“It is an impossibly great trial to be married to a man one loves and hates in equal proportions.”
With a single witty sentence, Ashley Weaver introduces readers to the narrator of her sparkling debut novel, Murder at the Brightwell, and sets up one of its two central conflicts. (And doesn’t that sentence carry a whiff of Austen?)
Amory Ames is a wealthy socialite living in 1930s England, unhappy (or at least deeply ambivalent) in her marriage to dashing playboy Milo Ames. When her former fiancé, Gil Trent, appears on Amory’s doorstep and asks her to accompany him on a weeklong trip to a seaside hotel, Amory agrees.
Ostensibly, she’s being recruited to help Gil talk his sister Emmeline out of marrying the wrong man, a mistake to which Amory can relate. But Amory has always wondered how her life would have turned out if she’d married Gil instead of Milo. A week at the Brightwell Hotel – albeit in separate rooms – will provide the chance to find out.