Friday, March 4, 2016

Murder at the Brightwell & A Crimson Cocktail

Kerry Hammond is excited about a new author and a new drink. But I’ll let her tell you all about it.

I was paging through Issue No. 142 of Mystery Scene magazine when I came across an article and interview featuring author Ashley Weaver. The tagline was “A Return to the Golden Age of Crime.” Anyone who knows me will tell you that if I was stranded on a desert island and could only bring one genre of mysteries with me, it would be 1930s-1940s British. The article made it clear that Ashley Weaver’s books were right up my alley.

There are so far two books in the Amory Ames Mystery series. Amory Ames is a young, intelligent woman who is constantly doubting her monogamy-challenged, but gorgeous husband Milo. Murder at the Brightwell is set in a seaside resort hotel in the 1930s and Amory has agreed to help her ex-fiance try to talk sense into his sister, who is engaged to a man with similar traits to her beloved Milo. Milo shows up at the Brightwell Hotel to complicate matters, and they both become involved in a murder investigation. There is no shortage of suspects and each guest at the hotel seems to be hiding secrets. Amory must try to figure out whose secret led to the murder so that she can unmask the killer.

Speaking of masks, the second book in the series is called Death Wears a Mask, and Amory and Milo are back; this time to attend a masked ball. This book is chock full of jewelry theft, a suicide that turns out to be murder, and a French temptress who has her sights set on Milo.

Both of these books are wonderful. The characters are extremely engaging and the plots are full of twists, turns, and complications. The high society crowd that Amory runs with is fascinating, and I enjoyed the fantasy of being involved in such an exciting time and place.

I’ve paired Murder at the Brightwell with a Crimson Cocktail because I think that the people in Amory’s circle would like a gin-based drink served in a Martini glass.

Crimson Cocktail

1 ½ ounces gin
½ ounce lemon or lime juice
¼ ounce grenadine
¾ ounce ruby port

Fill the shaker halfway with ice cubes. Pour in all ingredients except the port and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass, and layer the port on top. To layer the port, turn a large spoon upside down and rest it against one side of the glass, holding it there with one hand. With the other hand, pour the port slowly over the back of the spoon. Remove the spoon and admire your creation.

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  1. I'm late to the party, but both the drink and book sound good. Looking forward.

  2. I'm late to the party, but both the drink and book sound good. Looking forward.