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Murder at the Brightwell

(Amory Ames #1)

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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  5,934 ratings  ·  1,066 reviews
Amory Ames is a wealthy young woman who regrets her marriage to her notoriously charming playboy husband, Milo. Looking for a change, she accepts a request for help from her former fiancé, Gil Trent, not knowing that she’ll soon become embroiled in a murder investigation that will test not only her friendship with Gil, but will upset the status quo with her husband.

Amory a
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Hardcover, 325 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Minotaur Books
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Eager Reader Yes, there is a lot of charm and subtle British wit. I found it very well written.

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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  5,934 ratings  ·  1,066 reviews


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Phrynne
I definitely chose this one for its cover and I was very lucky that the content was as good!

Written in the style of an Agatha Christie novel, the book is set in an English hotel in an age when the wealthy indulged in afternoon teas, dressed formally for dinner and everyone smoked. Amory Ames is one of the wealthy, beautiful, intelligent and unhappy in her marriage. She is invited by her ex fiancé to join a party at the Brightwell Hotel and the story proceeds from there.

I found the writing to be
...more
Adrian
You know, this may be a modern American writing about about times gone by in the SW of England but nonetheless it is still a good book. The writing is excellent and it is a great detective story. I will certainly read more in this series.
It is not an Agatha Christie, but believe me, it is not far short.
Susan
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This delightful murder mystery is set in 1932. Amory Ames regrets her five year marriage to playboy Milo, who seems to spend his time holidaying without her and appearing in the gossip columns, when she is approached by her ex fiancé Gil Trent. Gil’s sister, Emmeline, is planning to marry Rupert Howe – a man who reminds Gil worryingly of Milo. Gil invites Amory to join a group of friends holidaying at the Brightwell Hotel, as Emmeline and Rupert will both be there, in the hope that she can warn ...more
Holly
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
I loved this!! I love it when I find a novel in which I enjoy the storyline, the characters, the scenery, and the writing. I simply can't wait to read the next one and I only hope there will be more after that one:)

Deborah Crombie described this best by saying," An elegant Christie-esque 1930's romp."
Brenda
When ex fiancé Gil Trent telephoned Amory Ames and asked that she accompany him for a week to the Brightwell Hotel, Amory was bemused. It seemed that Gil’s sister Emmeline was engaged to Rupert Howe, a ladies’ man that Gil didn’t trust. He knew Amory’s marriage of the past five years to Milo was shaky at best and he hoped Amory could persuade Emmeline to rethink her engagement, based on Amory and Milo’s marriage.

Amory’s arrival at the Brightwell and the subsequent events, which included murder,
...more
Deena
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bosler, mystery
I persevered and finished! Yay me! Unfortunately, I have no idea why I bothered. The protagonist is a complete and utter moron who behaves as stupidly as possible at every opportunity. The police officer behaves in completely un-police-like ways. Socio-economic class issues, which might have given this some desperately needed depth, are briefly hinted at but then glossed over. The marital woes - apparently intended to provide that depth - are just as insipid as the protagonist. The mystery itsel ...more
Jaylia3
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Set at a luxury resort by the sea in 1930’s Britain, Murder at Brightwell has all the ingredients of a perfect diversion--well burnished prose, a captivating plot, witty dialog, elegant fashions, charming cads, upper class shenanigans, love gone wrong, secrets galore, an appealing main character, and murder. What could be more fun than that? I dashed through the story.

Five years ago Amory Ames married Milo, her far too charismatic playboy husband, and then regretted that choice almost immediatel
...more
Anne Boleyn's Ghost
4.5 stars.

I kind of loved this. Scratch that. I definitely loved this. Clever, utterly charming, and thoroughly entertaining. Curling up with a cup of tea and a Masterpiece Mystery has long given me the warm fuzzies. I think that this series will have a similar effect. But let's not examine WHY murder mysteries make me feel so cozy and content...

Set in 1930s England, Murder at the Brightwell follows Amory Ames' unlikely trajectory from wealthy socialite to amateur sleuth. She attempts to solve t
...more
Kate Baxter
3.5 / 5.0 stars

This first book in series was a delicious introduction to the Amory Ames mystery series by talented author, Ashley Weaver. There is depth to her very human characters, each one a bit flawed in their own special way. The interplay among characters is quite believable, as emotions run high throughout the story. One gets a strong sense of time, place, and the glitz and glamour of the Bristish aristocracy on holiday at the seaside. It doesn't take long for a corpse to appear on scene.
...more
Ivonne Rovira
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Bright, young thing Amory Ames is in her fifth year of an unsatisfactory marriage to the devilishly handsome and charming (but philandering) Milo when her former beau Gil Trent shows up with a request for a favor: Will Amory accompany him to the seaside for a weeklong holiday to talk his little sister Emmeline out of entering into a similar marriage?

It doesn’t take Amory long to see that Emmeline’s fiancé, Rupert Howe, is cut from the exactly same cloth as Milo Ames: good-looking, wealthy, excit
...more
Everyman
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
This mystery, selected by a book group here on Goodreads, which is how I happened to read it, is the debut mystery by a young writer who gets a “nice try, but.” Ashley Weaver builds her adequate but no more than that story around a goodly helping of mystery cliches.

This first person mystery starts with the classic country house (in this case a seaside hotel, but same difference) where a group of friends gathers for a few days, offering the traditional limited group of potential victims and murd
...more
Susan
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This delightful murder mystery is set in 1932. Amory Ames regrets her five year marriage to playboy Milo, who seems to spend his time holidaying without her and appearing in the gossip columns, when she is approached by her ex fiancé Gil Trent. Gil’s sister, Emmeline, is planning to marry Rupert Howe – a man who reminds Gil worryingly of Milo. Gil invites Amory to join a group of friends holidaying at the Brightwell Hotel, as Emmeline and Rupert will both be there, in the hope that she can warn ...more
Allison
I found this a wonderful historical mystery that surprised me several times. I love it when I don't guess the murderer, not from lack of clues but from not seeing how they all fit together until the end. It lets my mind stay busy with suspecting everyone, and I don't feel cheated when I'm surprised by the pieces of the puzzle clicking together.

I also very much enjoyed the drama of Amory's marriage troubles, which gave it more emotional depth than is often present in these types of mysteries. Th
...more
Linda
From the onset, Amory Ames was beset with a troubled marriage. As it happened, her husband’s return from the Riviera coincided with her ex-fiancee at their door. She hadn’t seen Gilmore Trent since their break-up more than five years ago. But Amory was miffed at Milo’s two-month sojourn so she accepted Gil’s plea for help.

I wasn’t sure what to think of Milo and Amory Ames. Their story took place in England in 1932. The Great Depression had spread across the globe but the Ames, with all their we
...more
Jan C
Mar 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This was probably really 2 1/2 ☆. For much of the book it was hovering around 1-2☆ but I thought it perked up a bit at the end.

The author spent far too much time describing what her main character, Amory Ames, was wearing. Is Amory a common name? Or perhaps it was supposed to be a family name. It wasn't just that she changed into a gray suit but she had to describe all the facets about it. I gave some allowance to the author as it was her first book. But where was her editor?

Not a house party bu
...more
Kimberly Reads Books
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just finished Murder at the Brightwell today and I couldn't be more thrilled to find another wonderful mystery series to add to my collection of favorites. The characters are well written and charming, with the main character, Amory Ames and her husband, Milo, being the best of the bunch. The setting of post-war England makes this a unique read, as well. The tone of the novel stayed true to the time frame, which I appreciated. The mystery plot kept me guessing to the very end, which I admit does ...more
Sheri
May 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy
Amory Ames is a wealthy young woman who regrets her marriage to her notoriously charming playboy husband, Milo. Looking for a change, she accepts a request for help from her former fiancé, Gil Trent, not knowing that she’ll soon become embroiled in a murder investigation that will test not only her friendship with Gil, but will upset the status quo with her husband.

First let me say that I really like the cover. I know, nothing to do with the writing, but nice to look at.

At the beginning I though
...more
Alyssa Maxwell
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I found this 1930s period mystery to be absolutely charming, with a style that reminded me of both Mary Stewart and Agatha Christie. The story kept me guessing on several fronts because everyone had something to hide and I never guessed who dunnit until the culprit was revealed. Amory Ames is an intelligent, very British sleuth and I can't wait to see what she gets up to next!
Brenda
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the read. Its a mystery set in the 1930's. The heroine is a socialite that stumbles into a murder investigation. It was lighthearted, fun at times, not too heavy, with some romance thrown in. It reminded me a bit of the old Thin Man movie series, but with much less alcohol. :))

I really enjoyed the time period it was staged in, and the author seemed to stay true to the speech and mannerisms of the time. I also liked that it was a fairly clean book, no vulgar language or graphic s
...more
Sarah
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Amory Ames is a wealthy young woman who regrets her marriage to her notoriously charming playboy husband, Milo. Looking for a change, she accepts a request for help from her former fiancé, Gil Trent, not knowing that she’ll soon become embroiled in a murder investigation that will test not only her friendship with Gil, but will upset the status quo with her husband.

Amory accompanies Gil to the Brightwell Hotel in an attempt to circumvent the marriage of his sister, Emmeline, to Rupert Howe, a d
...more
Jaclyn
Murder at the Brightwell was a positively delightful start to a new mystery series. The opulent setting and the inquisitive heroine made this a pleasure to read and I will absolutely be tuning in for book two.

Amory Ames has been invited to the seaside resort, Brightwell, by her former fiance, Gil. Amory had broken off her engagement to Gil five years ago when she met and married her husband, Milo. The past five years have not gone smoothly, leaving Amory with the feeling that she may have made t
...more
Stephanie
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is basically the book that would have resulted if Noël Coward and Mary Stewart had teamed up to co-write an Agatha Christie mystery - and it is DELICIOUSLY fun! It really saved me on a tired and frustrated day - I just sank into it and loved every minute. Before I'd even finished this first book in the Amory Ames series, I'd already run back to the library to grab Books 2 and 3 - and honestly, now that I'm 40 pages into Book 2, I am wishing that I'd taken the chance to grab Books 4 and 5 at ...more
G.
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5/5

Murder at the Brightwell is a 1930s murder mystery set in England. Imagine a bunch of people wearing fashionable clothing while conversing in very clipped English accents and pretending to have a merry getaway at a posh hotel. But then, murder.

I found the mystery of the novel to be twofold: one, the identity of the murderer, and two, the very pressing conundrum of the heroine continuing to put up with her husband. The trouble with Murder at the Brightwell is that I guessed the first quite
...more
Beth
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is charming. The writing is overly deliberate, especially in the beginning, but its stiffness wears off, and the more casual formality that's left is perfectly fitting the setting and characters. This is very much a setup novel - Amory's marriage is too broadly sketched (though oddly, her relationship with Gil is well done) - but it's excellent setup: I cannot wait to see how she and Milo work things out.

(I will be very annoyed if Milo becomes your standard tortured hero cliche.)
Lady Wesley
Nov 18, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I would like to read this part romance, part cozy mystery, part period piece, which was recommended by Old Latin Teacher on Amazon. And yet -- maybe I'm just too cheap -- but I am not inclined to fork over $9.99 for an unknown author's debut novel.
Barb Moore
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
Was looking forward to "Thin Man" style of elegance and humor, instead got a Harlequin romance with murder. Meh.
Stacie  Haden
First line: "It is an impossible great trial to be married to a man one loves and hates in equal proportions."

Good starting novel to a series.

England 1932
N.N. Light
Murder at the Brightwell is a smart, sophisticated mystery and I loved every minute of it. When I discovered the Amory Ames Mystery series last year, I started with book four and worked my way back to the beginning. Reminiscent of Nick and Nora Charles, Amory and Milo have a different sort of marriage, not like the ones we have today. It worked for me as it was all too common in the 1930's. The mystery itself took a backseat to the relationship issues of the Ameses but I think I know what Ashley ...more
Judy
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
I often enjoy historical mysteries, and this was an easy light read, but there was just too much romance for me (and that's something I never thought I'd say!) I did enjoy some of the humour and the characters. The main story, about an unpopular playboy who is killed at a seaside hotel, also kept me guessing. However, I didn't think the romance plot, about a young socialite torn between her husband and her ex-fiance, was very convincing. Looking forward to discussing this with the Reading the De ...more
Jess
This was so much goddamn FUN. The underlying message here really is always listen to Katie.
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Other books in the series

Amory Ames (8 books)
  • Death Wears a Mask (Amory Ames Mystery, #2)
  • A Most Novel Revenge (Amory Ames Mystery #3)
  • The Essence of Malice (Amory Ames #4)
  • An Act of Villainy (Amory Ames Mystery #5)
  • A Dangerous Engagement (Amory Ames #6)
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  • The Amory Ames Mysteries 4 books collection set

Articles featuring this book

The upper crust of 1930s England gathers at a seaside resort for some sun, surf, and foul play in Murder at the Brightwell, a debut historical...
17 likes · 16 comments
“Love makes a mess of things, doesn't it?' he said, as though he was speaking to himself. 'People are always falling in love with the wrong people. It happens over and over. It would be so much simpler if . . .” 3 likes
“Poor darling," he said, shaking his head, "you're not cold-hearted enough to be a detective. You only want the disagreeable people to be guilty, and I'm afraid you'll find that life isn't like that.” 2 likes
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