St. Martin's Press | September 2017 | 304 pgs
Source: Library

This is the fourth installment of Amory Ames Mystery series set in the 1930s. Amory and her husband, Milo, always have their adventures set in various places in each of the book and this time around they bring readers to The City of Light - Paris. 

The Ameses couple is holidaying is Lake Como in Italy when Milo receives a troubling letter from his childhood nanny, Madame Nanette. She is vague in her letter although she stated that she'd like them to go visit her in Paris. Knowing his nanny, Milo sensed there is something going on and thus, they packed up and took a night train from Milan to Paris. As what Milo predicted, Madame Nanette is troubled with the events happened in her employer's household. Engaged as a nanny in the Belanger's household, Madame Nanette's circumstances is considered to be an awkward one considering she knew Helios Belanger since they were young. In fact, they'd liked each other at one point but things happened and time and psychical distance thrown them apart. By then, Helios' first wife had passed and he is currently married to a much younger wife, Beryl Norris. 

Now Madame Nanette believes Helios is murdered instead of a heart attack as what everyone has speculated. He was supposed to arrived back in Paris after his visit to his factory if Grasse but the plane had some difficulty with the landing. It landed roughly and ended up smashing its nose into the ground. According to the witnesses, he got out of the plane under his own power though he appeared to be dazed and was unsteady on his feet. He insisted on driving home himself and he seemed much better the following day and the matter was all but forgotten. However, two days later the maid found him dead and the official report had claimed it was a heart failure. 

Helios was a successful and a famous parfumier and he was supposed to release his newest, highly anticipated perfume. All things considered, it is no wonder Madame Nanette is skeptical by his sudden death and wonders if anyone wants him dead. After all, the members in the Belanger's household have been unhappy and the relationship has been complicated between Helios' young wife and his three adult children from his first marriage. Then, there is Herr Jens Muller, the German sculptor, who is in charge of designing the perfect bottle. Even Beryl isn't spared as she appears to be secretive and was seen going to places on various times. Amory and Milo could imagine the scenarios and wonder how Helios' death could impact on the sales of the new perfume, especially since this would be the last perfume he'd concocted. And of course there is the formula of the new perfume, which might fetch a great price if fallen into the wrong hands. 

With so many speculations and suspects in mind, Amory and Milo began their own investigations and although they work together in solving the case, Amory is annoyed by Milo's discreetness as she found he is keeping something to himself at times. Amory has begun to find their relationship to be a lot better as compared to the past and Milo has certainly paid much more attention and affection towards her lately but she couldn't help but to wonder what is with his discreetness. As the time goes on, each is certain that there is more than meets the eye and when the mystery is finally revealed the truth threw everyone off, including yours truly. 

Once again, I found myself immersed in Ashley Weaver's latest installment of her Amory Ames Mystery series (Though a series, each book can be read as standalone but I'd recommend reading them in order for the lead characters development.) The Golden age mystery elements is a draw on top of the characterisations and as this series progresses, I found myself liking Amory more due to her plucky demeanour, and well Milo is simply being himself - charismatic yet unpredictable. The premise was intriguing and I thought the closure (resolution) was a good one which I certainly didn't see it coming. 

Books in order:
Murder at the Brightwell #1
Death Wears a Mask #2
A Most Novel Revenge #3

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8 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    I love these covers. Glad you’re enjoying them.

  2. Melody Says:

    Jenny - Those covers are lovely, aren't they?

  3. Iliana Says:

    That's cool that the characters travel to different places and find themselves in the middle of a mystery. A bit something else to keep the reader entertained!

  4. Lark Says:

    I don't know when I'll find time to start yet another series, but I just can't resist the sound of this one! Great review as always, Melody! :)

  5. Melody Says:

    Iliana - Yes, that's part of the draw of this mystery series. We readers get to travel to places via the stories. :)

  6. Melody Says:

    Lark - I know right, there're so many series out there waiting for us to explore. I just wish we've more time!

  7. jenclair Says:

    I've enjoyed every book in this series--but I LoVe the covers! Still waiting to find out more about Milo's background. I've had suspicions sense the first novel, and each new novel gives a few hints. Both Amory and Milo seem to be getting more comfortable with their marriage. :)

  8. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - The covers are enough to entice me already. :) Milo is one mysterious man; we can never know what's going on in his mind.

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