Tuesday, September 18, 2018

"An Act of Villainy"

Ashley Weaver is the Technical Services Coordinator for the Allen Parish Libraries in Louisiana. Weaver has worked in libraries since she was 14; she was a page and then a clerk before obtaining her MLIS from Louisiana State University.

Weaver applied the Page 69 Test to An Act of Villainy, her fifth Amory Ames Mystery, and reported the following:
From page 69:
Mr. Holloway picked up his glass of champagne. ‘I would also like to propose a toast. To the talented cast of The Price of Victory. You have surpassed what I imagined as I put these words on paper, and I cannot thank you enough. Especially our rising star.’ He lifted his glass. ‘To Flora Bell and the best cast in London.’

Glasses lifted across the room, though I could feel an undertone of speculations as the partygoers drank their toast.

I looked in the direction in which Mr. Holloway had lifted his glass. Flora Bell stood there, and I was surprised to see she did not look as triumphant as I might have imagined. In fact, she looked almost distracted as she smiled and nodded at those congratulating her.

My gaze then went to the flash of fire-colored fabric on the other side of the room, and I looked at Georgina. She, too, was talking to people around her. She looked very composed, as though the toast had had no impact upon her.
Page 69 of An Act of Villainy occurs after the triumphant premier of investor and playwright Gerard Holloway’s new play. Amory Ames and her husband Milo are in attendance because Mr. Holloway has revealed that his leading lady, Flora Bell, has been receiving threatening anonymous letters, and he wants them to help identify the writer. Miss Bell has made her share of enemies – not the least among them Gerard Holloway’s wife, Georgina. After all, it’s an open secret that Flora Bell is Holloway’s mistress.

This page gives an indication of the tensions that lie beneath the surface of this successful theatrical production featuring a bright new star of the stage. Amory and Milo have had their own share of marital difficulties in the past, so Amory wants to not only solve a mystery but reunite a husband and wife she is sure still love each other deeply. Alas, speculation, rumors, and lies left to simmer are sure to lead to violence and danger for all involved, and Amory and Milo will once again find themselves at the dark heart of another murder investigation.
Visit Ashley Weaver's website.

The Page 69 Test: A Most Novel Revenge.

--Marshal Zeringue