cover image Murder at Wakehurst

Murder at Wakehurst

Alyssa Maxwell. Kensington, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4967-2074-0

In Maxwell’s lively ninth Gilded Newport mystery (after 2020’s Murder at Kingscote), journalist Emma Cross, a cousin “twice or thrice removed” from Cornelius Vanderbilt II, who has recently died, attends an Elizabethan-themed fete at Wakehurst, the Van Alen family estate in Newport, R.I. The entertainment consists of archery competitions, jesters, actors, and musicians. When a jousting exhibition is announced, Emma, who’s in no mood for partying after Cornelius’s death, has had enough. As she’s walking away from the festivities, she hears the insistent barking of the Van Alen dogs. Following the sound, she finds Judge Clayton Schuyler dead, an arrow protruding from his chest. In the past, Emma has depended on helpful police detective Jessie White in her sleuthing, but Jessie’s replacement, Det. Gifford Myers, tells her to stay out of his investigation, adding, “I see you can’t help yourself, but for your own sake, you had better learn some self-control.” Maxwell once again exposes the underhanded doings of the wealthy ruling class while providing plenty of fascinating historical background. This entry is bound to delight both established fans and new readers. Agent: Evan Marshall, Evan Marshall Agency. (Sept.)