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Publisher's Summary

Amory Ames is a wealthy young woman who questions her marriage to her notoriously charming playboy husband Milo. Looking for a change, she accepts a request for help from her former fiance, Gil Trent. Amory accompanies Gil to the luxurious 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. 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.

©2014 Ashley Weaver (P)2014 Dreamscape Media, LLC

Critic Reviews

"This debut novel by a librarian lays the foundation for a stylish series with Milo and Amory channeling Nick and Nora Charles." (Booklist)
"Fans of plucky female amateur sleuths will welcome Amory Ames, the heroine of Weaver's pleasing debut set in 1932 England... the affable Amory could carry a series." ( Publishers Weekly)
"A witty and charming debut mystery with a believably spunky sleuth and a compelling story of love that never runs smoothly." (G.M. Malliet, Agatha Award-winning author of the St. Just, and Max Tudor mysteries)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    39
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    5

Performance

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    21
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    21

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    29
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Horrible Narration

I bought this book because it was an Edgar nominee for best novel or best first novel. Also looking for something like The Royal Spyness mysteries. Big Mistake. This lady keeps pausing or putting the periods behind each word, like she is reading from a paper where she hasn't practice her speech. Annoying. I can't take it. I returned.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good mystery, horrible narration

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, I would recommend the book to anyone who likes Agatha Christie type mysteries - but in book format, not audio. It's not the best or most gripping mystery, but if you like the genre it's a pleasant read.

If you’ve listened to books by Ashley Weaver before, how does this one compare?

1st one

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator over pronounced her lines, made strange pauses and inflections, and gave annoying voices to many of the characters. Enough to make me want to stop listening to the story.

Did Murder at the Brightwell inspire you to do anything?

Write a review. I don't do that often, but I bought the book despite another reviewer's comments about the narration and deciding to add my hearty agreement when it really was so stilted that it detracted from the story.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

worst narrator ever

Would you try another book from Ashley Weaver and/or Billie Fulford-Brown?

honestly, i couldn't listen to more than 3 minutes of this person reading. i have no idea about the story. the narrator made me want to run away from my phone.

Would you recommend Murder at the Brightwell to your friends? Why or why not?

no. un-listenable-to

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Billie Fulford-Brown?

anyone

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

not sure.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The narrator ruined this book for me.

What did you love best about Murder at the Brightwell?

The story was cute and kept moving. It is a lighthearted mystery/romance story.

Would you recommend Murder at the Brightwell to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes I would. Easy story to drive to. It doesn't take a lot of concentration. But the book was fun.

How could the performance have been better?

To be honest the narrator ruined the book for me. I almost stopped listening several times.The cadence of her speech was way off. It was painful to listen to, my mind would reconstruct each sentence after she spoke. Too hard to explain here but the good news is that the next book that follows has a different narrator. I will never buy another book read by her. Too bad really.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, not that gripping. Just. Lighthearted story. Just what I need sometimes when I am multitasking.

Any additional comments?

So glad to see a new narrator was hired for the next book, this one does not do the story justice.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Painful to listen to.

What would have made Murder at the Brightwell better?

A story is in the details: NO details in this story. Every gown has a color, but not a picture. I knew how many of the sentences would end before I heard them. The characterization was based on the reading voice, but not on the depictions of the people.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Huge Frasier reading Agatha Christie. What a relief. This book seemed as if it were an imitation of Agatha Christie, but didn't quite make it.

How could the performance have been better?

The reader's voice is very irritating. Her British accent is extreme. Her imitations of the men's voices is terrible.

What character would you cut from Murder at the Brightwell?

The German actor pretending to be British. He seemed extraneous to the story, even as a might-be murderer.

Any additional comments?

Well, it was something to listen to. Perhaps the author's next novels will be better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • LM
  • Los Altos, CA
  • 06-21-16

Terrible Narration

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Different narrator. This one spoke slowly and haltingly, as though reading for the mentally impaired. Her narration robbed the story of all humor and life. The story shows such promise, but I couldn't get past the second disc.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I'm gritting my teeth

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, it's an ok 1930s English mystery, but I suspect better enjoyed as a book than listened to.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

A different narrator. I'm not usually picky; this is the first time in having listened to many Audible books that I've reacted so viscerally and negatively.

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator's performance is so annoying that it interferes with enjoyment of the plot. Why in the world she drags out every sentence, puts strange emphasis on the odd adjective or verb, and can't produce a soft female voice that doesn't sound insipid, to name a few of my objections, I do not know. Is it the narrator's responsibility or that of the producer to ensure the delivery isn't weird? Probably both.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

cute

What did you like best about Murder at the Brightwell? What did you like least?

nice agatha christie type novel.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

a little irritating trying to speak the male parts. over-exaggerated in a few other parts as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Superb who done. it

The author has woven a spectacular tale. The narrator makes the story come alive. Together they are an unbeatable team. I highly recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good plot but weak characters

In <strong>Murder at the Brightwell</strong> by Ashley Weaver, Amory Ames has suffered through a tedious marriage filled with her husband's infidelities for five years. Then one day, Gil Trent, Amory's ex-fiance, comes to see her because his sister, Emmeline, is engaged to a man Gil fears is corrupt. He wants to enlist Amory to join his group of friends at the Brightwell Hotel by the seaside and get Amory to help discourage Emmeline from going through with the marriage. The day after they arrive, however, Amory goes to meet Emmeline and Rupert for tea, but Rupert fails to join them, and, leaning over the railing, Amory spots Rupert's body at the bottom of the landing. What is worse, however, is that the local Criminal Investigation Division (CID) believes Rupert to have been murdered.

As Amory starts to wonder about finding the truth, she is both surprised and annoyed to discover that Milo has followed her to the seaside. She finds him chasing her, especially in the presence of Gil, who gets arrested for the murder due to his antipathy towards Rupert's plans to marry his sister. As Amory works to clear Gil's name, she finds that Milo always has her back whenever she gets into trouble, sending mixed signals to her about his personal intentions.

<strong>Murder at the Brightwell</strong> proved to be a perfectly fine book, with decent writing and quality twists to the plot. However, despite its fitting all the essential characteristics of a good historical mystery, a genre that strongly draws me, I just could not connect with this book. It is hard to determine the reason, but I can pinpoint a couple issues. First, I never became fully invested in the characters. In fact, with the exception of Amory, Milo, Gil, Emmeline, and Rupert, I had a hard time keeping straight the rest of the rather large cast list. And I never truly felt connected to these people, never rooting for them to succeed. Second, I did not appreciate the author's attempt to make us want to emphasize with Amory's cheating, lying, and frequently disappearing husband. Milo does come across as a charming rogue, but I did not like being encouraged by the content to support the idea that Amory's should not only put up with her husband but should take him back.

The audio edition of this book is performed by Billy Fulford-Brown. I found it interesting to see that she got such poor reviews on Audible that Alison Larkin took over the role for her in the rest of the series. I, however, was not bothered by the narration and do not actually see what people complained about. The performance did not stand out especially memorably, but I saw nothing to complain about.

<strong>Murder at the Brightwell</strong> was a perfectly reasonable book with a clever plot. The storyline had creative elements, with an interesting placement in history. However, the characters just did not draw me to them or make me support them. I give the book three stars.