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Monday, January 11, 2021

Gilded Age Mystery Series Fun, Engaging

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Note:  Although this review will not contain spoilers for Murder at Marble House, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from its predecessor, Murder at the Breakers.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.

It's only been a few weeks since Emmaline "Emma" Cross helped solve a murder at the luxurious Newport home of her well-known Vanderbilt uncle.  Now, another of her illustrious relatives is in trouble.  This time, it's 18-year-old Consuelo Vanderbilt.  Distressed at the news that she will soon be forced into an advantageous engagement to an English duke she barely knows, Consuelo begs Emma to help her escape the impending nuptials.  Emma's not sure how to help the young woman.  Before she's really had a chance to do anything, a woman is killed on the grounds of Consuelo's home and the bride-to-be has gone missing.  While the police handle the murder, Consuelo's mother pleads with Emma to find her missing daughter.  Discreetly.  The girl's dramatics cannot be allowed to spoil her upcoming marriage.

Emma, who dreams of being an investigative reporter, can't resist the chance to put her detective skills to work once again.  She wants to know who strangled the mysterious psychic, but she's more concerned about her young cousin.  Did Consuelo flounce off somewhere to pout?  Or has someone taken her against her will?  Emma vows to find her.  If she happens to bring a murderer to justice along the way, all the better.  With the help of a dashing journalist, she will get to the bottom of Consuelo's disappearance—even if it means putting herself in harm's way.  Which it will ...

I enjoyed Murder at the Breakers, the first installment in Alyssa Maxwell's Gilded Newport Mystery series, so I was excited to pick up the next book, Murder at Marble House.  Like its predecessor, the novel features a vivid historical setting, likable characters, and a plot that kept me guessing.  As a poor relation of a wealthy family, Emma straddles the line between upstairs and downstairs, which gives the stories an added layer of tension and intrigue.  With her bravery, loyalty, and compassion, she is an appealing heroine who handles her station with humor and aplomb.  All these elements work together beautifully to create engaging tales that make for a fun, entertaining series that's just all kinds of enjoyable.  I'm looking forward to reading the next book and the next and the next ...

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other historical mysteries like the Tess Holloway series by Jennifer Ashley, the Lady Darby series by Anna Lee Huber, and the Veronica Speedwell series by Deanna Raybourn)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

     

for brief, mild language (no F-bombs), violence, and mild innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain



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