I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

At the end of last year, I received an opportunity to read Murder Most Malicious– the first book in Alyssa Maxwell’s A Lady and Lady’s Maid historical mystery series. It was a wonderful book, so when the opportunity arose to read the latest entry in her Gilded Newport series, I was excited.

Murder at Rough Point is the fourth book in the Gilded Newport series. I have not read any of the other books, and this may have put me at a disadvantage. As the story begins, reporter (and shabby Vanderbilt cousin) Emma Cross is sent to cover a house party at one of the Newport “cottages”. The guests are an eclectic mix of artists, including Edith Wharton and her brooding husband Teddy.

When a guest turns up dead at the bottom of the cliff, it appears to be a suicide. But when a second guest is also found dead, it cannot be denied that there may be a more sinister force at play. It’s up to Emma to figure out who is committing these crimes; could she be next if she asks too many questions?

Murder at Rough Point had all the elements needed for a great mystery story. The guests all have secrets, and it is impossible to rule out any suspects. Also, for the most part, they are physically isolated due to storms flooding the roads. These same storms have knocked out electricity, and phone service is sporadic. Everyone is tense, and the scenes are taut with a nervous energy as the guests try to go about their business. On that note, Maxwell presents us with a broad spectrum of artistry; we have painters, sculptors, musicians, an opera singer, and of course, the famous Mrs. Wharton. It should be noted, however, that this book takes place before the publication of Wharton’s novels.

The ending of the novel and the revelation of the perpetrator were a little rushed. There was quite a bit of proverbial mustache twirling, and I was waiting for the criminal to spit out that they would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for meddling Emma and her little dog too.

That said, I would recommend Murder at Rough Point. The characters are interesting, and the mystery will keep you guessing. I am looking forward to catching up on the rest of Maxwell’s Gilded Newport series, as well as the Lady and Lady’s Maid series!

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