*I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.*
This is the 4th installment of the Gilded Newport Mysteries. They take place in the 1890s and feature Miss Emma Cross, an independent female who works as a journalist in Newport. She is asked to write an article about an authors retreat that is to take place at Rough Point, the "cottage" of here uncle Frederick Vanderbilt. When the guest start dying, Emma, along with Officer Jesse White and a little help from the famous Edith Wharton, must figure out who the murderer is before they all end up dead.
I have to admit right off that I have not read the first three installments of this series. Therefore, I might be missing some of the backstory and such, but I don't think any of that really detracted from this book as a stand alone novel. The characters seemed very well-rounded, and Emma was bright and independent, but not so much that it would make her an outcast in the 1890s. I did get a little frustrated at her hesitation to snoop and incompetence at eavesdropping. I know it isn't polite behavior, but she is a reporter and sleuth for crying out loud.
The mystery was really good, and I did not solve it until the end. I am not sure though that the reader was really given the clues to do so. Maybe a slight hint or two, but they were so vague that you would have to read into them after the unveiling of the criminal. I liked the "stuck in the house" mystery. It reminded me of the great Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.
I think for me the hardest parts to get through was the scene explanations. She would describe the rooms and the furniture and the wallpaper, but I still have no clear picture in my head of the layout of the house. She tried to explain that, but I couldn't grasp it. It could just be me though. I never was good with measurements and such.
If you like historical mysteries and a nice cozy read, I suggest you pick up this series. It was quite enjoyable.