cover image An Act of Villainy: An Amory Ames Mystery

An Act of Villainy: An Amory Ames Mystery

Ashley Weaver. Minotaur, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-15975-5

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