Tuesday, May 19, 2015

What I Read in November Part VI . . .

What I Read in November Part VI . . .

Murder at Marble House (Gilded Newport Mysteries, #2)Murder at Marble House by Alyssa Maxwell -- Historical Mystery, Historical Romance

Only a few days after Emma Cross solves the mystery of the murder at The Breakers, she receives a mysterious phone call from her cousin Consuelo Vanderbilt. Consuelo is distressed and needs someone to talk to. Upon arriving at Marble House, Emma is confronted by Consuelo's mother Alva who insists Emma persuade Consuelo to marry the Duke of Marlborough... or ELSE is the implication. Cowed, Emma tries to reconcile her cousin to the idea of marrying the Duke. This only succeeds in alienating her eighteen-year-old cousin. Consuelo wants to be free to marry the man of her own choosing, a much older "old money" friend, Winthrop "Winty" Rutherford. Alva has even hired a fortune teller to tell Consuelo's fortune the way Alva wants it ... or ELSE is the implication... When the fortune teller ends up dead with Alva's new maid Clara standing behind with the murder weapon, Emma is distressed. She was the one who helped Clara find the job and is certain the girl didn't do it. When Consuelo goes missing, Alva begs Emma to find the girl and be discreet about it or else the Vanderbilts' reputation will be tarnished. Emma plunges head long into an investigation which brings her into close contact with Derrick Anderson once again. She can hardly deny her feelings for him, but she's determined to be her own woman.

This is another excellent book set in Gilded Age Newport, Rhode Island. The mystery has so many suspects with plausible motives yet they have alibis so I was unable to figure out who the murderer was. I did figure out they were lying about something but I didn't guess the extent of their perfidy. I was really surprised. I was also surprised at Consuelo's plot. I didn't really like how the author tweaked history a bit. It makes the story improbable, but I liked it anyway.

The setting is amazing. It's very different from the tourist Newport I know. I especially like that the author takes us to different parts of the island where tourists don't usually go. Since I visited Marble House over the summer, I loved the descriptions of the house, which is slightly different from the way the museum is decorated today. I have a love/hate relationship with Alva. I admire her dedication to women's rights but she scares me. I was looking forward to seeing Emma go toe-to-toe with Alva and I was not disappointed. Emma is the only one strong enough to stand up to Alva. I love that about her. I also love that Emma is determined to be an independent spinster. I admire her very much and like to think I would be like her if I lived in 1895. There's just enough romance to satisfy my inner romantic. Derrick is a bit cocky and I am not sure I like him but I think he is a good match for Emma and they could work things out. Consuelo is a sympathetic character. I felt bad for her but at the same time, I felt she was just so naive and sheltered, she wasn't able to make her own decisions. I just read her memoir All That Glitters so I'm aware of her story. I think readers will empathize with her and feel for her.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave comments and or suggestions for QNPoohBear, the modern bluestocking.