After a night at the theater, Amory and Milo Ames are walking towards their favorite restaurant when they meet Gerard Holloway. The Holloways are old friends of the Ames and when Gerard invites them to the dress rehearsal of a new play that he’s directing, Amory readily accepts the invitation.
Amory is shocked to hear of the love affair between Gerard and the actress of his play – Flora Bell. Amory cannot picture Gerard falling in love with someone else, after all, Gerard and Georgina were childhood sweethearts. The casual invitation is not as casual as it seems – Gerard has heard about the Ames’ past adventures so he decides to take their opinion on a serious matter concerning Flora Bell. Flora Bell has been receiving a few threatening letters and Gerard wants the Ames to help him in finding the mysterious sender.
Georgina is a good friend of Amory and Amory has mixed feelings towards solving the mystery behind the threatening letters. On the D-Day of the play, Flora Bell is found murdered, just after her first performance. Amory and Milo decide to solve this mystery. Will the find the murderer before the final curtain falls?
Characters: Amory and Milo Ames. Gerard and Georgina Holloways, Inspector Jones, Winnelda (Amory’s maid), Christopher Landon and Balthazar LeBeau – actors, Flora Bell (actress), Dahlia Dearborn – Flora’s understudy, Freddy Bell – Flora’s brother.
The play is called The Price of Victory and features Flora Bell as Victorie, Balthazar LeBeau as Durant, a wicked nobleman who falls in love with Victorie and Christopher Landon as Armand, Victorie’s lover and an officer in Napolean’s army.
Location: Penthworth Theatre.
Set in the year 1933, An Act of Villainy is a charming piece of mystery. The characters in the story are marvelous. Amory and Milo’s relationship is finally stable after a series of ups in downs. (which, probably is mentioned in the first four books in the series. This is the first book in the series that I have read) Gerard and Georgina’s love story – from childhood sweethearts to husband and wife – their relationship has finally taken its toll.
Landon plays the role of a dejected lover while LeBeau plays that of a playboy. Dahlia, Flora’s understudy has something vicious and dark air around her while Flora is a cheery little birdie. The ‘strained’ relationship between Amory’s mother and Milo portrays the typical relationship of a mother with her son-in-law.
I absolutely loved everything about this book, be it the characters or the story. Amory and Milo are definitely the new Tommy-Tuppence in town. Though Amory uses the power of gossip and ‘a woman’s instincts’ to solve the case, her detective skills are praise-worthy.
The ending, or should I call it “The denouement?”, is like the icing on a delicious cake. Just when Amory reveals the identity of the killer… After an unexpected twist, in the end, Amory proves to be not only a good detective but an even better actress.
The story is theatrical and has a British air to it, making it one of the best stories that I have read so far. And it goes without saying that I am definitely going to read the first four books in this series. An Act of Villainy keeps you hooked on the book till the end. It is gripping, mysterious and charming. The cutest part of the story is the cheeky-monkey named Emile – The Ames’ pet monkey.
If you like British mysteries and if you are a fan of detective series, then I highly recommend you to read An Act of Villainy.
My Rating: 5/5 (The denouement gets an extra 5/5)
Title: An Act of Villainy (Amory Ames #5)
Author: Ashley Weaver
Publication Date: 4th September 2018
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Featured Image Credits: Goodreads.com
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.