Photo credit: Erin Manuel
Excited to be signing at the Mansions Gift Shop on Bannisters Wharf in Newport
Alyssa Maxwell is the author of the acclaimed series, The Gilded Newport Mysteries, and A Lady and Lady's Maid Mysteries. Growing up in New England and traveling to Great Britain fueled a passion for history, while a love of puzzles drew her to the mystery genre. It has been the city of Newport, however, that has most inspired her writing with its rich historical and cultural diversity. Although they still consider Newport home, she and her husband reside in Florida, where Alyssa is a member of the Mystery Writers of America-Florida Chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the South Florida Fiction Writers.
Alyssa is available for speaking engagements in the South Florida area, and occasionally elsewhere as well. She'd be delighted to address book clubs and take part in writers seminars and library events, etc. Please contact her at alyssamaxwellauthor(@)gmail(dot)com or use the form on her contact page.
Member: Mystery Writers of America - Florida Chapter; South Florida Fiction Writers
Represented by The Evan Marshall Agency
Alyssa's Connections to Newport, RI:
Alyssa Maxwell began a love affair with the city of Newport while visiting friends there back in her high school days. Time and again the narrow 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 beneath the palms and bright skies of Florida, 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.
Tips for Visiting Newport:
1. If you plan to tour the mansions, consider joining the Preservation Society of Newport County. All mansion tours are free to members! And plan to see the smaller properties, such as Hunter House, Chateau sur Mer and the Isaac Bell house. These are every bit as delightful as the larger houses, and filled with charming and significant architectural details. Website: http://www.newportmansions.org/
2. Take the Servant Life Tour at The Elms and the Beneath The Breakers Tour for a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at life and technology in the Gilded Age.
3. Don't miss Rough Point! It's owned by the Newport Restoration Foundation and located at the south end of Bellevue Avenue. Aptly named, the house was home to Frederick and Louise Vanderbilt and, later, tobacco heiress Doris Duke. The tour is fascinating!
4. Walk a block up from Thames Street for some less crowded historical ambiance. If Trinity Church is open, have a look inside. It's a beautiful example of colonial church architecture.
5. Touro Synagogue is also fascinating and the oldest continuously used synagogue in the U.S., and offers tours.
6. Visit Charter Books, on Lower Broadway. They're relatively new in town, but they've definitely established themselves as part of the community with lots of events and a super friendly staff. Tell them I sent you! Charter Books | 8 Broadway, Newport, RI 02840 | (401) 236-8678 Link: WEBSITE
7. Try "the other Cliff Walk", Sachuest Point, out past Second Beach. Go early and wear sunscreen. Take the ocean view loop. The views are breathtaking and you'll see some unspoiled New England coastline.
8. Visit the Norman Bird Sanctuary and Hanging Rock, close to Sachuest Point.
9. Walk around The Point, a beautifully intact colonial neighborhood beside the harbor.
10. See it from the water! Take a cruise excursion around the bay and Newport Harbor. There are several different Newport Harbor tours, and some are discounted if you're a Preservation Society member. Check the website!
11. For good coffee and cozy ambience I recommend Empire Coffee, with shops on Lower Broadway near Charter books and the Wanton-Hazard-Lyman House, and on Bellevue Ave., across from the Newport Casino.
12. Hop across the bridge to Jamestown and visit the Beavertail Lighthouse for spectacular ocean views in a natural, unspoiled setting. There are also some cute shops and places for lunch in town, on the water.
13. Back in Newport, the Sailing Museum on upper Thames Street is an interactive experience that's fun for the whole family.
14. Go for dinner and/or drinks at La Forge Restaurant at the Tennis Hall of Fame (the Newport Casino) on Friday or Saturday night and be entertained by local favorite David Manuel.
Click to listen to my interview on Writing Fun, where I talk about my series, my writing process, and, of course, Newport!
In an interview with Writing Fun, Michelle and I discuss Murder at Ochre Court!
More about me...
I live in Florida, and I love chilly days at the beach, riding my bike to the farmer's market, and exploring our beautiful parks through cypress swamps and Everglades trails...
But as I'm sure you've already guessed, Newport is our home away from home and is always close to our hearts. Here are some fun moments from one of our trips.
I was honored to participate in the 2014 University of Central Florida's Book Festival. The weekend kicked off with a lovely cocktail party for the authors, booksellers, staff and sponsors. I was absolutely thrilled to meet Mike Farrell, who played B.J. Hunnicutt in the TV series MASH. He was there to speak about and sign his memoir, Just Call me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist.
Author of the Gilded Newport Mysteries
A Lady and Lady's Maid Mysteries