AN ACT OF VILLAINY is the fifth
book in Ashley Weaver's Amory
Ames historical mystery series. This series is normally packed
full of assorted personal dramas both large and small, so having a
murder set in the world of the theater makes perfect sense. Amory and
Milo Ames are pulled into the somewhat sordid marital melodrama of
their friends Gerard and Georgina Holloway. Gerard has a new play he's
putting together and a young ingenue mistress to star in it. The
circumstances make things a little uncomfortable for Amory since the
Holloway's marriage is drawing unwelcome parallels to her own
occasionally tumultuous marriage. When Flora Bell meets a gruesome
end on stage, Amory and Milo work together to figure out why Flora
was murdered and who done it.
Each book in this Amory Ames series is like a delicacy for mystery fans who adore a divine
melding of murder, mystery, and history. "The Price of Victory" is the
play that draws these suspects, investigators, and the victim together.
As with previous books in this series, Ashley Weaver draws readers in
and makes an appealing story-within-a-story. The various theatrical
types in AN ACT OF VILLAINY
make natural suspects and ferreting out the truth, amid all the lies and
half-truths, proves difficult for Amory. It's good seeing Milo and the
lead inspector let Amory have free reign to verify alibis and hunt down
clues. Amory is a clever female amateur sleuth and the men in her life
know better than to underestimate her and her intuition. What I love
most about AN ACT OF VILLAINY
is the way Ashley Weaver gives voice to the victim and paints a portrait
of a woman who was flawed but who, as Amory slowly discovers, was
more complex than most people gave her credit for. The destruction of
the murder victim is truly tragic, and this story is one that lingers in
your mind long after finishing.
AN ACT OF VILLAINY is a
masterpiece of misdirection, evil intentions, and terrifically twisted
characters. Amory Ames is a tenacious and ingenious sleuth, with a
handsome rogue by her side. Ashley Weaver injects just the right
amount of intriguing and provocative domestic drama without taking
anything away from the mystery and mayhem. I crave Ashley Weaver's
next Amory Ames mystery.
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,
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
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.