Have you ever read a series of books because you disliked a character? I hadn’t – until now. Of course, if the mystery wasn’t excellently written, fast-paced, and well delivered, I wouldn’t be interested in the characters at all. I started the series with the seventh book which constantly talked of Milo’s past indiscretions – which were apparently legendary. Since I’m pretty intolerant of infidelity, I wanted to read the first couple of books to see when/where/how Milo had his grand epiphany and decided to mend his ways. I also held some hope that maybe he was a spy for the Home Office (or some agency) and the playboy image was his cover. None of that seems to be the case. For me, Milo remains a one-dimensional character and I just can’t seem to get a handle on him. I think that has more to do with the fact that the stories are written in the first-person, so we never get Milo’s point of view – we only see Amory’s. Maybe we’ll get more depth from Milo in later books, but I still didn’t see any in the seventh book I read either.
I was at the point where I was ready to close the book and just write the series off, but decided to read another chapter – and I am glad I did. One of my main ‘problems’ with the relationship was that Amory is supposed to be a strong, smart female lead but I wasn’t seeing it. She let Milo walk all over her for five years, so I was hard-pressed to figure out how I was supposed to find her a credible heroine. She was so wishy-washy – Milo would want to talk and she’d tell him she didn’t want to talk about it. Well – DUH! Finally, at about the fifty-percent mark of the book, she began to let him know, in no uncertain terms that she was through tolerating his peccadillo’s. So – good for her. He, however, still didn’t seem to get it. Since scandal and gossip didn’t phase him in the least, he didn’t understand how it bothered her. So, there wasn’t a grand epiphany, no apologies, but maybe they did come to a meeting of the minds and hearts at the end.
I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery because there were plenty of villains to go around – and figuring out whodunit took me just a bit longer than usual. I enjoyed the times where Milo and Amory are actually sleuthing together and working in more of a partnership than seems to be their norm.
When a friend of Amory’s mother invites Milo and Amory to dinner, it is to ask Amory to watch the guests – and to help solve the mystery of some jewel thefts at her home. Amory ends up in the company of some rather unsavory individuals who are letches – and maybe thieves as well. Nobody is who they appear to be. When a young man is found dead at a ball, with pilfered jewels scattered around him, the chase is on in earnest. There are lots of red herrings to throw you off the scent and many unsavory characters to make your skin crawl. When the final pieces fall into place, Milo and Amory find themselves facing a villain who has already murdered once and is willing to do so again.