Lovers of classic, twisty British mysteries will have jolly good fun. Author tour.)