cover image Murder at the Breakers: A Gilded Newport Mystery

Murder at the Breakers: A Gilded Newport Mystery

Alyssa Maxwell. Kensington, $15 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-7582-9082-3

Set in Newport, R.I., in 1895, Maxwell’s pleasant series debut introduces 21-year-old Emmaline Cross, a poor member of the wealthy Vanderbilt clan. She earns her own living, drives her own carriage, and helps rescue her half-brother, “Brady” Gale, from many minor brushes with the law. At the housewarming of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s newly completed home, the Breakers, Vanderbilt’s financial secretary, Alvin Goddard, is viciously murdered. The police arrest Brady, who’s found dead drunk at the scene with railroad plans he has stolen from Vanderbilt in his hands. Coming to his defense once again, Emma discovers that an old friend’s troubled marriage, the secret assignations of Vanderbilt’s son, and a charismatic stranger who is not what he seems may all be linked to the crime. Maxwell’s language and situations can be anachronistic, but Emma’s ebullience and the glittering details of Newport’s gilded age past give the novel a brisk energy. Agent: Evan Marshall, Evan Marshall Agency. (Apr.)