Following a tenuous reconciliation, Amory Ames and her husband Milo arrive in London. An old family friend invites them to dinner with the hopes that Amory can solve the mystery of some missing jewelry.
However, the night they put their plan into action at a masked ball, her friend’s nephew is found dead with pieces of the missing jewelry in his pocket. Unwittingly, Amory finds herself right in the middle of another murder investigation. But that isn’t the only surprise. When the police investigator comes to interview her, she meets a familiar face from her first murder case.
In the meantime, Amory and Milo are still finding their footing in their newly restored marriage. But past hurts and doubts arise when an incriminating photo of Milo is published in the newspaper. Amory once again finds herself questioning whether she can trust the man she loves. At the same time she is pursued by another charming, wealthy man while also trying to solve two linked crimes.
The adventures of Amory Ames and her charming but ambiguous husband continue in Death Wears A Mask. I was thrilled when book one in the series (Murder at the Brightwell) ended with Amory and Milo on more solid ground. But then author Ashley Weaver yanked that security right out from under me, by throwing new challenges at their relationship. Why?!?! Of course, I must admit it does make for a compelling and addictive story. Aside from the mystery of “whodunit” I kept reading just as much because I had to know what would happen between Milo and Amory.
Since the stories are told from Amory’s perspective, we know for a fact how she feels about her husband. She loves him completely, but trusts him not at all. However, Milo’s character continues to be opaque, which kept both myself and Amory guessing as to whether or not he sincerely loves her. As much as this annoys me at times, it is a brilliant plot device. It’s also interesting that while Amory struggles with trusting her husband because of his penchant for being linked in the papers with other women, Milo doesn’t seem to have the same qualms about the men who pursue her. He treats it rather lightly.
I think I enjoyed the mystery of Death Wears a Mask only slightly more than Murder at the Brightwell. I loved the seaside setting of the Brightwell, but you can’t beat 1930’s London for sophistication and a seductive atmosphere. There’s something both seedy and alluring about the wealthy upper classes attending a lavish masked ball. With identities hidden, anything can happen. And the worst does.
The addition of Amory’s new romantic interest plus the inclusion of the police Inspector from the previous novel adds interest as does the author’s descriptions of Amory’s wardrobe. I was almost salivating over Amory’s red gown for the masked ball. I can picture clearly in my head all of her frocks, suits, hats and gloves.
With limited reading time and a massive TBR pile, these mysteries have hijacked my book schedule. I’m already half way through the next book in the series. If you are a fan of cozy historical mysteries, than this series is perfect for you. Death Wears a Mask is another wonderful entry in the Amory Ames series.