Tuesday, August 11, 2015
A Gilded Grave - Blog Tour Review + Giveaway
Source: Blog Tour
Description: 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 seances to find the real murder. But a misstep among the glittering upper classes could leave them exposed to something far more dangerous than malicious gossip (from Goodreads)
Why I Picked This Book: So many reasons! First I've really wanted to read this author since I discovered her Celebration Bay cozy series, then there's the time period which always catches my attention, and finally the blurb! It just sounds intriguing.
My Impression: Think Downton Abby meets Murder She Wrote (with a much younger main character) and you've got the basic feel of this book. The description of the scenery, the locations, and the clothing made me wish I was there. It was all stunningly beautiful - especially the gowns and the jewels.
There's enough characters to really fill out the book but not so many I felt like I needed a cast list to keep everyone straight and I loved the combination of upstairs/downstairs. Deanna is fascinating. She understands why she needs to act certain ways and does her best but she can't help but miss her childhood days when decorum wasn't quite so important. Mrs. Randolph is kind of a Gilded Age Mrs. Bennett without the heart and it was fun to see Deanna out-manipulate her a time or two with the help of Deanna's friend Cassie and Mr. Randolph.
I went into the mystery thinking it was going to go a certain way and it ended up having a few more twists than I was expecting. There's a lot going on in general with romances - failed and on-going -, business politics, social politics, and solving the mystery in general. The language was a little stilted and a bit more formal than we would regularly speak but I felt like that was accurate for the time period.
The mystery was well done and well paced with interesting characters and a gorgeous setting. Now, I need to go book a trip to Newport to go look at the "cottages"!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes, definitely Deanna is a character I want to spend more time with and I'm really looking forward to trying more books by Freydont.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Yes definitely!
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Challenges Met? Reading Road Trip (Rhode Island)