Friday, September 22, 2023

Book Review and Giveaway - Murder at the Elms (A Gilded Newport Mystery) by Alyssa Maxwell

My Review

During the Gilded Age, Emma Cross and her husband Derrick are part of the social set in Newport, Rhode Island and also own the local newspaper.  They become involved in detecting when a young maid from a neighboring estate is discovered dead in a coal mine at the same time a very valuable necklace is discovered missing.

I wanted to read this mystery because I have enjoyed several of the books in Alyssa Maxwell's A Lady and Lady's Maid series.  I have not (yet!) read the other books in the Gilded Newport series, but Murder at the Elms works well as a stand alone.

I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery.  I love historical fiction and cozy mysteries, and this book is a perfect blend of both.  The Gilded Age setting is perfection!  There are so many great period details and descriptions that make this earlier time come alive.

I really like Emma as an amateur detective.  She's smart and independent.  Her relationship with Derrick, which is more modern than many marriages of this time, was also interesting.

The mystery aspect of Murder at the Elms was well done, with a brisk pace and a storyline that unfolds as Emma sleuths.

I recommend Murder at the Elms for fans of historical fiction, historical mysteries, cozy mysteries - and for anyone who is interested in the Gilded Age.  I want to go back and read the rest of this series!

Book Synopsis

As the nineteenth century comes to a close, the illustrious Vanderbilt family dominates Newport, Rhode Island, high society. But when murder arrives, reporter Emma Cross learns that sometimes the actions of the cream of society can curdle one’s blood in the latest installment of this bestselling cozy historical mystery series . . .

1901: Back from their honeymoon in Italy, Emma and Derrick are adapting to married life as they return to their duties at their jointly owned newspaper, the Newport Messenger. The Elms, coal baron Edward Berwind’s newly completed Bellevue Avenue estate, is newsworthy for two reasons: A modern mansion for the new century, it is one of the first homes in America to be wired for electricity with no backup power system, generated by coal from Berwind’s own mines. And their servants—with a single exception—have all gone on strike to protest their working conditions. Summarily dismissing and replacing his staff with cool and callous efficiency, Berwind throws a grand party to showcase the marvels of his new “cottage.”

Emma and Derrick are invited to the fete, which culminates not only in a fabulous musicale but an unforeseen tragedy—a chambermaid is found dead in the coal tunnel. In short order, it is also discovered that a guest’s diamond necklace is missing and a laborer has disappeared.

Detective Jesse Whyte entreats Emma and Derrick to help with the investigation and determine whether the murdered maid and stolen necklace are connected. As the dark deeds cast a shadow over the blazing mansion, it’s up to Emma to shine a light on the culprit . . .

Author Bio

Alyssa Maxwell is the author of The Gilded Newport Mysteries and A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mysteries. She has worked in publishing as a reference book editor, ghost writer, and fiction editor, but knew from an early age that she wanted to be a fiction author. Growing up in New England and traveling to Great Britain and Ireland fueled a passion for history, while a love of puzzles drew her to the mystery genre. She and her husband have make their home in South Florida. She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the South Florida Fiction Writers. Author Links 

Facebook Sleuths In Crime

Purchase Links – AmazonB&

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

Alyssa Maxwell said...

Thank you so much for this review!