In the fifth installment of Weaver’s Amory Ames series, Amory and her husband Milo help a friend uncover the source of death threats being sent to his mistress, whom he's cast as the lead in a play he's directing in London's West End.
This time the path to finding the killer is particularly circuitous and nearly fatal for the intrepid Amory. An excellent addition to the series, this could also be read independently. The period setting is as always meticulous and the main characters riveting ... Fans of Carola Dunn's 'Daisy Dalrymple' books might appreciate this series, despite the differences in tone and character. Fans of light period mysteries with fashion and flair will be caught up in Amory's latest adventure.
An Act of Villainy’s plot commences immediately ... The proceedings unfold so smoothly that readers will almost forget that they’ve been challenged to find any of those proceedings rote. Is the letter-sender the same person who later graduates to far worse offenses? Is that person the aggrieved wife of Gerald Halloway? The gone-to-seed old actor in The Price of Victory? Any of three other distinctly predictable suspects? In any case, readers will know to expect a thoroughly delightful hour of escapist fiction ... It’s so easy to feel affection for Amory and Milo and their cast of supporting characters that we hardly want to think of that brutal future intruding on them. Here’s to many more simple murders—predictable or otherwise—before the series ever gets that far.
Replete with the trappings of 1930s whodunits (with the equivalent of a drawing room confrontation and jaw-dropping red herring), An Act of Villainy is a delightful romp. With a resolution that is surprising not only in revealing the identity of the murderer but also in the reason for the crime, Weaver’s novel is a worthy throwback to the classic murder mysteries of what many call the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.