First in the Gilded Newport Mysteries by Alyssa Maxwell.
This was the audio version that I brought along side of the Kindle edition, and is narrated by Eva Kaminsky.
Introducing Emmaline (Emma) Cross, a poorer relation and second cousin to Cornelius Vanderbilt II. Who lives in Gull Manor, a cottage in Newport, Rhode Island her feisty aunt Sadie left to her, and earns her way by writing about society events for the Newport Observer.
Attending a grand ball to celebrate the newly rebuilt splendour of The Breaker, the Vanderbilt’s four-story, 70 roomed ‘summer cottage’ and her cousin Gertrude’s coming-out party. Emma witnesses a man fall to his death from the balcony of her uncle Cornelius’s private rooms.
And Emma’s older half-brother Brady (not a Vanderbilt) is found drunk and out cold up in uncle Cornelius’s bedroom and is arrested for the mans murder.
Emma knows that Brady did not kill the man, and sets out to find the murderer that the police won’t look for!
This was a great start to a New series. Loved the mix of historical fact and creative fiction that melded so well together. Well plotted and written. Can not wait to read/listen to more of Alyssa Maxwell’s Gilded Newport mysteries, with Eva Kaminsky’s well balanced narration.
Newport, Rhode Island, August 1895: She may be a less well-heeled relation, but as second cousin to millionaire patriarch Cornelius Vanderbilt, twenty-one-year-old Emma Cross is on the guest list for a grand ball at the Breakers, the Vanderbilts’ summer home. She also has a job to do—report on the event for the society page of the Newport Observer.
But Emma observes much more than glitz and gaiety when she witnesses a murder. The victim is Cornelius Vanderbilt’s financial secretary, who plunges off a balcony faster than falling stock prices. Emma’s black sheep brother Brady is found in Cornelius’s bedroom passed out next to a bottle of bourbon and stolen plans for a new railroad line. Brady has barely come to before the police have arrested him for the murder. But Emma is sure someone is trying to railroad her brother and resolves to find the real killer at any cost…