Book Review: “Murder At The Brightwell” by Ashley Weaver

Warning: This book review contains spoilers for “Murder At The Brightwell” by Ashley Weaver. Avoid reading this review if you want to avoid spoilers!

Cover of “Murder At The Brightwell” by Ashley Weaver.

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “Murder At The Brightwell” by Ashley Weaver! Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

“Amory Ames is a wealthy young woman who regrets her marriage to her notoriously charming playboy husband, Milo. Looking for a change, she accepts a request for help from her former fiancé, Gil Trent, not knowing that she’ll soon become embroiled in a murder investigation that will test not only her friendship with Gil, but will upset the status quo with her husband.

Amory accompanies Gil to the Brightwell Hotel in an attempt to circumvent the marriage of his sister, Emmeline, to Rupert Howe, a disreputable ladies’ man. Amory sees in the situation a grim reflection of her own floundering marriage. There is more than her happiness at stake, however, when Rupert is murdered and Gil is arrested for the crime. Amory is determined to prove his innocence and find the real killer, despite attempted dissuasion from the disapproving police inspector on the case. Matters are further complicated by Milo’s unexpected arrival, and the two form an uneasy alliance as Amory enlists his reluctant aid in clearing Gil’s name. As the stakes grow higher and the line between friend and foe becomes less clear, Amory must decide where her heart lies and catch the killer before she, too, becomes a victim.”

Character Development: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I thought that Amory, Gil and Milo were the most interesting characters. Each of them had some well-written development (mainly Gil). Unfortunately, the rest of the characters fall flat due to a severe lack of development, compared to the main three.

Despite having some decent development, I felt that Amory kept going back and forth between Gil and Milo too much. I understand that half of the book’s story was about her love triangle with both men, but it just got overbearing after halfway through the book. I also think Milo came off as creepy, rather than caring, in some of the ways he tried to win Amory’s affections (see Romance Development section for details). Gil, however, was my favourite—partially because I rooted for him and Amory to get together, and also because of the various hidden depths he had throughout the book.

Plot Development: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Romance Development: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Much of the plot focuses on either investigating the mystery, or the romance. Unfortunately, the romance triangle was not well-executed. Though Amory stays married to Milo in the end (she initially separated from him while going to the engagement party with Gil, a former flame of hers), I actually rooted for Amory to just drop Milo and get back together with Gil. It’s obvious that Amory has chemistry with Gil, and it’s more than clear that both partners would rather be with each other than anyone else. I wish the book went that route instead of staying with Milo. It doesn’t help that Milo is rather creepy (trying to make decisions of Amory, moving his stuff into her room after dropping in randomly immediately after busting in on the party after Rupert is murdered, etc.) in how he tries to win back Amory, either.

As for the plotline, I think it slowed down too much in the middle due to the romance triangle. However, I did enjoy the reading twist of revealing who the killer actually was, as well as there being more than just one murder in this book. I initially thought that Milo might be the killer and framed Gil, especially given the love triangle going on between Amory, Milo and Gil, but then the plot twist showed otherwise, and I was impressed with that.

Overall, I’m rating this book 3.5 out of 5 stars!

This mystery is worth reading if you enjoy the mystery and some good plot twists, but if you’re not into heavy romance, you may want to skip this book.

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