In glittering Newport, Rhode Island, status is
everything. But despite being a poorer relation to the
venerable Vanderbilts, Emma Cross has shaped her own
identity—as a reporter and a sleuth.
As the nineteenth century draws to a close,Fancies
and Fashion reporter Emma Cross is sent by the Newport
Observer to cover an elite house party at Rough
Point, a “cottage” owned by her distant cousin Frederick
Vanderbilt that has been rented as an artist retreat. To her
surprise, the illustrious guests include her estranged
Bohemian parents—recently returned from Europe—as well as a
variety of notable artists, including author Edith Wharton.
But when one of the artists is discovered dead at the bottom
of a cliff, Rough Point becomes anything but a house of
mirth. After a second murder, no one is above
suspicion—including Emma’s parents. As Newport police
detective Jesse Whyte searches for a killer, Emma tries to
draw her own conclusions—with the help of Mrs. Wharton. But
with so many sketchy suspects, she’ll need to canvas the
crime scenes carefully, before the cunning culprit takes her
out of the picture next . . .