Tuesday, August 4, 2015

ARC Review & A #Giveaway: A Gilded Grave by Shelley Freydont

In 1895, the height of the Gilded Age, the social elite spend their summers in Newport, Rhode Island. Within the walls of their fabulous “cottages,” competition for superiority is ruthless … and so are the players.

During her first Newport season, Deanna Randolph attends a ball given in honor of Lord David Manchester, a Barbadian sugar magnate, and his sister, Madeline. The Manchesters are an immediate success—along with their exotic manservant and his fortune-telling talents.

But on the nearby cliffs, a young maid lies dead—and suspicion falls on Joseph Ballard, a member of one of the town’s most prestigious families.

Joe humiliated Deanna when he rebuffed an engagement to her, but while he may be a cad, she knows he isn’t a killer. Now the reluctant allies must navigate a world of parties, tennis matches, and séances to find the real murderer. But a misstep among the glittering upper classes could leave them exposed to something far more dangerous than malicious gossip…

First in a New Cozy Mystery Series
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Berkley (August 4, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0425275849

My Review:

Deanna Randolph has finally entered her first season in Newport.  She, and her parents, are hoping for a better outcome at this event than her season in New York.  Joe Ballard decided not to pursue an engagement with Deanna, humiliating her and her family.  Now she has to worry about seeing him at all of the Newport gatherings and she's just not sure how she feels about that.  Fortunately, there is a new gentleman in town,  Lord David Manchester, and it seems he has his eye on Deanna - or maybe Deanna just wishes it so.  Her very proper mother hopes to find Deanna a match soon so as to put the embarrassment behind them.

When a maid is found slain on the rocks behind the home of the first event, Joe becomes a suspect due to unfortunate timing and circumstances.  It's up to him and a reluctant Deanna to weed through the money and high society patrons to find out the truth behind the death.  Of course, the main persons of interest are of the working class and finding the real killer may just put more people, including Deanna and Joe, in danger.

Deanna is being raised as a proper woman of the times, although, she's not all that thrilled about it since she desires independence.  She finds herself drawn to the death of the maid, wanting to help avenge her, all while trying to prove that, while Joe may be a scoundrel, he's not a murderer.  Her character is well written and I found myself rooting for her.  She knows what's proper and what's not but also knows right from wrong - even if doing what's right isn't what's proper.  I enjoyed the kinship she shared with her maid, Elspeth, in a time when fraternizing with the help was not accepted.

I found A Gilded Grave to be a well-written historical novel.  The story was engaging and the main characters were likable.  There was a touch of romance but nothing that overshadowed or lessened the importance of finding out who the killer(s) is.  The murder mystery was suspenseful, never really revealing information that may give anything away.  I loved the twists and turns that the author threw at the reader - it's hard to accurately guess when there are so many players that fit the bill.  All in all this was a nicely laid out mystery novel.

Paperback review copy courtesy of the publisher, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts, opinions, and statements about the book are my own.

My Rating:

Praise for A Gilded Grave by Shelley Freydont:

A Gilded Grave is such an intelligent, well written mystery. There are wonderful characterizations in this book, with lively dialogue. I felt I really got to now these characters through the novel.
~View from the Birdhouse

Meet the Author:

Shelley Freydont is the author of the Liv Montgomery Celebration Bay Mysteries, Foul Play at the Fair, Silent Knife,Independence Slay as well as the Kate MacDonald Sudoku Mysteries and the Lindy Haggerty dance company mysteries, and the upcoming Newport Gilded Age Mysteries, beginning with A Gilded Grave (NEWPORT GILDED AGE).

As Shelley Noble, she is the NYTimes Best selling author of women’s fiction (Beach Colors, Stargazey Point, Breakwater Bay, and Whisper Beach as well as several novellas. A former professional dancer and choreographer, Shelley lives at the Jersey shore and loves puzzles, light houses and antique carousels. She also loves to hear from readers.

For more about Shelley, please visit her website www.shelleyfreydont.com.

Author Links:

Websites - www.shelleyfreydont.com and shelleynoble.com

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ShelleyFreydont

Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Shelley-Freydont/e/B001HCUVP4

Twitter - https://twitter.com/ShelleyFreydont

Enter the Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Judy said...

Your book looks like a very good read that I will enjoy reading. I also love the cover!!

Crystal Cox said...

I just love historical and mystery together !!

Sapphyria said...

Thank you both for stopping by :)

bn100 said...

sounds interesting