Emma Cross, a reporter and distant relative of the Vanderbilts, is thrilled to receive an assignment to write about an artist's retreat. Rough Point, a Newport cottage owned by Frederick Vanderbilt, is leased to the artist's group for the retreat. Rough Point is one of the first mansions built in Newport, but Frederick his wife grew tired of it and began leasing it.
When she arrives, Emma is surprised to be greeted by Edith Wharton, who befriends her and insists that she stay at Rough Point for the retreat. Even more surprising, the guest list includes Emma's mother and father who have been living in Paris for years. Something mysterious is happening with her parents, and Emma almost wishes she hadn't accepted the invitation to stay at Rough Point.
The retreat takes on a grim turn when one of the guests is found dead at the bottom of the cliffs near the house. Storms arrive and the party becomes more isolated as the guests die one by one.
The plot in this cozy mystery is interesting, but the best part of the book is the description of the setting at Rough Point. The author is captivated by the Newport mansions and does a good job bringing the setting to life. The afterward about the history of Rough Point is a must read.
Emma is a sympathetic character. She's poor, but she has enough money to live on and her own home in Newport. She cherishes her independence and wants to be taken seriously as a reporter. The cast of unusual characters at the house party adds life to the novel with a baronet, an opera singer, and others adding their peculiarities to the mix.
I enjoyed the book. This is the fourth book in the author's series of murders in Newport mansions and one of the best.
I received this book from Net Galley for this review.