cover image Death Wears a Mask

Death Wears a Mask

Ashley Weaver. Minotaur, $24.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-04637-6

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. Agent: Ann Collette, Rees Literary Agency. (Oct.)