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Review 🔍 A Deception at Thornecrest by Ashley Weaver

September 10, 2020


“Thornecrest looked beautiful in the evening light. One would never imagine the turmoil that had just occurred within its walls.”

Amory Ames is alone at her country house Thornecrest, enjoying her last few weeks of peace and quiet as she prepares for the imminent arrival of her baby. Her husband, Milo, is in London on business, and Amory is content to catch up on her correspondence, organize the nursery, and avoid the well-meaning if rather overbearing company of the ladies in the village as they prepare for the Springtide Festival. But then a woman appears on her doorstep, claiming to be another Mrs. Ames, Milo’s wife.

Amory’s marriage has had its ups and downs in the past, but her faith in her husband has been restored, and Milo has been nothing but thrilled about becoming a father. Though the alleged second Mrs. Ames seems earnest, Amory is convinced she must be mistaken, a belief that Milo confirms upon his homecoming. However, when another unexpected visitor arrives at Thornecrest, secret identities and whirlwind romances appear to be becoming par for the course.

It’s not until the day of the festival, when Milo’s stable hand Bertie is found dead, that the strange characters appearing in town begin to seem more sinister, and Amory is determined to uncover the killer in the crowd.

Release Date: Sep 8, 2020
Series: An Amory Ames Mystery
Book: 7
Publisher: Macmillan
Imprint: Minotaur Books
Price: $14.99


Life is sweet as lavender honey for Mrs. Amory Ames, who along with her husband Milo, await the birth of their first-born, while currently residing at their country estate.  The year is 1934 and Thornecrest at Allingcross, Kent with its countryside charm and its cordial, friendly residents, has provided Amory a calm and pleasant respite from the chaos of before… This is the seventh book in the cozy Amory Ames Mystery series by Author Ashley Weaver.

The story sets off with an unexpected visitor claiming to be close to her husband, Milo.  A bit of a diversion from the author to remind you of the tumultuous history between the couple.  At this point, I naively presumed and conjured all sorts of ideas of where this story was heading.  I was wrong.  Intrigued by the circumstances the visitor presents, Amory must place trust in the stable relationship she currently has with Milo.  The presence of the visitor remains to be answered and thus begins the first mystery.  

Encouragingly, the story develops, and several new characters are introduced, and life goes on in Allingcross.  With excitement towards the upcoming Springtide Festival, crafts, edible goods, along with horse racing are among the attractions featured. After a slow-build introduction, this is where the events gallop to murder.  

With daring determination, and no time to spare, Amory tentatively questions her suspects while enjoying numerous cups of tea.  Strong, independent, curious and smart, she decides she must once again put together the pieces of a complicated (multiple) murder-mystery. Excellently, narrated by Amory, she (Amory) consumes the narrative and the supportive characters take a turn playing suspects. I would describe this mystery as gentle, elegant, and luring with minimal suspense.  The difficult history with Milo and her previous experience solving murders, I feel, gives her a confidence, perhaps lacking in a novice sleuth. 

A bit unfortunate how murders seem to happen around her (Amory), but certainly fortunate for the readers and followers who enjoy this series will enjoy this book too. 

When murder happens close to home and suspects abound among friends, she will have to dig deep to unravel some unpleasant secrets in order to solve this.  After all, no one wants to suspect their family, friends or acquaintances.  Perhaps, she’ll solve this while enjoying some rosemary tea!

~ Patricia

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