An Act of Villainy: An Amory Ames Mystery (Hardcover)
Edgar Award-shortlisted author Ashley Weaver returns with the fifth installment in the Amory Ames mystery series.
An Act of Villainy is an a gem, set in 1930s London and filled with style, banter, and twists that traditional mystery fans will positively relish.
"So you've gotten yourself involved with another murder, have you?"
Walking through London’s West End after a night at the theater, Amory Ames and her husband Milo run into wealthy investor and former actor Gerard Holloway. Holloway and his wife Georgina are old friends of theirs, and when Holloway invites them to the dress rehearsal of a new play he is directing, Amory readily accepts.
However, Amory is shocked to learn that Holloway has cast his mistress, actress Flora Bell, in the lead role. Furthermore, the casual invitation is not what it seems—he admits to Amory and Milo that Flora has been receiving threatening letters, and he needs their help in finding the mysterious sender. Despite Amory’s conflicting feelings—not only does she feel loyalty to Georgina, but the disintegration of the Holloways’ perfect marriage seems to bode ill for her own sometimes delicate relationship—her curiosity gets the better of her, and she begins to make inquiries.
It quickly becomes clear that each member of the cast has reason to resent Flora—and with a group so skilled in the art of deception, it isn’t easy to separate truth from illusion. When vague threats escalate, the scene is set for murder, and Amory and Milo must find the killer before the final curtain falls.
Also out now in the Amory Ames mysteries: Murder at the Brightwell, Death Wears a Mask, A Most Novel Revenge, and The Essence of Malice.
About the Author
ASHLEY WEAVER is the Technical Services Coordinator at the Allen Parish Libraries in Oberlin, Louisiana. Weaver has worked in libraries since she was 14; she was a page and then a clerk before obtaining her MLIS from Louisiana State University. She is the author of Murder at the Brightwell, Death Wears a Mask, and A Most Novel Revenge. Weaver lives in Oakdale, Louisiana.
Praise for An Act of Villainy:
"Weaver does it again! Every installment in her pitch-perfect Amory Ames series both thrills and charms. Combining a stylish protagonist, a delightfully roguish husband, witty banter, gorgeous prose, and intriguing mysteries, there is much to fall in love with. Her books are a glittering, whirling throwback to the golden age of mysteries, yet crafted with a panache all their own."–Anna Lee Huber, bestselling author of the Lady Darby Mysteries
"An excellent addition to the series, this could also be read independently. The period setting is as always meticulous and the main characters riveting. Fans of lights period mysteries with fashion and flair will be caught up in Amory's latest adventure."—Library Journal
"Elegant...lovers of classic, twisty British mysteries will have jolly good fun."—Publishers Weekly
"True to the style and substance of the Golden Age while simultaneously giving it a fresh touch, An Act of Villainy represents a traditional, twisty whodunit that’s at once fizzy and filling. Please, ma’am, may we have some more?"—Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star
"Highlights Weaver's light touch with plotting and refreshingly adult insights into the complications of marriage. It's always a good sign when an ongoing mystery series scarcely requires a murder to keep you reading, and that's certainly the case here."—Open Letters Review
"Another beguiling novel that brings today's reader back nearly one hundred years to a social set and time quite different from our own. It's a charming fantasy life to read about, but here's an excellent mystery here as well."—Marilyn's Mystery Reads
"Tailor-made for readers who love mystery novels mixed with a little love and romance as they keep guessing what's coming next. From a perfectly calibrated plot to incisively built characters, Ashley Weaver handles everything careful to make it entertaining for you."—The Washington Book Review
"Ashley Weaver makes terrific use of misdirection and red herrings as Amory hunts down motives and clues. The ending is just as dramatic as the play at the center of this story revolving around actors and wronged lovers."—Fresh Fiction
Praise for The Essence of Malice:
"In this highly enjoyable and engrossing mystery Ashley Weaver - with her sure touch for evoking elegance and glamour - wafts her appealing and determined heroine Amory into the world of perfumers, family secrets, and the heady whiff of murder. I loved the evocation of scents, skillful shifts of suspicion and the satisfying conclusion."—Frances Brody
"The scent of murder and betrayal fills the Paris air . . . Weaver, a librarian, has a deft touch with the 1930s' upper-class repartee. The climactic surprise makes this the best of her mysteries to date."—Kirkus Reviews
"Sparkling...the power skirmishes between these equally clever spouses shine throughout."—Publishers Weekly
“The fourth addition to this lively historical series is one of its best with an evocative 1930s Parisian setting and an unexpected surprise climax.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“This novel presents an intricate puzzle to solve. It has roots in the tradition of upper-crust amateur sleuths from the era but remains fresh and unpredictable. The main characters are sophisticated, stylish, and multi-dimensional. Effective hooks keep the action moving swiftly, and clever dialogue paired with well-developed atmosphere make it quite entertaining.” —Historical Novel Society
“The Ameses make a beautiful pair, stylish and clever, and Weaver infuses her story with all of the Golden Age splendor a reader could want . . . This is an excellent entrée into a delightful (librarian-penned) series.” —Booklist
Praise for the Amory Ames Mysteries:
“Fans with fond memories of Georgette Heyer’s mysteries set in the same period will be delighted with the gallery of suspects and the edgy romance.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Sure to appeal to Agatha Christie devotees.” —Booklist
“It's all very Downton Abbey... [Weaver] channels the ambiance and spirit of British society during the post-World War I years.” —Associated Press
“With a profound nod to the Golden Age of the British whodunit, Weaver creates a classic mystery, complete with a fashionable setting, a cast of upper-crust Brits, and witty prose.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Captivating.... Fascinating and stylish characters fill out a finely tuned traditional mystery." —Publishers Weekly on A Most Novel Revenge
"This debut novel by a librarian lays the foundation for a stylish series with Milo and Amory channeling Nick and Nora Charles." —Booklist on Murder at the Brightwell
"A spunky heroine, a tense romance and red herrings galore make Weaver's debut a pleasant read for nostalgia buffs who miss Agatha Christie." —Kirkus Reviews on Murder at the Brightwell
“Fans with fond memories of Georgette Heyer’s mysteries set in the same period will be delighted with the gallery of suspects and the edgy romance.” —Kirkus Reviews on Death Wears a Mask