This mystery by Shelley Freydont takes place in 1895 among the extravagant mansions of Newport, Rhode Island's elite. It is Deanna Randolph's first summer season at Newport. She's excited to meet Lord David Manchester, the visiting Barbadian sugar magnate, and his beautiful sister, Madeline. But things get complicated when, at her very first ball, her friend's maid is found dead. At first it looks like the maid accidentally fell from the cliffs, but then the police conclude she was pushed. And Deanna is determined to help figure out who murdered the young maid and why.
I love books set during the Gilded Age, and the Newport setting of this one makes A Gilded Grave even more fun. Then there's Deanna Randolph and her maid, Elspeth; this fearless duo love to read dime novel detective stories at night, but they soon discover that real sleuthing is a little more dangerous than they thought, especially when a second maid ends up dead. I liked them. I also liked that Deanna is a bit of a tom boy who chafe's under the constraints that Newport society places on her as a "proper" young lady. She's smart and funny and very determined. Then there's Joe Ballard. His father and Deanna's are in the sugar business together, and at one time everyone thought he and Deanna would get married. But they didn't. And Deanna isn't sure if they're even friends any more. Though they once were. Their relationship is my favorite part of this novel, though the mystery itself is nicely complicated with more than one twist and turn. Freydont's writing is not only enjoyable, but entertaining, too. If I rated stories with stars, I'd give this one four out of five.
A bookish bonus: A Gilded Grave also fulfills the Rhode Island category for the 2016 Reading New England Challenge hosted by Lory of The Emerald City Book Review.
Yes, the late 1800s - early 1900s is a pretty cool time in history. SO much was happening both socially and in industry. One of my favourite eras to read about. Sounds like a good book (and that cover!) I love it.ReplyDelete
It's one of my favorite time periods...especially for intrepid female characters. :)Delete
I love the fact that Deanna and her maid read dime novels! That alone makes me curious. :)ReplyDelete
I liked that about them. And the fact that neither one are easily pushed around. :)Delete
It really is such an interesting time in history. Like Jenclair, I like that the two characters read dime novels. That's a nice touch. This one sounds good.ReplyDelete
It'a a fun read...it made me smile and laugh and forget about life for a day or two. :)Delete
Sounds like a fun book, and I also love the setting. Perfect for the last days of summer!ReplyDelete
Absolutely! I got very lucky with this one. :)Delete
Gilded Age Newport does sound like a great setting for a mystery. A super entry for Rhode Island!ReplyDelete
It was a very serendipitous find...I wasn't even looking for a Rhode Island book when I stumbled on this one. But I'm awfully glad I found it. :)Delete
I love the cover of this one and I like the sound of the story line. Glad you enjoyed it.ReplyDelete
The cover is great....but the story inside is even better. :)Delete
Sounds like an intriguing read! And I love that cover! Will keep a look out for this book.ReplyDelete
I hope you get a chance to read it ...and that you enjoy it as much as I did.Delete
I visited Newport last year, and it made me wish I could transport myself back to the Gilded Age. This looks like an intriguing book and one that I'd really enjoy.ReplyDelete
Oh...how lucky! I'd love to be able to visit Newport and see those "summer cottages" the very rich built way back when. :)Delete
Ah... there's nothing like a Newport setting during the Gilded Age to make me want to pick up a book! This sounds like a great one!ReplyDelete
The setting is great...and the characters are even better. Deanna is delightful and intrepid and smart and funny. I liked her a lot.Delete