Monday, August 12, 2019

Unwrapping a Guest Review by Connie Fischer of MURDER AT CROSSWAYS, a Gilded Newport Mysteries novel by Alyssa Maxwell

Greetings my darling readers, I know I’ve been remiss in providing you reviews of good reads this past year and I apologize. Life has a hold on me which does not allow me much reading time. I have tried to make up for that in publishing my own good reads for you and I hope you’ve given them a try. So to make up for my neglect, I will be offering up guest reviews for you enjoy. I hope to be back reviewing for you soon but in the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy my dear friend, Connie Fischer’s reviews to guide you to good reads. Enjoy and Happy Reading!

I present to you a guest review of MURDER AT CROSSWAYS, a Gilded Newport Mysteries novel by Alyssa Maxwell, published July 30, 2019.


In late August 1898, reporter Emma Cross attends the final fĂȘte 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….


Connie’s Review:

Newport, Rhode Island - 1898

Cornelius Vanderbilt, II is being taken to the beach in his wheelchair. He had suffered a stroke 2 years ago, followed by several mini-strokes. Many of the wealthy families living in the area are enjoying the beach as well.

Emmaline (Emma) Cross, niece to the Vanderbilts, is with the family today. She is on the poor side of the family and had earned her living as a society journalist for the “Newport Observer.” Now, she is the editor-in-chief of the “Newport Messenger."

Many women are wearing woolen bathing costumes considered by some to be quite shocking for the time period. One woman in particular, Mrs. Lucy Clews, wife of the New York financier, Henry Clews, begins floundering in the water and some of the men go out and rescue her. At the same time, Emma hears some shouting further down the beach. Running to see what’s happening, she finds the body of a man who has just washed ashore and who looks just like her half-brother, Brady, She realizes with relief that it is not Brady, but an older man that looks similar to him. She wonders if it could be Brady’s father who went missing years ago. Detective Jesse Whyte of the Newport Police is investigating the find. He is also a dear friend of Emma’s.

Crossways is the home of Mamie Fish and has just been completed. Tonight, Mamie is hosting a Harvest Festival party. Emma is attending in her capacity to cover social events for the “Newport Messenger” and is simply observing from the sidelines. Prince Otto of Austria is reportedly to be attending as the guest of honor with many mothers hoping to match him with their daughters. But when he is delayed, people wonder if it’s all a hoax. But later, the Prince is found murdered in the garden, and another murder occurs a couple of days later. Emma soon finds herself investigating these deaths, along with the help of Mrs. Fish.

This is the seventh book of the Gilded Newport Mysteries Series by Alyssa Maxwell. I have enjoyed learning about the beautiful homes that housed some America’s very wealthy during the late 19th century. She has perfectly woven mysteries with each of the homes and the people who inhabited them. Her characters are well-created and true to the time period. I can’t say that these books could necessarily be stand-alone novels, as the characters could cause confusion as to who is who. However, the author does her best to do a brief explanation of how they fit into her life. Pay attention as you read this book to pick up the clues to see if you can solve the mystery before the end of the book. Enjoy.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

MURDER AT CROSSWAYS, a Gilded Newport Mysteries novel by Alyssa Maxwell, Kensington, available now in ebook, print, and audio at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks

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