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by Alyssa Maxwell

Pub Date: Aug. 30th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-4967-3617-8
Publisher: Kensington

A peek inside the lives of the rich, famous, and dead in Newport’s Gilded Age.

Newspaper reporter Emma Cross, who grew up in Newport, has an in with the wealthy crowd since she’s related to the Vanderbilts and engaged to well-connected Derrick Andrews. The couple has been invited to a small party at Beacon Rock, Edwin Morgan's estate, because of Derrick’s support for yacht racing. Though Emma is very different from the spoiled ladies of the Four Hundred, she can hold her own. When she hears a strange noise while on a stroll after dinner with Lucy Carnegie, the only female member of the New York Yacht Club, they discover the body of a dead woman floating near the dock. Thus begins an investigation that the wealthy yachting families would love to see buried along with the body, which is finally identified as that of Lillian Fahey by a picture she carried with the inscription “To Wally Darling, from L” and a ring with two initials. Emma, who has a long history of crime-solving, works well with her childhood friend Jesse Whyte but not so much with resentful homicide investigator Gifford Myers, who is perhaps too subservient to the wealthy families who support the local economy. As she learns more about the clever and independent Lillian, whose father’s designs make him a force in the yachting world, she becomes convinced that Lillian didn’t commit suicide and starts looking for motives for murder.

A middling mystery deftly contextualized by the backdrop of the still-standing Newport “cottages” of the period.