Murder at Crossways (A Gilded Newport Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Rhode Island
Kensington (July 30, 2019)
Hardcover: 288 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07K5ZXLJ8
Murder at Crossways – In late August 1898, reporter Emma Cross attends the final fête of the Newport social season and discovers the party’s over for a visiting prince . . .
The days are getting shorter as summer’s end approaches, which means it’s time for the Harvest Festival, the last big event of the season, held by Mamie Fish, wife of millionaire railroad tycoon Stuyvesant Fish, at their grand “cottage,” Crossways. The neocolonial mansion is decked out in artificial autumn splendor, and an extravagant scavenger hunt will be held. But the crowning jewel of the evening will be the guest of honor, Prince Otto of Austria.
As acting editor-in-chief of the Newport Messenger, Emma had hoped to leave her days as a society reporter behind her. But at the last moment, she must fill in and attend the Harvest Festival. With nearly every eligible daughter of Newport high society in attendance, Emma can almost hear romantic dreams shattering like glass slippers when the prince fails to appear. The next morning, he is found dead in the side garden at Crossways, making it clear a murderer crashed the party.
The prince has been stabbed in the same manner as another man, recently found on nearby Bailey’s Beach—who strongly resembles Emma’s half-brother Brady’s father, presumed dead for nearly thirty years after a yachting mishap. As Emma investigates a connection between the two victims, she is joined on the hunt by Mamie Fish herself. But they must hurry—before the killer slips away like the fading summer . . .
A dead body can really ruin a day at the beach. Emma Cross had hoped for a relaxing day, but first, a prominent lady almost drowns and then a short time later a man is found dead. A man who looks remarkably like the father of her half-brother Brady.
With that case on her mind, Emma attends the Harvest Festival at the home of Mamie and Stuyvesant Fish to cover the affair for the Newport Messenger. The “cottage” is full of the elite and almost all the area’s eligible daughters hoping to catch the eye of the guest of honor, Prince Otto of Austria. The festival goes late into the night but the Prince never arrives. While cleaning up the estate Prince Otto’s body is found in the garden. The wound appears to be the same as the man found on the beach.
Again Emma finds herself embroiled in another murder mystery. With the family connection, she feels she has no choice.
Alyssa Maxwell again draws readers back in time to Newport, Rhode Island 1898. This time we visit Crossways, An American “cottage” owned by Marion Graves Anthon Fish a.k.a. “Mamie” and her husband Stuyvesant “Stuyvie” Fish. What this author does so well is blending history with her fictional tale. She describes everything so well but I still find myself wanting to see the people and places with my own eyes after I finish the story to learn more about the characters and settings that kept me captivated for 288 pages. I love The Gilded Age Era site for all things Newport.
The thing I enjoyed most about this book was that Alyssa found herself with an unexpected sidekick. Maimie Fish was determined to apprehend the person that used her party and property as the backdrop for murder. She glued herself to Emma’s side and even offered to hire someone to handle Emma’s real job at the paper until the case was solved. Emma is a smart woman and realized Maimie could be a real asset. Maimie was a grand character, not your typical rich socialite. She is very down to earth and very opinionated and doesn’t hold back expressing her thoughts or wishes. She was a complete treasure and together with Emma, they made a wonderful team. I love the way this author focuses on strong and independent women.
The mystery was multifaceted as connections between the murders needed to be delved into as the confirmed identity of the first victim was totally up in the air. Emma and Maimie tracked down each clue and checked out each twist no matter where the led. Emma’s brother Brady was not handling all the news well so he was a constant concern. She was also dealing with a mystery at the newspaper but she was clearly able to juggle everything thrown at her. I enjoyed following along with all the developments and was pleased that all the clues dropped into place for me at the same time as Emma.
Murder at Crossways is unique and entertaining. Maxwell’s characters are so strong and believable. I totally enjoyed my visit to Newport and am looking forward to returning again soon. For me, this was A Perfect Escape!
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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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.”