Murder at Kingscote (A Gilded Newport Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Rhode Island
Kensington (August 25, 2020)
Hardcover : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496720733
ISBN-13 : 978-1496720733
Paperback : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496720768
ISBN-13 : 978-1496720764
Kindle ASIN : B082WQVX6D
In late nineteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island, journalist Emma Cross discovers the newest form of transportation has become the newest type of murder weapon . . .
On a clear July day in 1899, the salty ocean breeze along Bellevue Avenue carries new smells of gasoline and exhaust as Emma, now editor-in-chief of the Newport Messenger covers Newport’s first-ever automobile parade. But the festive atmosphere soon turns to shock as young Philip King drunkenly swerves his motorcar into a wooden figure of a nanny pushing a pram on the obstacle course.
That evening, at a dinner party hosted by Ella King at her magnificent Gothic-inspired “cottage,” Kingscote, Emma and her beau Derrick Andrews are enjoying the food and the company when Ella’s son staggers in, obviously still inebriated. But the disruption is nothing compared to the urgent shouts of the coachman. Rushing out, they find the family’s butler pinned against a tree beneath the front wheels of Philip’s motorcar, close to death.
When Emma later receives a message informing her that the butler bullied his staff and took advantage of young maids, she steers the police toward a murder investigation. While Emma investigates the connections between a competing heir for the King fortune, a mysterious child, an inmate of an insane asylum, and the brutal boxing rings of Providence, a killer remains at large—with unfinished business to attend to . . .
A beautiful day in 1899 Newport brings everyone out to watch the first-ever automobile parade. A little accident mars the day for the King family but that doesn’t stop Ella King’s plan for her dinner party at the “magnificent Gothic-inspired “cottage,” Kingscote”. Journalist Emma Cross and her beau Derrick Andrews are delighted to attend. Mrs. King is upset that her son has not arrived when dinner is served but she is furious when he staggers in drunk as dessert is being served. Soon after shouts are heard from outside. The fog has set in making it almost impossible to see what is causing the ruckus but as they get closer they see the family’s butler smashed between a tree and the drunken Phillip’s car. He dies soon after being freed and the death was no accident.
Emma is drawn into the case when she receives a message about the butler’s past. There is also plenty of other drama involving the King family so Emma is running herself ragged to fit all the pieces together and find a killer.
I really enjoy this series. Allyssa Maxwell takes us back in times so effortlessly. This time we were treated to Kingscote, a Gothic-inspired “cottage” and other Newport places. The book cover starts us off with a vision and then the author’s writing paints the perfect picture of each and every scene.
The character descriptions are also detailed and developed. Emma is an independent free-thinking woman and an excellent sleuth. Her quest to get the truth has no bounds. Phillip King claims he did not drive the car into the butler and the tree and her investigation seems to point in that direction as well. It is so much fun to tag along with her as pursues each clue and theory.
Her relationship with newspaper owner Derrick Andrews is progressing nicely. His mother is still not happy about their courting but he seems to be gaining more independence in each story. They also make a great investigative team.
The entire supporting cast comes truly alive. I envisioned each and every one so clearly. From the clothes they were wearing, the tone of their voices, how they moved, where they went, and everything around them. Ms. Maxwell’s descriptive writing style really is a gift.
The author has written a complex mystery that takes Emma and Derrick beyond the confines of Newport. They make visits to a boxing ring and an insane asylum trying to find the answers they need. The story twists and turns in very interesting ways. Secrets and family connections were revealed. It brought out emotions I don’t usually feel when reading a mystery. I was on the right track solving the mystery but I was surprised at part of the reveal. The twist at the end was very unexpected.
Murder at Kingscote was a very engaging read. The characters were extraordinary, the mystery was so richly plotted and written, and the setting was ideal. I love stories set in the Gilded Era. Each book in this series has been a pleasure to read. Emma has had some amazing adventures. I am a stickler for reading books in order but each of the books reads very well on its own.
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About the Author
Alyssa Maxwell is the author of the Gilded Newport Mysteries and A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mysteries. She knew from a young age that she wanted to write novels. Growing up in New England and traveling to Great Britain fueled a passion for history, while a love of puzzles of all kinds drew her to the mystery genre. She and her husband reside in Florida, where she loves to watch BBC productions, sip tea in the afternoons, and delve into the past.
Also by Alyssa Maxwell
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.”