cover image A Deception at Thornecrest

A Deception at Thornecrest

Ashley Weaver. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-15979-3

Set in 1934, Weaver’s sprightly seventh outing for Amory Ames (after 2019’s A Dangerous Engagement) finds the heavily pregnant Amory at Thornecrest, the Ames family’s country home in Kent. One morning, while Amory is applying herself to her correspondence, the butler announces an unexpected visitor: a young woman claiming to be the wife of her husband, Milo, who’s away on business. The woman introduces herself as Imogen Prescott, and says she married Milo three months earlier. Amory maintains her aristocratic sangfroid, and assures Imogen that everything will be explained once Milo returns home. No sooner does Milo do so than another unexpected visitor turns up on their doorstep, and it becomes clear how Imogen was deceived. A murder amid the annual village Springtide Festival complicates matters further. The lively give-and-take between Amory and Milo makes up for the minimal sleuthing. Those who enjoy escaping into make-believe English villages in the company of pleasant vicars, mildly eccentric aristocrats, and wily village folk will be satisfied. Agent: Ann Collette, Rees Literary. (Sept.)