cover image Murder at Rough Point: A Gilded Newport Mystery

Murder at Rough Point: A Gilded Newport Mystery

Alyssa Maxwell. Kensington, $25 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4967-0328-6

Set in the fall of 1896, Maxwell’s pleasantly twisty fifth Gilded Newport mystery (after 2015’s Murder at Beechwood) finds Emmaline Cross, journalist for the Newport, R.I., Observer and distant relative of American gilded age royalty, with an assignment more worthy of her talents than the usual “fashion and frippery.” A group of artists and intellectuals are holding a two-week retreat at Rough Point, the Gothic Revival estate owned by Frederick Vanderbilt, a remote cousin of hers. Emma is to interview and write about the contentious and egotistical band of bohemians, including an opera diva, a dancer, a cellist, a sculptor, a stage director, author Edith Wharton, and Emma’s own artist parents. When someone begins picking off the guests one by one and the survivors are trapped on the estate by a vicious storm, it’s up to Emma to track down a killer. Even though some of the victims are dispatched by methods that stretch credulity, this tale will appeal to lovers of atmospheric country house mysteries. Agent: Evan Marshall, Evan Marshall Agency. (Sept.)