Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver

Guests at a luxury hotel have anything but a relaxing good time in Ashley Weaver’s Murder at the Brightwell.

Set in 1930s England, the novel is very reminiscent of the works of Agatha Christie.  Narrator Amory Ames meets her former lover Gil at the Brightwell Hotel.  Together they hope to discourage Gil’s sister Emmeline from marrying playboy Rupert Howe.  When Amory hears an argument between Gil and Rupert, she becomes concerned.  The next day Rupert is found dead at the bottom of the steep cliff the Brightwell is perched upon.  Most guests blame the hotel for negligence since there was no a proper guard rail.  However, the body tells another story: there is evidence of head trauma by blunt instrument occurring before the victim fell.

Who killed Rupert Howe and why?  Was it his fiancee’s brother, or a jilted lover Rupert treated badly?  As Amory attempts to clear the name of her former paramour, she is pursued by her roguish estranged husband—the man she left Gil for.  Murder, mayhem and heated romance ensue at the posh Brightwell resort.

For more period piece mysteries with strong female sleuths you might enjoy the “Phryne Fisher” novels of Kerry Greenwood or the “Mrs. Jeffries”  whodunits by Emily Brightwell.

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