Monday, March 31, 2014

Murder at the Breakers by Alyssa Maxwell

Emma is only going to the big event at the Breakers because she's a shirt-tail relative and writes a society column.  She's also going to help her black sheep brother out.  Instead of reporting on what people were wearing and who came to the ball, she finds herself witnessing a murder.  And her drunken brother is being railroaded into jail with a charge of murder...

Kensington Books sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It was published at the end of March and you can buy a copy now.  This is the first in the Gilded Newport Mystery series and it's a good read.

This is set in Victorian times, so even though the murdered victim practically fell at her feet, she's not allowed to write that story.  Women were only good for society pages in those days.  The limits set by the Victorian culture on women is part of the problem in this murder.

The men all had secrets.  From the youngest to the oldest, her brother included, they had secrets.  Some were worth killing for.  The women are more devious, are privy to gossip, and play their hands behind the scenes.  Besides the obvious murder, there is a raped servant, the main house man is fired for theft, and her brother stole railway plans.  All this ties together to set the scene for the first murder and the one that follows.

Her uncle is not interested in investigating any further.  Her brother stole from him and obviously killed the murder victim when discovered.  Don't bother him with facts.  Emma refuses to believe her brother did it and she won't give up.  You'd think a couple of attempts to kill her would slow her down, but no...

I liked the fact that she found a love interest in this story.  When she finds out his true identity, she can see no future with him because he's one of the monied ton.  She doesn't want to give up her independence and her right to live her life as she wishes.  She tells him they're over and doesn't look back.  Sure thing, Emma.  There's another book in this series and I bet her fella will be around despite her rejection.  At least, I sure hope so!

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