cover image Murder at Beacon Rock

Murder at Beacon Rock

Alyssa Maxwell. Kensington, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4967-3617-8

At the start of Maxwell’s clever Gilded Newport mystery (after 2021’s Murder at Wakehurst), intrepid reporter Emma Cross and her fiancé, Derrick Andrews, arrive one summer day in 1900 for dinner at yachtsman Edwin Morgan’s Beacon Rock estate. While Derrick was born into this privileged world, Emma, though a distant cousin of the Vanderbilts, is aware that she “dangled from the nether regions of the family tree” and feels ill at ease. To escape the constant talk about the upcoming America’s Cup races, she steps out for a breath of air and makes her way down to the pier. There, she discovers the lifeless body of a young woman floating in the water. As always, the wealthy close ranks when the police come to call, and it’s up to Emma to investigate not only the original murder but those that follow. Series fans will be pleased that Emma and Derrick officially announce their intention to marry, leaving Emma to ponder how she will navigate the tedious and at times dangerous world of high society. Readers will look forward to the further adventures of Emma, who astutely illuminates the habits and mores of her day. Agent: Evan Marshall, Evan Marshall Agency. (Sept.)