STORY: In glittering Newport, Rhode Island, at the close of the nineteenth century, status is everything. But despite being a poorer relation to the venerable Vanderbilts, Emma Cross has shaped her own identity—as a reporter and a sleuth.
Fancies and Fashion reporter Emma Cross is sent by the Newport Observer to cover an elite house party at Rough Point, the “cottage” owned by her distant cousin Frederick Vanderbilt, which has been rented as a retreat for artists. To her surprise, the illustrious guests include her estranged Bohemian parents—recently returned from Europe—as well as a variety of notable artists, including author Edith Wharton.
But when one of the artists—an English baronet—is discovered dead at the bottom of a cliff, Rough Point becomes anything but a house of mirth. After a second guest is found murdered, no one is above suspicion—including Emma’s parents.
Even as Newport police detective Jesse Whyte searches for a killer in their midst, Emma tries to draw her own conclusions—with the help of Mrs. Wharton. But with so many sketchy suspects, she’ll need to canvas the crime scenes carefully, before the cunning culprit takes her out of the picture next…
REVIEW: Newport, Rhode Island – 1896
Emmaline Cross lives at Gull Manor with her housekeeper who used to be her nanny, and Katie, her housemaid. Gull Manor is a large home that had once belonged to her great aunt. Emmaline works as a journalist at the Newport Observer newspaper and is off to her uncle’s home to learn about a new assignment.
Newport used to be a bustling place which has quieted in the last number of years. However, there appears to be new interest in the town.
Emmaline’s uncle is Cornelius Vanderbilt and his brother, Frederick, owns the estate called Rough Point, which judging by its appearance is aptly named. Its dark wood and marble give off a gothic atmosphere. Other properties in town owned by various Vanderbilt relatives are Marble House and The Breakers. Emmaline’s uncle, Frederick, and his wife, Louise, are renting Rough Point and the tenants have asked that Emmaline stay with them full time rather than visit each day and to help with things There will be a group of artists staying there and Emmaline will be overseeing the tenants who are reportedly wealthy people.
One of the tenants is Mrs. Edward Wharton whom Emmaline had met when she was a child. Mrs. Wharton has asked Emmaline to look over some of her writing. Other guests are opera singer, Josephine Marcus, Vasili, a ballet dancer, Niccolo, who plays the cello, Monsieur Claude Baptise, a stage director, and Sir Randall Clifford who is interested in buying Rough Point. As Emmaline settles in, she is shocked to find her parents are part of the artist group staying at Rough Point. She has not seen them in four years when they moved to Paris for her father to pursue his artistic talents.
When a late summer storm keeps them captive inside the large and dark home and death occurs, the group is unsure if it was murder or suicide. But no one trusts the other and tension builds.
I have enjoyed the author’s other books, however, this one started off too slowly for me and took quite awhile until the pace finally started to pick up. However, I know that other readers will love this and the author’s other books.
Complimentary copy provided by the author
Connie for b2b