Saturday, August 8, 2015


A Gilded Grave
by Shelley Freydont

First in Series
Cozy Mystery
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Berkley (August 4, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0425275849

In 1895, the height of the Gilded Age, the social elite spend their summers in Newport, Rhode Island. Within the walls of their fabulous “cottages,” competition for superiority is ruthless … and so are the players.
During her first Newport season, Deanna Randolph attends a ball given in honor of Lord David Manchester, a Barbadian sugar magnate, and his sister, Madeline. The Manchesters are an immediate success—along with their exotic manservant and his fortune-telling talents.
But on the nearby cliffs, a young maid lies dead—and suspicion falls on Joseph Ballard, a member of one of the town’s most prestigious families.
Joe humiliated Deanna when he rebuffed an engagement to her, but while he may be a cad, she knows he isn’t a killer. Now the reluctant allies must navigate a world of parties, tennis matches, and séances to find the real murderer. But a misstep among the glittering upper classes could leave them exposed to something far more dangerous than malicious gossip…

Although separated by an ocean and a number of decades, readers of Regency Romance will also enjoy this Gilded Age historical mystery by celebrated author Shelley Freydont. She writes a devious plot about social status and reputations, of financial greed which includes murder and requires additional murders as cover up for the plans to succeed. A dose of magic (or trickery?) adds mystic suspense.

Set amongst the glittering opulence of Newport Society during the Gilded Age, feisty sugar heiress, new adult and want-to-be intrepid sleuth, Deanna Randolph, has already been jilted and slighted. This period focused on reputations and adherence to very strict social conventions. Romantic flirtations and social conflict set the tone. The household servants seem to understand far more about real life than their privileged employers. Deanna allows her companion/maid, Elspeth, more liberties than most. They enjoy reading fictional detective stories together. Will that help solve a "case" or just put Elspeth's life in danger?

Richly detailed settings charmingly illustrate the social maneuvering both of the times and of the colorful cast of characters, each of whom holds secrets. The mystery twists and turns with many clues released near the end of the novel. The pace picks up significantly near the end.
A well done who-dunnit that will hold your attention until the last page.

I did get a paperback version of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
I very happily added it to my shelf of books I recommend to friends.

ShelleyNoble FinalV3 copy
About The Author –
Shelley Freydont is the author of the Liv Montgomery Celebration Bay Mysteries, Foul Play at the FairSilent KnifeIndependence Slay as well as the Kate MacDonald Sudoku Mysteries and the Lindy Haggerty dance company mysteries, and the upcoming Newport Gilded Age Mysteries, beginning with A Gilded Grave (6/15)
As Shelley Noble, she is the NYTimes Best selling author of women’s fiction (Beach ColorsStargazey PointBreakwater Bay, and Whisper Beach as well as several novellas. A former professional dancer and choreographer, Shelley lives at the Jersey shore and loves puzzles, light houses and antique carousels. She also loves to hear from readers.
For more about Shelley, please visit her website
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  1. Nice review! I am looking forward to reading this and hadn't thought much about the 'social manueverings' that you mention!!

  2. sounds to be an interesting read!


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