Murder at Rough Point (Gilded Newport Mystery Series #5)

Murder at Rough Point (Gilded Newport Mystery Series #5)

by Alyssa Maxwell

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496703286
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 08/30/2016
Series: Gilded Newport Mystery Series , #4
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Alyssa Maxwell began a love affair with the city of Newport when visiting friends there back in her high school days. Time and again the cobbled lanes and harbor‑side, gas‑lit neighborhoods drew her to return, and on one of those later visits she met the man who would become her husband. Always a lover of history, Alyssa found that marrying into a large, generations‑old Newport family opened up an exciting new world of historical discovery. From the graveyards whose earliest markers read from the seventeenth century, to original colonial houses still lived in today, to the Newport Artillery Company whose curator for many years was her husband’s grandfather, Newport became a place of fascination and romantic charm. Today, Maxwell and her husband reside in Florida with their two adult daughters, but part of her heart remains firmly in that small New England city of great significance, a microcosm of American history spanning from before the Revolution through the Civil War, the Industrial Age, the Gilded Age, and beyond. For more info please visit www.alyssamaxwell.com.

Read an Excerpt

Murder at Rough Point


By Alyssa Maxwell

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

Copyright © 2016 Lisa Manuel
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4967-0329-3


CHAPTER 1

Newport, RI September 1896


"You will come down from there this instant. Now, sir." I clapped my hands for emphasis, but to no avail. The individual whose disorderly bulk presently concealed the newest tear in the leather seat of my buggy merely tilted his head at me with an infuriating mixture of defiance and incomprehension.

That look begged the question: How could I possibly object to his accompanying me? Yes, well. Such had been my morning thus far. The same individual had earlier spilled water across the kitchen floor and managed to fold the doormat in half so that upon entering from the garden, I'd first stumbled over the mat and then slid sideways across the wet floorboards. These acrobatics culminated with the bumping of my hip on the edge of the kitchen table.

While I did not find this latest antic any more endearing, it was not, however, entirely unexpected.

The rays of an uncertain sun seeped through lacy cloud cover and the sharp tang of low tide permeated the air and settled on my tongue. I stepped closer to the buggy and unceremoniously took hold of a bold red collar. "I must be off, and you, good sir, must vacate this seat immediately."

Patch, a brown and white spaniel mix and Gull Manor's newest and unruliest resident, whimpered sadly and resisted my gentle tug for all of a second or two. Then, with a growly whine, he hopped down onto the footboard and from there sprang to the ground beside me.

I bent to stroke his sweetly rounded head, which reached just above my knees. The curling fur slipped like warm velvet between my fingers. "There now, your job is to keep Nanny and Katie company while I'm gone. Be sure no harm comes to them." Did he understand me? Oftentimes I believed he did. On this occasion he licked my hand and took off at an uneven lope, his shaggy ears flapping and his curling tail feathering in the breeze. He bolted out of sight around the corner of my sprawling if somewhat ramshackle house that had once belonged to my great-aunt Sadie.

I was not about to waste the opportunity, for who knew how long it would be before Patch remembered that Nanny, my housekeeper, and Katie, my housemaid, were fully capable of taking care of themselves. I climbed into my gig and clucked to my old roan hack, Barney. He lurched into a halfhearted stroll. Barney only knew one speed, but his leisurely pace was just fine with me today as I hadn't far to go.

My front lawn, which had recently benefited from the attentions of my uncle Cornelius Vanderbilt's gardeners, showed tinges of yellow and brown, a sure sign that autumn had arrived. Though the elms and maples on the perimeter of my property remained heavy with summer growth and showed only hints of the blazing colors to come, the hawthorn, boxwood, and azaleas closer to the house already looked tired and thin.

Despite the fading summer and my trials with a naughty, nearly full-grown pup, my spirits ascended with each of Barney's labored steps. Mr. Millford, editor-in-chief and my employer at the Newport Observer, had called last night with a new assignment for me, one that promised nothing in the way of danger. That in itself came as a welcome relief, for I'd had enough of danger back in July. Yet neither was this to be one of Bellevue Avenue's extravagant fetes, about which I had written countless frivolous columns about gowns, jewels, tableware, and decorations. No, for once I would neither be threatened by murderers nor secretly bored by frippery, and, best of all, I had been asked for specifically. Asked for. By name. It seemed I was establishing a reputation as a journalist. Finally.

One question did niggle at the back of my mind, but I resolved to ignore it. Why contemplate vexing riddles in the face of my good fortune?

As we left Gull Manor behind, a sturdy ocean breeze threatened to lift my hat right off my head. I placed one hand on the crown of my straw boater and turned my face into the gusts, letting my eyes fall half closed while I enjoyed the heady promise of a story of substance, the likes of which Newport hadn't seen in far too long. Decades, actually. I didn't even mind when the gull feather, dyed blue by Nanny to match my carriage dress, worked loose from my hatband and fluttered away. More than a decade ago, the intelligentsia — artists, writers, and philosophers — who had once inhabited our city in such great numbers had fled before the onslaught of the industrial barons such as my uncle Cornelius. Suddenly they were back, at least a small number of them were, and it seemed they wanted me to be the means through which they announced their return.

Me.

"Barney, do you realize this could be a new beginning, not only for me as a reporter, but for Newport as well?" I let him have his head, and while this only encouraged him to slacken the pace, we'd arrive at our destination in plenty of time. Barney knew the way to Bellevue Avenue as well as he knew his way into his own cozy stall.

For it was to Bellevue that we headed, but where the avenue made its ninety-degree turn north toward the opulent mansions that stretched along its length, we took a sharp right onto the curving driveway of Rough Point, the estate owned by Uncle Cornelius's youngest brother, Frederick. Here was no palazzo like The Breakers, or Italianate villa like Beechwood, or the neoclassical variation of Versailles's Le Petit Trianon that was Marble House.

With its granite façade trimmed in red sandstone, diamond-paned windows, and crenellated accents, Rough Point seemed a transplant from the English countryside, at least those whose pictures I had seen in books. Three gabled wings jutted out imposingly from the main structure, while a fourth gabled wing set at a slight angle from the rest made up the kitchen and service quarters. Heavy double doors beneath a Gothic arch stood framed by Ionic pilasters, forming an entrance that seemed to convey a forbidding message: Enter if you dare. Sitting on relatively isolated grounds near the southern tip of Bellevue Avenue, with rear lawns that heaved and tumbled to the Cliff Walk's rocky precipice, Rough Point had been aptly named.

And yet, for all that, I smiled as Barney brought the buggy closer. Perhaps Rough Point spoke to a dark and defiant part of my nature, one that allowed me to endure danger and death without giving way to despair. Perhaps. At any rate, I had never felt the disquiet here some of my young Vanderbilt cousins experienced. Gertrude termed the place oppressive, Neily called it archaic, and Consuelo feared the shadows no amount of sunlight or electric illumination could dispel from its mahogany interiors.

At the sound of another vehicle crunching along the drive behind me, I looked back and was surprised to see Uncle Frederick's brougham being brought up from the carriage house. A moment later the front door opened, and both Frederick and Louise Vanderbilt stepped outside. The pair had vacated Rough Point at midsummer, and I had not realized they'd returned. A man with dark hair slicked close to the scalp, angular, European features, and a pencil-thin mustache followed them. I recognized him as their estate manager, Howard Dunn, who handled legal and financial matters on Uncle Frederick's various properties. As if he were a footman or butler, he carried a valise in each hand.

Aunt Louise saw me and waved. A tall woman with tightly curled hair and a slim figure envied by her sisters-in-law Alice and Alva — and explained by her never having borne children — she always seemed genuinely pleased to see me. "Emmaline, I'm so glad you arrived before we departed. Another few minutes and we would have quite missed you."

"I'm glad I had a chance to see you, too," I said, but I couldn't help a slight sinking in the pit of my stomach. Here I had believed the individuals renting the house for the next two weeks had specifically asked for me to report on their activities. But now I suspected it had been Frederick and Louise who had recommended me for the job. I hadn't achieved distinction as a journalist after all; I merely had thoughtful relatives.

Matters could be worse, I supposed. Either way I had an opportunity to distinguish myself as a reporter in matters other than fashion and frippery.

"I thought you'd left after the tribulations of the summer," I continued as Uncle Frederick handed me down from my carriage.

"We most certainly did," he replied. "Who could bear such vulgar disorder here, in what is supposed to be a peaceful summer enclave of garden parties and festive balls? This past summer, combined with the town's rabid need to keep up with the Joneses, only served to reinforce our decision that Newport is not for us."

I hid a grin. Though I couldn't fault his motives when it came to murder and mayhem, it had been Uncle Frederick's plans for Rough Point eight years ago that had, in large part, changed the nature of Newport's summer cottages forever. Before then and with only a few exceptions, our visiting socialites had been content with Newport's very New England shingle style of mansion with the occasional exception of an Italianate villa or Gothic revival cottage. It had been the startlingly lavish blueprints of Rough Point that prompted a covetous Alva Vanderbilt to erect high walls around her newly acquired Bellevue Avenue property to prevent anyone from glimpsing her triumphant Marble House until its completion. That in turn spawned the rebuilding of The Breakers to its palazzo-inspired glory. Now, Newport boasted one palatial tribute to the owner's ego after another, with more in the making.

But of course, I wouldn't remind Uncle Frederick of all that. I believed him sincere in having grown weary of constant one-upmanship. Of his two older brothers, Uncle Frederick most resembled William, but perhaps with kindlier eyes, and a great, dark mustache that curled beyond his cheeks. "We returned only to see our renters settled in," he told me, "and to pack up any irreplaceable treasures. Now we're off again to New York."

Their driver brought the carriage to a stop beside us. Mr. Dunn, having silently held the valises this whole time, moved to load the cases onto the rear of the vehicle. A footman came out of the house with two more bags and piled them on top of the others, then proceeded to strap them all in place.

"You've been spending less and less time in Newport. If you stop coming altogether, I'll miss you terribly," I said truthfully. Of all my Vanderbilt relatives, Frederick and Louise were the most apt to accept me as I was, and suggested they find a husband for me much less frequently.

The wind stirred the silk flowers adorning Aunt Louise's wide-brimmed hat, set at an angle over her carefully arranged curls. She gestured with a lace-gloved hand. "I know how much you love Newport, Emmaline." She smiled at me. "But couldn't you love it a teensy bit less, just enough to visit us in Hyde Park? You would love it there. This ocean with its constant winds is so unsettling to the constitution. The countryside at Hyde Park is ever so much more tranquil, like a Charles Baker or Thomas Cole painting. So idyllic and soothing and ... well ... civilized. We'd so love to have you there. And our neighbor's youngest son —"

"Thank you, Aunt Louise, perhaps someday. But I have responsibilities here. A household to maintain, and employment."

"Speaking of which, we're glad you've been asked to report on whatever it is these bohemians plan to do." Uncle Frederick flicked a disapproving gaze up at the house. "You'll help Mr. Dunn keep an eye on things for us, won't you?"

"Yes," his wife interjected with some degree of agitation, "and alert the authorities should things get out of hand."

"Out of hand?"

"Yes, you know how these freethinkers are with their modern ideas of art and poetry and theater. As if the traditional and established needed fixing." Uncle Frederick gave a dramatic shudder.

"Of course," I promised rather absently. My thoughts fixed on what he'd just said. We're glad you've been asked to report ... Was he merely trying to conceal his and Louise's hand in my being here? Or had their tenants truly asked for me? I brightened at the prospect and with unfeigned enthusiasm said, "Can you tell me a bit about this group? Who they are, and their respective art forms."

"Mr. Dunn will apprise you of all of that, dear." Aunt Louise patted my cheek. With a careful tilt of her head to avoid our hats from colliding, she leaned and kissed me good-bye. "We really must go. Our luggage has gone ahead and our steamer is waiting to set sail. Adieu, Emmaline!"

Uncle Frederick kissed my cheek and squeezed my hand. "Good-bye, then, Emmaline. Come see us in Hyde Park sometime."

With that he helped his wife into the carriage and climbed in after her, leaving me with a sense that their departure seemed rushed. With her smiling face and broad hat filling the open window, Aunt Louise called out another good-bye and added in a breezy tone, "It just occurred to me you might be familiar with one of the guests, at least by reputation. Mrs. Edward ..."

The carriage jolted as it followed the curve of the drive, and the rest of Aunt Louise's disclosure became lost in the rumble of wheels and the creaking of leather suitcases. I watched until the brougham reached a stand of elm trees and disappeared from view.

I turned to Howard Dunn, the estate manager I knew only vaguely, for I'd never had reason to say more than good day to him when we had met previously. Despite his carrying valises to the coach today, his was not a service role here but rather an administrative one. I opened my mouth to question him about the guests, but he spoke with a twitch of his mustache, so thin it might have been sketched in ink.

"Do come inside, Miss Cross, and I'll apprise you of all you need to know. Some of our guests are already here. Others should arrive by this afternoon." With no further attempt at pleasantries, he turned and led the way into the house. Apparently he found me beneath his regard.

* * *

The vestibule and foyer of Rough Point left one with a distinct sense of disappointment. Smallish, rectangular rooms with stone flooring, white walls, and coffered ceilings, the entryway rather underwhelmed the first-time visitor. Especially if one had visited, say, Marble House, with its golden Sienna marble entry hall and grand staircase, the eighteenth-century Venetian-painted ceiling, and generous views of the veranda and expansive rear grounds. No, one would not enter Marble House and experience the slightest twinge of letdown.

Here, it was as if the architects, Peabody & Stearns, hadn't deemed this foyer of great importance and perhaps even added it as an afterthought. Ah, but before taking many steps, the visitor entered Rough Point's Great Hall, a room of stone and marble that stretched two stories high, with an upper gallery that ran the full length of the room, and opposite, a rotunda of soaring windows that confronted a carefully sculpted scene of lawn and rock and sea. One had a sense of stepping back in time and across the ocean, to the charmed manorial world of the English countryside. Dark marbles and darker woods defined the interiors of Rough Point, creating those shadows Consuelo so abhorred, and lending a Gothic atmosphere to the place that might have leaped out of a Brontë novel.

Unlike Marble House or The Breakers, Rough Point sprawled from one end to the other, with the majority of rooms on the first and second floors facing out over the ocean. It was across the house that Mr. Dunn led me, through the Stair Hall, dining room, and through a heavy door to the servants' wing. His brisk stride didn't cease until we reached the butler's pantry with its locked storage cupboards and equally locked safe. Multiple scheduling boards decorated the walls, and an imposing desk that boasted a telephone dominated nearly a third of the room. He bade me sit, and then ran through a list of instructions rather as a butler might have conveyed the house rules and daily duties to a new housemaid: quickly and tersely. If he thought to intimidate me with the importance of his position, I might have informed him that I had dealt with Newport's most formidable butlers and housekeepers in the past with little or no permanent bruising. I held my tongue. He went on to explain that I would come and go each day, conduct interviews, view artwork-in-progress, and report on the retreat only once it had concluded and the artists had gone.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Murder at Rough Point by Alyssa Maxwell. Copyright © 2016 Lisa Manuel. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Murder at Rough Point 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
gaele More than 1 year ago
Working to support herself, despite her more infamous and wealthy Vanderbilt relations, Emma Cross is the Fancies and Fashions reporter for the Newport Observer, working toward her dreams of following Nellie Bly, and reporting on “real” news. When she is assigned to report on a gathering at Rough Point, owned by her cousins and now acting as an artist’s retreat. Full of notables, from Edith Wharton to Emma’s own parents back from Europe, she’s all set to do the best story possible. Arriving at Rough Point, much is as Emma expected: notable people, intellectual discussions, plenty of history on view. What she didn’t expect is the undercurrent of jealousy and tension amongst those purported to be friends. But when an English Baronet, an artist, is found dead at the foot of the cliffs, there is a mystery afoot. Quickly the story turns to the multitudes of people in attendance, as they are slowly disappearing due to unfortunate circumstances, and the clues and possibilities are many. As Emma’s clear vision and memory have been helpful in past cases, her insight and clear thinking serve to take the reader through the suspects, the moments leading to the murder, and eventually to the murderer. A wonderful story that is well-plotted and carries a sense of history and the solid personality of Emma, showing her intelligence, determination and logical thought processes that further present her as a viable character. The story is intriguing and engrossing, easy to visualize glamor and riches contrast with the personalities of the party-goers, showing their more human moments and warts clearly. A wonderful introduction (for me) to this series, I’ll be adding the earlier titles in the series to my shelves for those days when a cup of tea and a mystery are all that is desired. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alyssa Maxwell knocks another Newport Mystery out of the park. I want to start off by saying that I love all of Alyssa Maxwell's work, but this one by far takes the knife filled cake. If you like the glitz and glamor of the Gilded age and historical facts mixed in with your fiction then you will LOVE all the Gilded Newport Mysteries.
ThoughtsFromaPage More than 1 year ago
Murder at Rough Point is the fourth by Alyssa Maxwell in the Gilded Newport mystery series. The setting is the star of this novel as evidenced by the series title. Newport and its numerous “cottages” contain a glimpse into a glamorous era of long ago. Emma Cross, a distant relation to the wealthier Vanderbilt families, lives in Newport reporting for the local newspaper and striving to be a journalist like her idol, Nellie Bly. When a group of artists which includes her parents, rent Frederick Vanderbilt’s estate in Newport named Rough Point, Emma is asked to come and stay with the group and report on their artistic endeavors for the local paper. A murder ensues, and Emma works with the local police to try and solve the killing as further murders continue happening. I loved Emma’s character and the rest of the cast is well-written too. The addition of Edith Wharton was very entertaining and added to the plot. I was fascinated by the details of both Rough Point and the surrounding landscape. The author describes both the house and the harsh landscape so convincingly I felt that I was there. In the Afterword, Maxwell includes various details about the “cottage” including that Rough Point was the largest of the Newport homes when it was built, and is credited with beginning the rush to build larger and more ornate vacation homes in Newport. Amazingly, the Vanderbilts tired of the home soon after they built it and began renting it out and eventually sold it. In the 1920’s Doris Duke purchased it and lived there until 1993 making Rough Point the longest inhabited of the original Newport mansions. I had not read the first three and while I am sure I missed a little background on the main character Emma Cross, that did not keep me from enjoying this installment in the series. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and am looking forward to the next one. Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
ThoughtsFromaPage More than 1 year ago
Murder at Rough Point is the fourth by Alyssa Maxwell in the Gilded Newport mystery series. The setting is the star of this novel as evidenced by the series title. Newport and its numerous “cottages” contain a glimpse into a glamorous era of long ago. Emma Cross, a distant relation to the wealthier Vanderbilt families, lives in Newport reporting for the local newspaper and striving to be a journalist like her idol, Nellie Bly. When a group of artists which includes her parents, rent Frederick Vanderbilt’s estate in Newport named Rough Point, Emma is asked to come and stay with the group and report on their artistic endeavors for the local paper. A murder ensues, and Emma works with the local police to try and solve the killing as further murders continue happening. I loved Emma’s character and the rest of the cast is well-written too. The addition of Edith Wharton was very entertaining and added to the plot. I was fascinated by the details of both Rough Point and the surrounding landscape. The author describes both the house and the harsh landscape so convincingly I felt that I was there. In the Afterword, Maxwell includes various details about the “cottage” including that Rough Point was the largest of the Newport homes when it was built, and is credited with beginning the rush to build larger and more ornate vacation homes in Newport. Amazingly, the Vanderbilts tired of the home soon after they built it and began renting it out and eventually sold it. In the 1920’s Doris Duke purchased it and lived there until 1993 making Rough Point the longest inhabited of the original Newport mansions. I had not read the first three and while I am sure I missed a little background on the main character Emma Cross, that did not keep me from enjoying this installment in the series. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and am looking forward to the next one. Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Jani8 More than 1 year ago
The books by Alyssa Maxwell keep getting better and better each time she writes them! These books are set in the “gilded age” in Newport, RI, where the Vanderbilts have their “cottages”. I’ve toured 2 of them and their term cottage isn’t exactly mine. These homes are massive and opulently decorated, each society matron trying to outdo the others. What’s interesting (or decadent) is that they usually spent only 2 months in the summer in them. Emma is a relative of the Vanderbilts on her mother’s side, but without the money or the rigid society life. She is a journalist, where her editor only hires her as a society columnist. She has had some excellent articles regarding murder in the higher ranks of society (which she had firsthand knowledge of them, being instrumental in solving of each case). This time she is staying at the home, Rough Point, of one of her cousins to live with a group of artists for 2 weeks. She was specifically by one of the guests. She is to write of the return of the artists to Newport. She is stunned to find out her parents are in this group. Edith Wharton is also a guest. That gives the story an added kick as Emma remembers meeting Mrs. Wharton when she was a little girl, who couldn’t get her Mother to pay attention to her while Mrs. Wharton was there. She has resented her ever since, but now discovers that she really likes and admires her. Then an accident happens – or was it murder? Another body is discovered and this one is murder. They become cut off from the rest of the world by a massive storm and start to suspect each other as being the murderer. Paranoia abounds. This novel is interesting on many levels. The one that involved Emma’s relationship with her parents gives us some deeper knowledge of her personality. She is a very strong woman and I like that about her. We also learn more about her relationship with Jesse Whyte, the Police Detective. He is 10 years older than she is and has been a family friend for a very long time. She has definite feelings for him, but are they love? This is an intriguing series with a remarkable heroine. Ms. Maxwell writes her so well, that you feel you have a friend named Emma! The plot was excellent and kept me guessing up until very close to the end. She has also written another series, Lady and Lady’s Maid, set in England post WWI. They are told alternately from the viewpoints of one young lady and her maid. I highly recommend that series as well. All in all, a fascinating book!
ethel55 More than 1 year ago
I have visited Newport, so it was a lot of fun to see what things were like a little closer to their heyday, even if it is off-season. Emma Cross is as distant relation to many of the fabled rich inhabitants of Newport, so when she's asked to cover what seems like a house party of quirky artists, she agrees. A storm keeps the setting at Rough Point isolated and a very Christie-like mystery ensues. It's an interesting time period and the visitors from Europe seem to have a lot to gain from their ties to the others.
piratelady62 More than 1 year ago
I love her books! Another wonderful one.
CozyUpWithKathy More than 1 year ago
Relationships are key... MURDER AT ROUGH POINT by Alyssa Maxwell The Fourth Gilded Newport Mystery Emma Cross believes she's finally making a name for herself as a reporter when she's been asked to cover a story of a group of artists coming to stay at Rough Point for an artist retreat of sorts. The brooding estate happens to belong to her uncle, who has rented the place out, leaving his manager in charge, and pleased that Emma will keep an eye out on things as well; who knows what those artistic types could get into. Emma soon discovers that the artistic troupe is rife with conflict. She connects with Sir Randall who has been bullied by critics and peers alike. Sir Randall is buoyed by Emma's comments, his artistic fire burning once more. However, he goes missing after a walk and is later found dead. Was it an accident, suicide, or murder? When another artist misses the next dinner Emma is sure it's murder! Although MURDER AT ROUGH POINT is not quite a locked room mystery, it's close. Being the off season, as well as the estate's relatively isolated location, neighbors are scarce. The storm makes visitors even more improbable. That leaves a Gothic Newport "cottage" full of suspects who are pretty much trapped there. A perfect setting for a mystery. Relationships are key in MURDER AT ROUGH POINT. Relationships between the artists are stormy and passionate, positive and negative, but most of all, secretive and shuttered. And unexpected. Emma has to deal with the return of her parents (a strained relationship), as well as a woman she has always detested and one she always admired...with both of those feelings soon being exchanged. Emma has to ferret out the truth of the artists feelings toward each other, as she considers her feelings toward Newport police detective Jesse Whyte and currently out of the picture in Italy, Derrick Andrews. I enjoy historical cozies for many reasons, especially the author's attention to detail and historical accuracy bringing another time to life. In Maxwell's afterword we're able to learn even more about the real life Rough Point as well as some creative license she took. Hey, why not add more bedrooms?! Maxwell creates a delightful mystery in MURDER AT ROUGH POINT and I'm pleased to travel back in time with her. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Classic closed room/manor mystery! A group of “artists” descend to Rough Point for a retreat. Emma has been asked to cover the event and is invited to stay there too. When a deluge of rain starts falling and flooding the roads everyone is basically trapped within the grounds and mansion of Rough Point. First one man is found dead and then another and there is another attempt. Detective Jesse Whyte is on the case but Emma is the one living with a killer. The suspects are limited so she just needs to determine the guilty party before everyone is murdered. Such a great story. The new characters are unique and talented in their own way. I like the way the author incorporates real people in her stories. That sometimes has me pondering, did this really happen? Thankfully an Afterword is included at the end of the story giving us details about Rough Point and the surrounding area and the inhabitants. What really surprised me was that Emma’s parents had returned from Paris and are among the group of artists. If you have read previous books in this series you know they have been gone for quite some time and Emma has become a strong independent woman. That is a little hard for her parents to understand. Some conflicts arise and I am thrilled that Emma was able to get some things off her chest. The murder mystery was so well written. I had several different suspects at the top of my list as the story continued. One clue would have me eliminate one suspect and another put them right back on the list. Ms. Maxwell definitely keeps us readers on our toes. I also enjoy the history she brings to her stories. Rough Point is one of mansions from the Gilded Age in Rhode Island that is now open as a museum. The home was designed by Emma’s “Uncle Freddy”. Emma is from the less wealthy side of the family tree but all hold her in high regard. It is out on a point so while the building withstood the weather the roads and the people didn’t fair so well. Emma and others were often completely drenched. One time even inside when a pipe burst. The author’s fabulous descriptive details puts the reader right into the scene. I have loved each story in this series, going back in time to see how the elite and not so elite Rhode Island families spend their time. Of course, a murder or two, always captures my interest too.
CozyMysteryBookReviews4U More than 1 year ago
I LOVE the Guilded Newport Mystery series by Alyssa Maxwell and Murder at Rough Point is NO exception !! Maxwell has such a way in taking you back to the end of the 19th century and making you feel like you are actually there !! Emma Cross is asked to attend a gathering of artists at her cousin's Newport home that he has rented out. She is asked to stay on with the other guests and interview the artists for an article for the paper. Unknowingly to Emma, however, is that her parents are in attendance as well. Emma has not seen her parents in four years, ever since they left Newport for Paris so that her father could pursue his painting. As Emma becomes re-acquainted with her parents it becomes clear that her parents are holding back and keeping secrets. As she trys to unravel that mystery one of the houseguest goes missing and is found at the bottom of the cliffs in the water. Did he jump ? Was he pushed ? While Emma and Detective Jesse Whyte begin to investigate another member of the group is found dead in his bathtub. Was it an accident or is someone killing members of the group ? And why ?? The assortment of artists as well as the limited service staff on hand are an interesting bunch of characters. As you read and get to know them, you will find yourself liking them and wondering who, if any, could hvae done these horrific acts and why ?? The ending is a complete shocker that you will NOT see coming but it will all make sense in the end......
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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. Copy provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.