Alyssa Maxwell: Murder at the Elms

Gilded Newport #11

Murder at the Elms is the eleventh book in Alyssa Maxwell’s Gilded Newport series, featuring intrepid newspaper reporter Emma Cross, who solves mysteries among Newport’s elite.  Emma is a poor relation of the Vanderbilts, so she is intimately familiar with the high society of Newport, while at the same time having sympathy for the working class.  This is the first book I had read in the series, so I don’t know the details of Emma’s life and upbringing, but from the hints that are given in this novel, it sounds like her branch of the family fell on hard times, and she grew up in an area of Newport that was relatively far from the Gilded Age mansions.  When this book begins, in 1901, she is newly married to newspaper heir Derrick Andrews, and together they own the Newport Messenger.  From what I gather, Derrick’s family objected to his marrying her, I assume because she was a poor relation.  But at the same time some of the working-class people among whom she grew up have rejected her because of her wealthy relations.  So, Emma has a foot in both worlds, without really feeling a part of either. read more