A cousin’s call for help seriously complicates a wealthy society sleuth’s holiday.
Amory Ames and her husband, Milo (Death Wears a Mask, 2015, etc.), have had a rocky relationship, perhaps because Milo’s so handsome and charming that Amory’s never sure if his flirting is a cover for something deeper. Though things have recently improved, Milo’s not pleased that they’ve accepted an invitation to a cold country house instead of the trip to Italy he’d planned. Amory’s cousin Laurel was unfortunate enough to have been a guest at Lyonsgate when the mysterious death of Edwin Green caused a scandal that was vastly overblown after another guest, Isobel Van Allen, wrote a thinly veiled novel based on the incident. Now Isobel’s come home from Kenya and insists that everyone who was there that night return as well. Since Edwin Green can’t attend and the man Isobel hinted murdered him has committed suicide, Isobel fills out the party by adding her secretary, her current lover, and the Ameses. Isobel claims she’s writing a new novel that will reveal much more about the event—so when Amory stumbles over her bloody body, the police have plenty of suspects. Chief among them are members of the Lyons family: Reggie, who was in love with Isobel; his sister, Beatrice, the object of both the dead men’s affections; and his much younger half sister, Lucinda, who’s quickly fallen for Milo. Also visiting at the time of Green’s death were Amory’s old school friend, her husband, and an artist who’d given up painting until he met Amory. Despite Milo’s every effort to curb her sleuthing instincts, Amory can’t help but look for clues, especially after another murder.
A pleasant reminder of golden-age mysteries that keep you guessing until the denouement.