In late August 1898, reporter Emma Cross attends the final fête of the Newport social season and discovers the party's over for a visiting prince . . .
The days are getting shorter as summer's end approaches, which means it's time for the Harvest Festival, the last big event of the season, held by Mamie Fish, wife of millionaire railroad tycoon Stuyvesant Fish, at their grand "cottage," Crossways. The neocolonial mansion is decked out in artificial autumn splendor, and an extravagant scavenger hunt will be held. But the crowning jewel of the evening will be the guest of honor, Prince Otto of Austria.
As acting editor-in-chief of the Newport Messenger, Emma had hoped to leave her days as a society reporter behind her. But at the last moment, she must fill in and attend the Harvest Festival. With nearly every eligible daughter of Newport high society in attendance, Emma can almost hear romantic dreams shattering like glass slippers when the prince fails to appear. The next morning, he is found dead in the side garden at Crossways, making it clear a murderer crashed the party.
The prince has been stabbed in the same manner as another man, recently found on nearby Bailey's Beach—who strongly resembles Emma's half-brother Brady's father, presumed dead for nearly thirty years after a yachting mishap. As Emma investigates a connection between the two victims, she is joined on the hunt by Mamie Fish herself. But they must hurry—before the killer slips away like the fading summer . . . (Summary via Goodreads)
I LOVE returning to the Gilded Newport Mystery series written by Alyssa Maxwell. Not only do you travel back in time but you are hanging around with Emma and her crazy lifestyle....which you wouldn't think during that time frame is but it might even be crazier !!
Maxwell knows how to attack the readers attention by the end of the first chapter. Emma is spending a quiet day at the beach with friends and family but by the end of the chapter a body is found and Emma gets up close to and faints thinking it is her half brother Brady !! Now we the devoted reader can only hope that Maxwell knows what she is doing if she is about to kill off someone that special in this series so all we can do is turn the page, hold out breath and read on.....and thankfully for us we do. Because the dead victim is not Brady but someone who looks very much like him.
Before Emma can compile a list of people to talk to and questions to ask, while attending a Harvest Festival held by one of the elite group of Newport high society there is another murder !!!
We are use to Emma helping out the police, mainly Detective Jesse Whyte, when there is a crime in town but when the hostess of the party, Mrs. Fish, asks to assist Emma, one only knows how things will go !! Mrs. Fish is one of the Four Hundred, a member of the elite, rich social group and her way of life is quite different from Emma and the interaction between the Four Hundred and someone like Emma is practically non-existent. However the relationship of Mrs. Fish and Emma seems to work quite well on this case and I for one cannot wait to see if it survives after the case is solved......
Alyssa Maxwell is one of my favorite authors and I love travelling back to the 1800's with Emma and her family, friends and the surrounding Newport area. I love going to the high-end parties with Emma while she is covering them for the newspaper and love it even more when there is a murder and Emma's investigative ways change course to track down a killer !! Maxwell knows how to catch the readers attention at the very first chapter and keep you going throughout the entire story !! Sometimes you may find yourself holding your breath longer than necessary or reading a little faster than normal but these are occupational hazards when reading.......
Review by Missi M.