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Murder at the Brightwell

  • Murder at the Brightwell

    by Ashley Weaver 

    Illustrations by Dongkyu Lim

    by Ashley Weaver 

Dear Reader,

I’m thrilled to be able to share Murder at the Brightwell, the first of my Amory Ames mysteries, with you! Amory, a wealthy young woman living in 1930s England, finds that her troubled marriage to Milo, a notoriously handsome playboy, has left her at loose ends. When her former fiancé Gil shows up and asks for help convincing his sister not to marry a disreputable young man, Amory agrees to accompany the group on a seaside holiday to the Brightwell Hotel. Things take an alarming turn, however, when the young man in question is murdered and Gil is suspected of the crime. Determined to clear Gil’s name, she sets about trying to sift through the likely suspects and catch the real killer. When Milo unexpectedly arrives to complicate matters, Amory must confront not only a mystery but also her feelings about where her heart truly lies.  

Murder at the Brightwell pays homage to my love of Golden Age mysteries, black-and-white films, and the ambiance of 1930s England. I hope you enjoy Amory’s first adventure!

Thank you,

Ashley Weaver

A Slow-Burn Mystery

Serialization — releasing a book in sequential installments, often in magazines and newspapers — has been used to build suspense for hundreds of years. Every day over the course of several weeks, two new chapters of Ashley Weaver's Murder at the Brightwell were released here. Serialization took advantage of the book's natural chapter arcs — and helped build the mystery before unraveling it. 

All of the chapters are available to read now. Click on the table of contents below to access them, or scroll down the page for a profile piece about the author and brief introductions of each chapter, with wonderful illustrations by Dongkyu Lim.

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Meet Ashley Weaver 

Get to know the writer behind 'Murder at the Brightwell,' and learn more about what influenced her delightful debut mystery and the creation of its dauntless heroine, Amory Ames

Chapters 1 & 2

It is an impossibly great trial to be married to a man one loves and hates in equal proportions. It was late June, and I was dining alone in the breakfast room when Milo blew in... Continue reading



Chapters 3 & 4

I had our driver drop me at the station early the next morning. I’d had a wire from Gil saying that he would take the morning train from London and meet me when I changed trains... Continue reading


Chapters 5 & 6

Morning dawned, bright and cheerful. I had not slept well and had been troubled by unpleasant dreams, the details of which I could not recall upon waking. As I readied myself for the day ... Continue reading

Chapters 7 & 8

My husband smiled at me, his white teeth glinting in the moonlight. “Weren’t expecting me, I see.” I never know when to expect you,” I answered lightly. Remembering my manners ... Continue reading


Chapters 9 & 10

Outside I was met by a blast of warm, salty air that I was sure would carry away any lingering traces of Gil’s aftershave. I stood there for a moment, drinking in the sight of the sea  ... Continue reading

Chapters 11 & 12

The following morning, the day of the inquest, was suitably gloomy. The rain splattered against my window as I rose and dressed. I had tea and toast in my room, for I was in no mood ... Continue reading


Chapters 13 & 14

I gasped, completely stunned by this latest and completely unforeseen development. “You can’t possibly mean it, Inspector.” He regarded me coolly. “I’m afraid I never jest ... Continue reading

Chapters 15 & 16

My first course of action after parting ways with Milo was to visit the police station to see Inspector Jones. I didn’t feel he had dealt fairly with Gil, or with me for that matter, and I intended ... Continue reading

Chapters 17 & 18

If I worried that Milo might have questioned my sudden show of affection, I needn’t have. He responded very readily indeed. In the space of a moment, he had embraced ... Continue reading

Chapters 19 & 20

There was, I decided, no time like the present to begin my machinations. I was unsure of Mr. Hamilton’s whereabouts at present, but I did not intend to break into his room ... Continue reading

Chapters 21 & 22

Somehow I persuaded Inspector Jones to allow me to accompany him to the hospital. His mood was not at all agreeable, but he had not protested when I asked to ride with him ... Continue reading


Chapters 23 & 24

I had already dressed when Gil stirred. Despite the fact I had dimmed the lights and that the weather had turned the sky a dismal gray, he squinted as he opened his eyes ... Continue reading

Chapters 25 & 26

The fire flared brightly, and I stood staring at it, a bit shocked by what I had done. I heard a startled gasp from one of the guests seated in the lobby. “Oh, dear,” I called to the clerk ... Continue reading


Chapters 27 & 28

I rose slowly, the letter still in my hand. “Mrs. Hamilton.” “That’s my letter, isn’t it?” she asked, nodding toward the envelope. “The one I wrote to Rupert.” “I don’t know,” I ... Continue reading

Chapter 29

Milo gone, I stood looking out at the sea, the tears welling in my eyes. Once again, the burden of our relationship rested on my shoulders. I would be left at home to wait until ... Continue reading

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