Murder at Beacon Rock (A Gilded Newport Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Rhode Island
Kensington (August 30, 2022)
Hardcover : 272 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496736176
ISBN-13 : 978-1496736178
Kindle ASIN : B09MZSXL2Q
Available on Kindle Unlimited
In June 1900, reporter Emma Cross discovers the body of a woman in the waters below the Morgans’ mansion, which threatens to send members of Newport’s high society floundering . . .
As a reporter, Emma is used to covering Newport’s social events. But this time she is appearing on the arm of her fiancé, Derrick Andrews, at a small but exclusive gathering of the New York Yacht Club at Beacon Rock, the Grecian-inspired summer “cottage” of Edwin and Elizabeth Morgan. The members—which include cousin and Yacht Club Commodore John Pierpoint Morgan and widow Lucy Carnegie, the first woman to be admitted to the Club—are there to discuss their strategy for the next America’s Cup Challenge, to be held in New York Harbor the following summer.
But it’s Emma who must come up with a strategy when she discovers a woman’s body bobbing against one of the hulls of the boats moored at the base of Beacon Rock. Is it possible she fell from the Newport ferry and was carried by the tide? Or could she have drowned herself or fallen victim to foul play?
After the woman is identified as the missing daughter of a yacht designer, the police—with the exception of Emma’s friend Detective Jesse Whyte—hastily conclude she is a suicide, perhaps to quiet any scandal for the Morgans, since her body was found floating near their property. But Emma suspects the woman was murdered and begins to sort through a who’s who of sportsmen, boat crews, and the Newport elite in search of a stone-cold killer . . .
Emma Cross and her now fiancé, Derrick Andrews have been invited to a private meeting at Beacon Rock of the New York Yacht Club to discuss the next American’s Cup Challenge. Beacon Hill is the summer “cottage” of Edwin and Elizabeth Morgan. Also in attendance are Yacht Club Commodore John Pierpoint Morgan and the first woman admitted to the Yacht Club, Lucy Carnegie.
While walking the grounds Emma and Lucy hear a strange noise which leads them to find the body of a young woman in the water near one of the guest’s boats. The woman is later identified as the daughter of a man who designs yachts. Why was she in the area? Did she fall from the ferry? or was she killed and brought in by the tides?
The police are calling her death a suicide but Emma and her friend, Detective Jesse Whyte are not buying that theory. Soon Emma along with Derrick are asking questions and following clues. Can one of the guests at Beacon Rock be a killer? Will Emma survive her investigation? or will she be the next body found floating in the water?
With each Gilded Newport Mystery, I know I am going to learn about another historic estate. This time it was Beacon Rock, an estate that just sold a couple of years ago for 23 million dollars. The home was built for Edwin Morgan, started in 1887 and completed 3 years later. It is said they summered there for 30 years. He, his wife Elizabeth, and his cousin J.P. Morgan are characters in this book. I appreciate all the research the author does and shares will us in each story.
All the core characters continue to develop in believable ways. I love that Emma and Derrick are engaged and telling people. I am sure Derrick’s mother will be furious. Nanny and Katie are always on hand for anything Emma needs and Detective Jesse Whyte is adjusting to working with his new partner. I do enjoy how these characters band together, each in their own way when there is a murder to solve.
Lucy Carnegie is one heck of a character, a widow, trying to find her place in a man’s world of yacht racing. The victim, Lillian Fahey, only 18, worked side by side with her father, an engineer specializing in aerodynamics as it relates to the speed of mechanical objects like yachts. She may have even been more responsible for the formulas than he was. I enjoy that Ms. Maxwell includes strong women like these in her stories as in the time frame they are few and far between or never mentioned. The fact that Lucy Carnegie like the Morgan’s and others are actual people from history make this story even more grand.
The mystery was especially intriguing because Emma had no idea who she could trust. Was the killer one of the elite Four Hundred or was it a member of the crew of their ships or even a maid or cook? Emma and Derrick tried hard to stick together in the investigation but Emma did take some risks. I must say I really liked following step by step along with her. She is relentless when trying to get answers. The reveal was heartstopping and the showdown that ensued chilling in more ways than one.
Murder at Beacon Rock is an enthralling historical cozy mystery filled with engaging characters set in a fascinating time and place. It is well-written and totally entertaining. The cliffhanger has Emma and Derrick working on a very special story so I am really looking forward to escaping into Murder at the Elms very soon.
Note – Suicide is discussed in this story.
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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.”