PDay Book Review – Murder at Kingscote by Alyssa Maxwell

Dear Readers,

I’d like to offer you my take on Gilded Newport Mystery series by Alyssa Maxwell. I was given the opportunity to read Murder at Kingscote (Gilded Newport Mystery #8) for Netgalley.

This author was recommended in the CrimeReads article among several others who write seaside cozies. I am not big lover of cozies (have been) but… this book is one of those that changed my mind.

Murder at Kingscote is published by Kensington Publishing Corporation and is out on 25 August 2020.


In late nineteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island, journalist Emma Cross discovers the newest form of transportation has become the newest type of murder weapon . . .

On a clear July day in 1899, the salty ocean breeze along Bellevue Avenue carries new smells of gasoline and exhaust as Emma, now editor-in-chief of the Newport Messenger, covers Newport’s first-ever automobile parade. But the festive atmosphere soon turns to shock as young Philip King drunkenly swerves his motorcar into a wooden figure of a nanny pushing a pram on the obstacle course.

That evening, at a dinner party hosted by Ella King at her magnificent Gothic-inspired “cottage,” Kingscote, Emma and her beau Derrick Andrews are enjoying the food and the company when Ella’s son staggers in, obviously still inebriated. But the disruption is nothing compared to the urgent shouts of the coachman. Rushing out, they find the family’s butler pinned against a tree beneath the front wheels of Philip’s motorcar, close to death.

At first, the tragic tableau appears to be a reckless accident–one which could ruin Philip’s reputation. But when Emma later receives a message informing her that the butler bullied his staff and took advantage of young maids, she begins to suspect the scene may have been staged and steers the police toward a murder investigation. But while Emma investigates the connections between a competing heir for the King fortune, a mysterious child, an inmate of an insane asylum, and the brutal boxing rings of Providence, a killer remains at large–with unfinished business to attend to . . . 


Emma Cross is a reporter by heart and editor-in-chief by position description. She is caught between two worlds, two professions and too many responsibilities.

Distant cousin of Vanderbilts, Emma is not really part of Four Hundred and is having troubles entering their world. On the other hand, being that distant relation, Emma is trusted with secrets and problems that inhabit summer cottages of American Elite.

Murder at Kingscote is taking reader on a car journey. Yes, automobiles are introduced at Newport. They are both marvel and monstrosity. They are to be gaped at and to be feared. No wonder, the weapon of the first murder in the story is a big beautiful automobile still decorated in flowers for the parade.

Emma Cross is investigating by invitation. She is assisted and protected by her beau Derrick Andrews (who is the story of his own), her nanny, her maid and her employees at the paper.

I liked Emma Cross and would love to read all her other adventures. I feel for her when it comes to her struggles with what and whom to choose and why. Will she? Won’t she?

Murders (there are more than one) are solved. People are helped. Justice is served (but a very Newport sort). Life goes on. Kingscote is back to its normal routine… Until the next time.

Murder at Kingscote is a very nice cozy mystery. It is sprinkled with real personalities, real existing properties and landmaks. It gives reader a taste of life in Newport at the end of the nineteenth century and accentuates the differences and intricacies of society life at that time.

I enjoyed the journey and characters. Five stars from me.

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