THE GILDED NEWPORT MYSTERIES
featuring Emmaline Cross - a Vanderbilt by heritage, a Newporter by birth, and a force to be reckoned with!
To see the Series at a Glance, Click HERE
Praise for the Gilded Newport Mysteries:
"...A spectacular job... I highly recommend you pick up these fast-paced mysteries to take to the beach with you this summer." ~Life and 100 Books
A USA Today Bestseller week of
Sept. 4, 2014
A Bestseller at the Newport Mansions Stores!
"Sorry to see the conclusion of Downton Abbey Season 4? Well, here is a morsel to get you through a long afternoon. Brew some Earl Grey and settle down with a scone with this one." ~Washington Independent Review of Books
Available in print, ebook, large print, and on
"A well-written historical mystery tilts the world and gives us a look at ourselves from a distance, with fresh insight and often delight -- and that's exactly what MURDER AT MARBLE HOUSE provides."
Available in print, ebooks, large print and on Audible!
Murder at the Breakers
ISBN-978-0758290823 A March 25, 2014 Release
Newport, Rhode Island, August 1895: She may be a less well-heeled relation, but as second cousin to millionaire patriarch Cornelius Vanderbilt, twenty-one-year-old Emma Cross is on the guest list for a grand ball at the Breakers, the Vanderbilts’ summer home. She also has a job to do—report on the event for the society page of the Newport Observer.
But Emma observes much more than glitz and gaiety when she witnesses a murder. The victim is Cornelius Vanderbilt’s financial secretary, who plunges off a balcony faster than falling stock prices. Emma’s black sheep brother Brady is found in Cornelius’s bedroom passed out next to a bottle of bourbon and stolen plans for a new railroad line. Brady has barely come to before the police have arrested him for the murder. But Emma is sure someone is trying to railroad her brother and resolves to find the real killer at any cost…
"Emma’s ebullience and the glittering details of Newport’s gilded age past give the novel a brisk energy." ~Publishers Weekly
"...A great effort with intriguing characters and a solid murder mystery...Maxwell has written a delightfully complex tale..." ~RT Book Reviews
"...A variety of likable characters create a strong sense of community...a promising start to an engaging mystery series filled with smart observations. ~Library Journal
"What an awesome debut!!! This is definitely an author to watch." ~Escape with Dollycas
"If I could imagine a perfect historical mystery with the right amount of historical element, engaging characters and a plot line to die for, this is the novel that would come to mind." ~ Girl Lost In A Book
Murder at Marble House
With the dawn of the twentieth century on the horizon, the fortunes of the venerable Vanderbilt family still shine brightly in the glittering high society of Newport, Rhode Island. But when a potential scandal strikes, the Vanderbilts turn to cousin and society page reporter Emma Cross to solve a murder and a disappearance. . .
Responding to a frantic call on her newfangled telephone from her eighteen-year-old cousin, Consuelo Vanderbilt, Emma Cross arrives at the Marble House mansion and learns the cause of her distress--Consuelo's mother, Alva, is forcing her into marriage with the Duke of Marlborough. Her mother has even called in a fortune teller to assure Consuelo of a happy future.
But the future is short-lived for the fortune teller, who is found dead by her crystal ball, strangled with a silk scarf. Standing above her is one of the Vanderbilts' maids, who is promptly taken into police custody. After the frenzy has died down, Consuelo is nowhere to be found. At Alva's request, Emma must employ her sleuthing skills to determine if the vanishing Vanderbilt has eloped with the beau of her choice--or if her disappearance may be directly connected to the murder. . .
"...A fantastic blending of history, mystery and romance...absolutely impossible to put down." ~About the Gilded Newport Mysteries from Girl Lost In A Book
"...Solid...Maxwell again deftly weaves fictional and real-life characters into her story." ~Publisher's Weekly
"A creditable mystery, solved by a female detective who’s likable." ~Kirkus Reviews
"...Delightful...Fans of Victoria Thompson or Deanna Raybourn are sure to enjoy dipping into this historical series." ~Library Journal
"The second entry in Maxwell’s Gilded Newport series is another great testament to her writing ability." ~RT Book Reviews
"...Deliciously sumptuous with a skillful tale of murder and revenge..." ~The Providence Journal
Murder at Beechwood
For Newport, Rhode Island’s high society, the summer of 1896 brings lawn parties, sailboat races…and murder.
Having turned down the proposal of Derrick Andrews, Emma Cross has no imminent plans for matrimony—let alone motherhood. But when she discovers an infant left on her doorstep, she naturally takes the child into her care. Using her influence as a cousin to the Vanderbilts and a society page reporter for the Newport Observer, Emma launches a discreet search for the baby’s mother.
One of her first stops is a lawn party at Mrs. Caroline Astor’s Beechwood estate. But an idyllic summer’s day is soon clouded by tragedy. During a sailboat race, textile magnate Virgil Monroe falls overboard. There are prompt accusations of foul play—and even Derrick Andrews falls under suspicion. Deepening the intrigue, a telltale slip of lace may link the abandoned child to the drowned man. But as Emma navigates dark undercurrents of scandalous indiscretions and violent passions, she’ll need to watch her step to ensure that no one lowers the boom on her…
"Emma’s innate charm, troubled romance on several fronts, and the glossy ambience of the Gilded Age make this an appealing puzzle enhanced by a blend of fiction and history." ~Publishers Weekly
"...Maxwell creates a story rich in detail and suspense...it is impossible to put down." ~Girl Lost in a Book
"...Not only a great summer read but an opportunity for a book group discussion." ~At The Library with Paula
"The famous Newport families of the late 1800s come to life on these pages, fictionalized, though still very much true to who they were." ~Quiet Fury Books
"...A novel that deftly weaves fact and fiction to create a superb historical mystery..." ~The Mutt Cafe
“Another entertaining entry in this cozy series.” ~Library Journal
"More than the mystery, it’s the drop-in visit at Emma’s to find out what’s new in town, in society, and in their lives, that draws readers back." ~Kings River Magazine
Available in print, ebook, large print, Audible,
"...Several cuts above the usual feisty heroine tale." ~Roberta Alexander, member of the National Book Critics Circle.
See the full article about Feisty Heroines in the San Jose Mercury News
Read an Excerpt
Available in Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Large Print, and Audio
Murder at Rough Point
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…
"Envy runs rampant among the unique and quirky house guests, adding dimension to Maxwell’s exhilarating tale." RT Book Reviews
"The characters are fun, the dialogue is both charming and intelligent, but the scenery that makes up that extravagant time period in New England really is the gem in these glorious tales." Suspense Magazine
"...Pleasantly twisty...will appeal to lovers of atmospheric country house mysteries." Publishers Weekly
"Emma . . . is an interesting, independent career woman in this satisfying first-person account that includes well-drawn characters." Booklist
"The mystery is engaging, with plenty of plausible suspects, plot twists and surprises. The killer is revealed in an exciting ending, wrapping up this story in Christie-like eloquent fashion." My Interdimensional Chaos
"An engrossing story, skillfully told." My Merri Way
"Maxwell is quite skilled at creating a tightly woven mystery. I did not want to put this story down and return to reality. Booklady’s Booknotes
"This latest installment of an already fantastic series, is just the icing on the cake. Maxwell has a way with words and creating a mystery that will leave you guessing until the very end." Girl Lost in a Book
"…this time, it is not her ladies’ maid who assists her in finding a killer, it is none other than the writer Edith Wharton! The lines between history and the world of the book blend together in a most interesting way, adding to my delight in reading this book." Back Porchervations
"With twists and turns in the story, you will be engaged and captivated from the start." Shelley’s Book Case
"Maxwell creates a delightful mystery in MURDER AT ROUGH POINT and I’m pleased to travel back in time with her." Cozy Up With Kathy
"It was a book full of tension and suspense, the storyline flowed perfect and is well woven and the characters were very interesting." LibriAmoriMiei
"A wonderful story that is well-plotted and carries a sense of history . . . intriguing and engrossing ." I Am, Indeed
"So well written . . . keeps us readers on our toes." Escape with Dollycas
See the Great Escape Review Tour at Dollycas! click HERE
Read an Excerpt!
Available in hardcover,
ebook, and large print!
"A mesmerizing tale. The characters Emma meets along the way are fascinating. The settings are thoroughly researched and provide the reader with a glimpse into the past that engages all the senses." Stephanie Saxon Levine, Editor, Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore Newsletter
Murder at Chateau sur Mer
The Gilded Newport Mysteries book 5
In the late nineteenth century, Newport, Rhode Island, is home to some of America’s wealthiest citizens. It’s also the beat of society reporter Emma Cross, a less well-heeled cousin to the illustrious Vanderbilts, who occasionally moonlights in solving murders . . .
Covering a polo match for the Observer, Emma’s job is to take note of the real players off the field—Newport’s well-bred elite. But the fashionable façade is breached when a woman in gaudy clothing creates a scene demanding to speak to the wife of Senator George Wetmore—until she is escorted off the grounds by the police.
The next morning, police detective Jesse Whyte asks Emma to meet him at the Wetmores’ Bellevue Avenue home, Chateau sur Mer, where the senator’s wife, Edith, has mysteriously asked to see her. Upon entering the mansion, Emma is confronted with a crime scene—the intruder from the polo match lies dead at the foot of a grand staircase.
To avoid scandal, Edith Wetmore implores Emma to use her reporter skills and her discretion to investigate. When Emma learns the victim was a prostitute—and pregnant—she wonders if the senator was being blackmailed. As Emma peels back layers of deception and family secrets, she may have met her match in a desperate killer who will trample anyone who gets in the way...
"Emma digs in, pursues clues and characters, unearths blackmail, threats and murder. Plucky to the last, she’ll see it through. As you should, too. It’s great fun!" The Providence Journal
"Fans of historical mysteries will relish Maxwell's fifth series entry, with its intricate plot and cast of historical characters." Library Journal
"Welcome to another mystery full of surprises as Emma Cross places herself in the middle of danger once again. Well done!" RT Book Reviews
"'She persisted' is a good tag line for Emma. Maxwell has me hooked." Historical Novel Society
"A lively romp in true Maxwell fashion—a good mystery with just the right amount of historical detail thrown in." Mystery Scene Magazine
"...Logical and well plotted. This is a fun book to read. It moves quickly and ends with a satisfying solution." New York Journal of Books
"Maxwell takes readers back to the Gilded Age for another romp with her intrepid newspaper reporter, Emma Cross." For the Love of Books
"A fascinating historical mystery...of class and division, an intriguing story of the haves and have-nots during the Gilded Age." Lesa's Book Critiques
"Another well-researched and plotted book in Alyssa Maxwell's Gilded Newport series...an excellent build-up to the next novel in the series." Not a Book Snob
"You cannot help but fall in love with Emma... I highly recommend picking this book up, adding it to your to read list and taking a journey with Emma." Cozy Mystery Book Reviews
Read an EXCERPT
Available in hardcover and ebook. Trade paperback coming
Murder at Ochre Court
The Gilded Newport Mysteries book 6
In the summer of 1898, reporter Emma Cross investigates a shocking death among the bright lights of Newport's high society . . .
After a disappointing year as a society columnist for the Herald and staying with her more well-heeled Vanderbilt relatives in New York City, Emma has returned to the salty air, glittering ocean vistas, and grand stately mansions of Newport, Rhode Island, more determined than ever to report on hard news.
But for now she’s covering the social event of the season at Ochre Court, a coming-out ball designed to showcase Cleo Cooper-Smith, who will be literally on display, fittingly as Cleopatra, in an elaborate tableau vivant. Recently installed modern electricity will allow Miss Cooper-Smith to truly shine. But as the deb ascends to her place of honor, the ballroom is plunged into darkness. When the lights come back on, Cleo sits still on her throne, electrocuted to death.
Quickly establishing that the wiring was tampered with, Emma now has a murder to investigate. And the array of eligible suspects could fill another ballroom—from a shady New York real estate developer to a neglected sister and the mother of a spurned suitor. As Emma begins to discover this crime has unseen connections to a nefarious network, she puts her own life at risk to shine a light on the dark motives behind a merciless murder.
"Another superbly crafted and unfailingly entertaining novel by a master of the genre, "Murder at Ochre Court" is author Alyssa Maxwell's latest 'Gilded Newport Mystery' and another inherently riveting read from beginning to end.” Midwest Book Review
"Plenty of red herrings and an intimate look at the world of the wealthy and famous make for a rich broth of a mystery." Kirkus
"Maxwell dramatically depicts the era’s contentious transition from gaslight to electricity…Series fans will enjoy following Emma’s changing circumstances." Publishers Weekly
"A satisfying and intelligent story peppered with real characters and settings. Great reading, especially for history buffs." Suspense Magazine
"In Murder at Ochre Court, Alyssa Maxwell’s mastery of her craft is on full, shining display." Stephanie Saxon Levine, Newsletter Editor, Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore
"Maxwell showcases her encyclopedic knowledge of nineteenth century Newport." The Providence East Side Monthly
"Satisfying historical mystery reminiscent of Greer Macallister's Girl in Disguise." Booklist
"A rich story set in the Gilded Age with a complex mystery that keeps us guessing right up until the end. Alyssa Maxwell is an extraordinary storyteller." Escape With Dollycas Into a Good Book
"A very memorable journey and even though there are a lot of twists and turns you will not lose your way!!!" Missi at Cozy Mystery Book Reviews
"A pleasant murder mystery with insight into the lives of the wealthy of the period." Historical Novel Society
“They are excellently researched and while offering readers the challenge of unmasking a killer or two, also educate us about the lives of the rich and famous in the 1890s.” The Newport Plain Talk