A Day in The Life of Miss Emma Cross by Alyssa Maxwell

Murder at Rough PointGreetings. I’m Emma Cross. Perhaps we’ve met before, but just in case we haven’t had the pleasure, I’m a cousin several times removed from the Vanderbilt family, a great, great granddaughter of the first Cornelius, whom everyone called “The Commodore.” While I have none of the Commodore’s fortune, I did inherit a good bit of his determination, ambition, and a certain disregard for playing by the rules.

I’m also a Newporter born and raised, and from that I derive my keen sense of independence. To that end, I’ve been working as a society reporter for the Newport Observer. Perhaps you’ve read my Fancies and Fashions column? No? Well, never mind. It’s merely a means to an end. What I want is to be a real reporter, reporting on hard news the roughhouseway Nellie Bly does, and prove my mettle in the world of journalism. Imagine my delight then, when I received orders from my editor to report on an artists’ retreat to be held at nearby Rough Point, the summer cottage of my relatives, Frederick and Louise Vanderbilt. They’ve decided they don’t much like Newport anymore (I’m at a loss to understand why), so they’ve taken to renting the place out. And these people, these artists from Europe, specifically asked for me to observe their activities over the next couple of weeks and do a write up for the Observer. Me! Finally—finally—my journalism skills were being noticed.

Upon my arrival, however, I found my equilibrium knocked completely askew by two unforeseen surprises, both in the form of people from my past. I confess I didn’t at first know how to react, and sentiments I’d been suppressing for years, with varying degrees of success, have become a tangle that further complicates my task.

Goodness, these artists! The group includes a choreographer, a stage director, an opera singer, a sculptor, a cellist, a writer, and a painter. To call them temperamental would be a gross understatement. They’re also egotistical, vindictive, secretive to the point of being downright deceitful—the list goes on. They call themselves friends, but from the very first conversation around the dining room table, I learned they are not only creative in their respective art forms, but in how they delight in tormenting each other.

At the same time, ominous undercurrents steal through the shadows of this very Gothic house, whispering of something else going on here besides simple artistic endeavors—some secret that followed them all the way from Europe. And now, one by one, they’re falling prey to a killer in ways that mimic their art . . . leaving me to wonder if more than secrets followed them from Europe, or if one of them is to blame. And now, with a storm raging over Aquidneck Island and making the roads impassable, I have no choice but to stay on and see this deadly predicament to its conclusion.


Murder At Rough Point is the fourth book in the Gilded Newport mystery series, published by Kensington, August 2016.

In glittering Newport, Rhode Island, at the close of the nineteenth century, status is everything. But despite being a poorer relation to the venerable Vanderbilts, Emma Cross has shaped her own identity—as a reporter and a sleuth.

Fancies and Fashion reporter Emma Cross is sent by the Newport Observer to cover an elite house party at Rough Point, the “cottage” owned by her distant cousin Frederick Vanderbilt, which has been rented as a retreat for artists. To her surprise, the illustrious guests include her estranged Bohemian parents—recently returned from Europe—as well as a variety of notable artists, including author Edith Wharton.

But when one of the artists—an English baronet—is discovered dead at the bottom of a cliff, Rough Point becomes anything but a house of mirth. After a second guest is found murdered, no one is above suspicion—including Emma’s parents.

Even as Newport police detective Jesse Whyte searches for a killer in their midst, Emma tries to draw her own conclusions—with the help of Mrs. Wharton. But with so many sketchy suspects, she’ll need to canvas the crime scenes carefully, before the cunning culprit takes her out of the picture next. . .

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About the author
Alyssa Maxwell is the author of the Gilded Newport Mysteries and A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mysteries. She lives in South Florida in the current year, but confesses to spending most of her time in the Victorian and post WWI eras. In addition to fantasizing about wearing Worth gowns and strolling the gardens of her manor house, she loves to watch BBC and other period productions and sip tea in the afternoons. She and her husband make their home in South Florida and are the proud parents of two beautiful twenty-something daughters. Visit her and find all her social media links at alyssamaxwell.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a signed hardcover copy of Murder At Rough Point. U.S. residents only, please. The giveaway will end September 6, 2016 at 12 AM (midnight) EST. Good luck everyone!

37 responses to “A Day in The Life of Miss Emma Cross by Alyssa Maxwell

  1. Linda Herold

    I love reading mysteries and would love to win this book! Thanks for the chance! lindaherold999@gmail.com

  2. Thanks for introducing me to this one! Having lived on Aquidneck Island for 8 years, I’m very intrigued. Would love to read the book!

  3. The houses are beautiful and would make a picturesque setting. Thanks.

  4. I love reading mysteries set in this time period. I’ve read the first book in the series and loved it. Hoping to read the other ones soon! Excited for the release of Murder at Rough Point.

  5. A new book in a fun series. Thank you for the chance to win

  6. Have enjoyed the other books in the series. Can’t wait for this one.

  7. I love this series and, having gotten the others from my local library, would love to own one. Thanks for the opportunity to do that.

  8. Good morning, everyone! Emma and I are happy to welcome old and new friends alike. We hope everyone will have a fabulous day today! We’d be happy to answer any questions about Newport, and we’d love to hear of your experiences there, if you’ve been!

  9. elainehroberson

    Sounds like a great new-to-author to try. Thanks for a chance to win a copy. It sounds like a book that I would really enjoy.

  10. Love this series. Looking forward to reading the latest adventure. Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. Alyssa Maxwell does it again! Can’t WAIT to read this!

  12. Brian Frauenknecht

    I love this series and can’t wait to read the newest installment. I would love to win this. Thank you for the chance to win Dru!!

  13. I’m excited to read this. Thanks for the chance to win.

  14. Thanks for this great feature and giveaway which interests me.

  15. I hope Emma realizes her dream of becoming a “real” journalist.

  16. This series is wonderful. I want this one, too.

  17. Marvelous book. I had an ARC and loved it.

  18. I would love to visit Rough Point, what a delightful way to spend a vacation – exploring this old place!

  19. I love reading about the Gilded Age in Newport and would love to read this book. It’s hard to believe that after building such a sumptuous “cottage” that the Vanderbilts would decide that they no longer liked Newport and started renting it out!

    • I have trouble wrapping my head around this too. It’s not as if they bought an already existing house, and then decided they didn’t like it. They bought the property, had the house designed very specifically to mirror an English country manorhouse, and had the grounds designed to reflect that as well. And they did it bigger than anyone else in Newport at the time. Of course, they had a beautiful estate in Hyde Park. Maybe Louise really didn’t like life near the ocean, or maybe summers in Newport were too busy for them.

      • So fascinating — it must have been quite an experience doing all the research for these books ~

  20. I am fascinated by books that are written to include a historic period. The cover and information provided on this blog definitely drives me to want to purchase this book to read.

  21. I am fascinated by the ‘cottages’. What a great book. I can’t wait to read it!

  22. this is a time era and location I love to read about. looking forward to this title. thank you for the chance!

  23. Cynthia E. Blain

    This series by Alyssa Maxwell is my all time favorite historical cozy series. I have absolutely loved the previous books and would be more than thrilled to be chosen to win Murder at Rough Point. I was waiting for the MP3 CD to come out but I am already desperate to read this, so I am keeping my fingers crossed very hard. (Jokingly but true: With arthritis, keeping my fingers crossed hurts but this series is worth it, believe me :))
    Thank you so much.
    Cynthia B.

  24. I really enjoy reading historical novels set in the late 1900’s in Newport. How grand the Gilded Age must have been. Love this series, can’t wait to read.

  25. Doward Wilson

    I would love to read this series. Thanks for the chance to win.

  26. Carol Edwards

    I enjoyed the first three books and would love a chance at this one

  27. We’ve had a lovely turnout so far. Thank you, all, for fitting Emma into your day!

  28. Vicki Highley

    I love this series, hopefully I can win a signed copy.

  29. Such a great looking series and that big stone house is to die for, oops, a pun. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  30. I cannot wait to read this series and the premise is wonderful. Thank you for this contest…
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  31. I have had the good fortune to see those houses at Newport and would love to read this mystery! Thanks for the chance to win!

  32. Looking forward to reading this series, it sounds really good. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  33. Della Williamson

    It does look like a great read. But don’t understand why they decided they didn’t like their “cottage” Since it was built according to what they wanted. Or thought they wanted. Hope this to be a sooner, rather than later, read.

  34. I love this time period—and the cast of characters for this book sounds really interesting. Thanks for the contest.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

  35. A series I need to start…..
    Thank you for the giveaway…..