Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Essence of Malice

Amory and Milo Ames are enjoying their visit to Lake Como, Italy, when they receive a troubling letter from Milo's former nanny. This sends them rushing to Paris in The Essence of Malice by Ashley Weaver.

Madame Nanette has been caring for the child of her employer Helios Belander, one of France's premier parfumiers. His perfumes are "Worthy of Queens," as the slogan goes. Helios was a man who met with success throughout his illustrious career, and introduced his children to the business.

Cecile, the eldest daughter, has the "nose" as they say in the perfume business. Her father has allowed her to serve as his right hand man, but it is son Anton he wants to run the company.

Anton, on the other hand, has no nose for the business and only wants to become richer. The third child Michel is a dilettante.

When Helios dies unexpectedly after a small plane crash and before the launch of his highly-anticipated new perfume, the medical report lists the cause as heart
failure, but Nanette is not convinced. She coaxes Milo and Amory into looking into the death. To get closer to the family Amory tells Cecile she wants a perfume especially blended for her and she agrees, giving Amory a chance to investigate.

With millions at stake and the reputation of one of the best parfumiers in France in limbo, Amory and Milo dig deeper and find the heirs vying against each other for control of the company. Could one of them have killed their father? What about the lovely, young wife? Where does she fit in?

What Amory and Milo uncovers leads to a dangerous revelation that might endanger their own lives.

As someone who would love to have a specially-blended perfume made for her, I very much enjoyed this book. The behind the scenes of scent creation was enlightening. 

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