cover image Murder at the Elms: A Gilded Newport Mystery

Murder at the Elms: A Gilded Newport Mystery

Alyssa Maxwell. Kensington, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4967-3619-2

Maxwell’s satisfying 11th historical whodunit featuring Emma Cross (after 2022’s Murder at Beacon Rock) sees the reporter once again investigating murder in turn-of-the-century New England. Emma and her new husband, Derrick Andrews, own and operate the Newport Messenger in 1901 Rhode Island. Emma, the Messenger’s sole news reporter, has received a tip from Edward and Herminie Berwind’s butler that the entire domestic staff at the Berwinds’ mansion intend to strike. Emma heads to the Elms to speak with the staff in advance of their decision; when nearly all the servants vote in favor, the Berwinds fire the strikers. Not long after, Emma is attending a musical at the Elms when chambermaid Ines Varella is found strangled in a coal cart near the property. Emma, who helped persuade Ines not to strike, worries her advice could’ve gotten the maid killed, so she launches an investigation, only to stumble on a jewelry theft and a second murder in the process. Maxwell manages a vivid re-creation of Gilded Age New England and delivers several well-earned and hard-to-predict plot twists. Fans of Anne Perry’s Thomas and Charlotte Pitt novels will find plenty to enjoy. Agent: Evan Marshall, Evan Marshall Agency. (Sept.)