Death Wears a Mask

After solving a murder at a fashionable seaside resort, socialite Amory Ames is looking forward to some quiet time in London with her husband, Milo, to patch up their marriage. (Suspecting one's husband of both murder and infidelity does tend to put a damper on romance.) But their relative peace is disturbed when a friend asks Amory to investigate a jewelry theft. Amory reluctantly agrees to help entrap the thief at a masked ball, but when the night's events lead to murder, Amory finds herself drawn into the investigation.

Ashley Weaver (Murder at the Brightwell) deftly evokes the glittering world of 1930s London society in her second mystery, Death Wears a Mask, assembling her suspects--complete with murky pasts and assorted motives for theft and murder--at a dinner party. Amory again proves a perceptive and appealing amateur sleuth as she sifts through clues (including her maid's stack of gossip sheets) and attempts to unearth new information (even visiting pawnshops in disguise). Amory is less perceptive about the intentions of the notorious Viscount Dunmore, host of the masquerade, and several other male suspects. Meanwhile, rumors are swirling about Milo's relationship to a French film star, and Amory must decide what and whom to believe.

"It is difficult enough to read people in real life, to sort through the masks we all wear," Amory muses. Although Amory may be unsure of where the truth lies, Weaver's skill--as evidenced by her sparkling prose and sensitive portrayal of a difficult marriage--is no illusion. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

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