The author of A Gilded Grave returns to Newport, Rhode Island, at the close of the nineteenth century, where headstrong heiress Deanna Randolph must solve another murder among the social elite.
With her mother in Europe, Deanna is staying with the Ballard family, who agree to chaperone her through the summer season and guide her toward an advantageous marriage proposal—or so her mother hopes. Relishing her new freedom, Deanna is more interested in buying one of the fashionable new bathing costumes, joining a ladies’ bicycling club, and befriending an actress named Amabelle Deeks, all of which would scandalize her mother.
Far more scandalous is the discovery of a young man bludgeoned to death on the conservatory floor at Bonheur, the Ballards’ sumptuous “cottage.” Deanna recognizes him as an actor who performed at the birthday fete for a prominent judge the night before. But why was he at Bonheur? And where is Amabelle?
Concerned her new friend may be in danger—or worse—Deanna enlists the help of her intrepid maid, Elspeth, and her former beau, Joe Ballard, to find Amabelle before the villain of this drama demands an encore.
Scandalous!!! I did not see this ending coming!!!
To me, Deanna Randolph feels like an Edwardian Nancy Drew. She is far more modern than other young ladies of her day, similar to Downton Abbey's Lady Edith Crawley. Yet in this second novel of this amazing series, everyone seems to be evolving and pushing the limits of social expectations.
An Acting troupe is arranged to celebrate the judge's birthday and although they are a lower class of society, the "cottagers" can't help but want to see them up close. Some closer than others.
The writing is descriptively stunning and I could feel the opulence. On the other end of the spectrum, I almost gagged at the stifled and moldy existance of a neglected great aunt.
Once again this is a complicated plot that twists and turns, taking us to a variety of locations, each with people having potential motives. Who knows more than they are telling? Will the police do whatever it takes to close this case?
Deanna and Elspetha are sure to put themselves in the path of danger before the case is solved.
Please read my entire review on Goodreads. I was provided an advance copy of this book to review.
About The Author –
Shelley Freydont is the author of the Liv Montgomery, Celebration Bay Festival Mysteries, (Silent Knife, Trick or Deceit),the Katie McDonald Sudoku Mysteries and the Lindy Haggerty dance company mystery series. Her Newport Gilded Age Mystery seires began in June 2015 with A Gilded Grave, followed in June 2016 with A Golden Cage.
Shelley loves puzzles of all kinds and when not writing or reading mysteries, she’s most likely working on a jigsaw, Sudoku, or crossword.