Tuesday, September 15, 2020

A Deception at Thornecrest (Amory Ames #7)

A Deception at Thornecrest is the 7th Amory Ames mystery by Ashley Weaver. Released 8th Sept 2020 by Macmillan on their Minotaur imprint, it's 288 pages and available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

This is a nicely wrought English murder mystery very much in the classic golden age manner. Amory and Milo are awaiting the birth of their first child when they're drawn into investigating another murder in the village complicated by the sudden appearance of a hitherto unknown brother for Milo and a young woman claiming to be Milo's wife (much to the dismay of Amory, Milo's actual wife). Add in village gossip, undercurrents of love and hate, and seething resentment and the well written result is a worthy successor to Christie, Allingham, Freeman, Brand, Iles and the rest of that cadre of worthies. 

Whilst this book does work quite well as a standalone and the author is adept at providing the necessary backstory without spoon-feeding the reader, I strongly recommend reading the books in order as there is a lot of history behind the main characters. 

The story arc is well plotted, with a plethora of possible suspects and motives. The disparate plot threads (Milo's brother, the surprise visit from his supposed other wife, the murder mystery, the impending birth) interweave well and culminate in a satisfying and well written denouement. I've been reading the series since the beginning and always look forward to each new entry with anticipation. 

A lovely and entertaining mystery. Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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