I want to apologize, my entire schedule the past couple weeks has been all out of whack and I just finished this book Tuesday night. That meant my review was not making it into my Cozy Wednesday post.
Murder at Rough Point
(A Gilded Newport Mystery)
4th in Series
Kensington (August 30, 2016)
Hardcover: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B0190HGUE8
In glittering Newport, Rhode Island, status is everything. But despite being a poorer relation to the venerable Vanderbilts, Emma Cross has shaped her own identity—as a reporter and a sleuth.
As the nineteenth century draws to a close, Fancies and Fashion reporter Emma Cross is sent by the Newport Observer to cover an elite house party at Rough Point, a “cottage” owned by her distant cousin Frederick Vanderbilt that has been rented as an artist retreat. To her surprise, the illustrious guests include her estranged Bohemian parents—recently returned from Europe—as well as a variety of notable artists, including author Edith Wharton.
But when one of the artists is discovered dead at the bottom of a cliff, Rough Point becomes anything but a house of mirth. After a second murder, no one is above suspicion—including Emma’s parents. As Newport police detective Jesse Whyte searches for a killer, Emma tries to draw her own conclusions—with the help of Mrs. Wharton. But with so many sketchy suspects, she’ll need to canvas the crime scenes carefully, before the cunning culprit takes her out of the picture next . . .
Classic closed room/manor mystery! A group of “artists” descend to Rough Point for a retreat. Emma has been asked to cover the event and is invited to stay there too. When a deluge of rain starts falling and flooding the roads everyone is basically trapped within the grounds and mansion of Rough Point. First one man is found dead and then another and there is another attempt. Detective Jesse Whyte is on the case but Emma is the one living with a killer. The suspects are limited so she just needs to determine the guilty party before everyone is murdered.
Such a great story. The new characters are unique and talented in their own way. I like the way the author incorporates real people in her stories. That sometimes has me pondering, did this really happen? Thankfully an Afterword is included at the end of the story giving us details about Rough Point and the surrounding area and the inhabitants.
What really surprised me was that Emma’s parents had returned from Paris and are among the group of artists. If you have read previous books in this series you know they have been gone for quite some time and Emma has become a strong independent woman. That is a little hard for her parents to understand. Some conflicts arise and I am thrilled that Emma was able to get some things off her chest.
The murder mystery was so well written. I had several different suspects at the top of my list as the story continued. One clue would have me eliminate one suspect and another put them right back on the list. Ms. Maxwell definitely keeps us readers on our toes.
I also enjoy the history she brings to her stories. Rough Point is one of mansions from the Gilded Age in Rhode Island that is now open as a museum. The home was designed by Emma’s “Uncle Freddy”. Emma is from the less wealthy side of the family tree but all hold her in high regard. It is out on a point so while the building withstood the weather the roads and the people didn’t fair so well. Emma and others were often completely drenched. One time even inside when a pipe burst. The author’s fabulous descriptive details puts the reader right into the scene.
I have loved each story in this series, going back in time to see how the elite and not so elite Rhode Island families spend their time. Of course, a murder or two, always captures my interest too.
About The Author
Alyssa Maxwell is the author of the Gilded Newport Mysteries and A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mysteries. She lives in South Florida in the current year, but confesses to spending most of her time in the Victorian and post WWI eras, as well as other periods of history. In addition to fantasizing about wearing Worth gowns and strolling the gardens of her manor house, she loves to watch BBC and other period productions and sip tea in the afternoons. And each year, she and her husband take a trip up to Newport to visit family, and so Alyssa can “shop” for the next mansion to be featured in her Newport series.
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If you go back to my Cozy Wednesday post from yesterday here, Alyssa will be choosing 1 person to receive a signed hardcover copy. Just leave a comment on that post and you could be the winner!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”