On FlashbackFridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Murder at Chateau sur Mer is now available in Paperback!
Murder at Chateau sur Mer (A Gilded Newport Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Rhode Island
Kensington (July 25, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Paperback: 304 pages (June 26, 2018)
Kindle ASIN: B01M7W948P
A Gilded Newport Mystery – Late nineteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island, is home to some of America’s wealthiest citizens. For society reporter Emma Cross, a less well-heeled cousin to the illustrious Vanderbilts, trailing gossip and glamour will lead her straight into murder . . .
Covering a polo match for the Observer, Emma’s job is to take note of the real players off the field—Newport’s well-bred elite. But the fashionable façade is breached when a woman in gaudy clothing creates a scene demanding to speak to the wife of Senator George Wetmore—until she is escorted off the grounds by the police.
The next morning, police detective Jesse Whyte asks Emma to meet him at the Wetmores’ Bellevue Avenue home, Chateau sur Mer, where the senator’s wife, Edith, has mysteriously asked to see her. Upon entering the mansion, Emma is confronted with a crime scene—the intruder from the polo match lies dead at the foot of a grand staircase.
To avoid scandal, Edith Wetmore implores Emma to use her reporter skills and her discretion to investigate. When Emma learns the victim was a prostitute—and pregnant—she wonders if the senator was being blackmailed. As Emma peels back layers of deception and family secrets, she may have met her match in a desperate killer who will trample anyone who gets in the way . . .
Step back in time with Emma Cross in Newport, Rhode Island as a day reporting on a polo match leads to murder. A woman tried to make her way into the stands where the elite are watching the match to speak to Edith Wetmore, the wife of Senator George Wetmore. Security was escorted her off the grounds but it is not the last the Westmores will see of her. No, the good senator’s wife finds the woman dead in their home at the bottom of their grand stairway. Police detective Jess Whyte has summoned Emma to Chateau sur Mer. He knows Emma’s help on previous cases has been fruitful, but this time Edith Wetmore has requested her presence. She wants Emma to use her skills to investigate while at the same time keep any rising scandal out of the press. Trying to find a connection between the Wetmores and the dead woman Emma uncovers a web of secrets and lies that puts her own life in peril and others too. It could also cost her her job meaning she could lose her home.
Alyssa Maxwell knows Newport history and she uses that knowledge to create fictional stories that have enough real facts that readers may think the story is real and events may have actually happened. She does include some facts at the end of the story to keep the record straight.
Strong characters and a captivating mystery make it very easy to escape right into this story. Emma Cross is part of the not very well to do side of the Vanderbilt family. She has inherited her home with enough money to pay for basic upkeep but needs to work for necessities like food and clothing. She is the fashion and food reporter for the Observer newspaper but always keeps her ears open for information to get her byline on or close to the front page. She is a strong woman, unafraid to travel unaccompanied to the seedier areas of town, no matter how many times she is told how dangerous it is. Thankfully sometimes she listens. Other times she is just plain lucky.
Emma’s investigation this time to her down to the docks more than once, to a brothel more than once, and even to the scene of a fire. Ms. Maxwell puts our heroine in some precarious situations. I enjoy following Emma everywhere she goes. The author fully describes each place so perfectly, putting us readers right there on the scene.
The mystery is very complex. Suspects are unclear until Emma realizes an event from the past is affecting people’s lives in the present. Even then the suspects remain fluid until the final reveal. Usually when I read a mystery like this one my brain is always trying to be one step ahead of the story’s amateur sleuth. This time I was immersed into the culture and all the happenings that I just kept pace with her. I so enjoyed our tandem journey.
Like the other mansions in this series, Chateau Sur Mer is now owned by the Preservation Society of Newport County and is open to the public as a museum.
I have loved each book in this series. I do recommend they be read in order to understand the settings and the character development. I am so happy to catch on the series with this story because the next book in the series, Murder at Ochre Court is being released July 31, 2018.
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.
Also by Alyssa Maxwell
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