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Alyssa Maxwell is an American author of historical mystery novels.

She has so far authored The Gilded Newport Mystery and A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mystery Series.

Raised in New England, Alyssa knew that she wanted to be a writer from a very early age.

Her traveling adventures to Great Britain enhanced her passion for history, while a love of puzzles made her fall in love with the mystery genre.

Alyssa currently lives in Florida with her beloved husband.

A member of the Mystery Writers of America-Florida Chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the Florida Romance Writers, Alyssa is available for speaking engagements, and enjoys addressing book clubs and participating in writers seminars and library events.

She is represented by The Evan Marshall Agency.

More about Alyssa Maxwell

Genres: Historical Mystery, Mystery

United States

Website: https://www.alyssamaxwell.com/

Gilded Newport Mystery

  1. Murder at the Breakers (2014)
  2. Murder at Marble House (2014)
  3. Murder at Beechwood (2015)
  4. Murder at Rough Point (2016)
  5. Murder at Chateau sur Mer (2017)
  6. Murder at Ochre Court (2018)
  7. Murder at Crossways (2019)
  8. Murder at Kingscote (2020)
  9. Murder at Wakehurst (2021)
  10. Murder at Beacon Rock (2022)

Lady and Lady's Maid

  1. Murder Most Malicious (2015)
  2. A Pinch of Poison (2016)
  3. A Devious Death (2017)
  4. A Murderous Marriage (2019)
  5. A Silent Stabbing (2020)
  6. A Sinister Service (2021)
  7. A Deadly Endowment (2021)

Detailed book overview

Gilded Newport Mystery

Murder at the Breakers

As the nineteenth century comes to a close, the illustrious Vanderbilt family dominates Newport, Rhode Island, high society. But when murder darkens a glittering affair at the Vanderbilt summer home, reporter Emma Cross learns that sometimes the actions of the cream of society can curdle one's blood...

Newport, Rhode Island, August 1895: She may be a less well-heeled relation, but as second cousin to millionaire patriarch Cornelius Vanderbilt, twenty-one-year-old Emma Cross is on the guest list for a grand ball at the Breakers, the Vanderbilts' summer home. She also has a job to do--report on the event for the society page of the Newport Observer.

But Emma observes much more than glitz and gaiety when she witnesses a murder. The victim is Cornelius Vanderbilt's financial secretary, who plunges off a balcony faster than falling stock prices. Emma's black sheep brother Brady is found in Cornelius's bedroom passed out next to a bottle of bourbon and stolen plans for a new railroad line.

Brady has barely come to before the police have arrested him for the murder. But Emma is sure someone is trying to railroad her brother and resolves to find the real killer at any cost...

Author: Alyssa Maxwell
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-0758290823
Publisher: Kensington
Murder at Marble House

With the dawn of the twentieth century on the horizon, the fortunes of the venerable Vanderbilt family still shine brightly in the glittering high society of Newport, Rhode Island. But when a potential scandal strikes, the Vanderbilts turn to cousin and society page reporter Emma Cross to solve a murder and a disappearance...

Responding to a frantic call on her newfangled telephone from her eighteen-year-old cousin, Consuelo Vanderbilt, Emma Cross arrives at the Marble House mansion and learns the cause of her distress--Consuelo's mother, Alva, is forcing her into marriage with the Duke of Marlborough. Her mother has even called in a fortune teller to assure Consuelo of a happy future. 

But the future is short-lived for the fortune teller, who is found dead by her crystal ball, strangled with a silk scarf. Standing above her is one of the Vanderbilts' maids, who is promptly taken into police custody. After the frenzy has died down, Consuelo is nowhere to be found.

At Alva's request, Emma must employ her sleuthing skills to determine if the vanishing Vanderbilt has eloped with the beau of her choice--or if her disappearance may be directly connected to the murder...

Author: Alyssa Maxwell
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-0758290847
Publisher: Kensington
Murder at Beechwood

For Newport, Rhode Island’s high society, the summer of 1896 brings lawn parties, sailboat races…and murder.

Having turned down the proposal of Derrick Andrews, Emma Cross has no imminent plans for matrimony—let alone motherhood. But when she discovers an infant left on her doorstep, she naturally takes the child into her care. Using her influence as a cousin to the Vanderbilts and a society page reporter for the Newport Observer, Emma launches a discreet search for the baby’s mother.

One of her first stops is a lawn party at Mrs. Caroline Astor’s Beechwood estate. But an idyllic summer’s day is soon clouded by tragedy. During a sailboat race, textile magnate Virgil Monroe falls overboard. There are prompt accusations of foul play—and even Derrick Andrews falls under suspicion.

Deepening the intrigue, a telltale slip of lace may link the abandoned child to the drowned man. But as Emma navigates dark undercurrents of scandalous indiscretions and violent passions, she’ll need to watch her step to ensure that no one lowers the boom on her…

Author: Alyssa Maxwell
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-0758290861
Publisher: Kensington
Murder at Rough Point

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...

Author: Alyssa Maxwell
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-1496703262
Publisher: Kensington
Murder at Chateau sur Mer

Late nineteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island, is home to some of America’s wealthiest citizens. For society reporter Emma Cross, a less well-heeled cousin to the illustrious Vanderbilts, trailing gossip and glamour will lead her straight into murder...

Covering a polo match for the Observer, Emma’s job is to take note of the real players off the field—Newport’s well-bred elite. But the fashionable façade is breached when a woman in gaudy clothing creates a scene demanding to speak to the wife of Senator George Wetmore—until she is escorted off the grounds by the police.

The next morning, police detective Jesse Whyte asks Emma to meet him at the Wetmores’ Bellevue Avenue home, Chateau sur Mer, where the senator’s wife, Edith, has mysteriously asked to see her. Upon entering the mansion, Emma is confronted with a crime scene—the intruder from the polo match lies dead at the foot of a grand staircase.

To avoid scandal, Edith Wetmore implores Emma to use her reporter skills and her discretion to investigate. When Emma learns the victim was a prostitute—and pregnant—she wonders if the senator was being blackmailed. As Emma peels back layers of deception and family secrets, she may have met her match in a desperate killer who will trample anyone who gets in the way...

Author: Alyssa Maxwell
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1496703309
Publisher: Kensington
Murder at Ochre Court

In the summer of 1898, reporter Emma Cross investigates a shocking death among the bright lights of Newport's high society...

After a disappointing year as a society columnist for the Herald, Emma has returned to the salty air, glittering ocean vistas, and grand stately mansions of Newport, Rhode Island, more determined than ever to report on hard news.

But for now she’s covering the social event of the season at Ochre Court, a coming-out ball designed to showcase Cleo Cooper-Smith, who will be on display as Cleopatra in an elaborate tableau vivant. But as the deb ascends to her place of honor, the ballroom is plunged into darkness. When the lights come back on, Cleo sits still on her throne, electrocuted to death.

Quickly establishing that the wiring was tampered with, Emma now has a murder to investigate. As Emma begins to discover this crime has unseen connections to a nefarious network, she puts her own life at risk to shine a light on the dark motives behind a merciless murder...

Author: Alyssa Maxwell
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1496703347
Publisher: Kensington
Murder at Crossways

In late August 1898, reporter Emma Cross attends the final fête of the Newport social season and discovers the party's over for a visiting prince...

The approaching end of summer means it's time for the Harvest Festival, the last big event of the season, held by Mamie Fish, wife of millionaire tycoon Stuyvesant Fish, at their grand “cottage,” Crossways. The mansion is decked out in artificial autumn splendor and an extravagant scavenger hunt will be held. But the crowning jewel of the evening will be the guest of honor, Prince Otto of Austria.

As acting editor-in-chief of the Newport Messenger, Emma had hoped to leave her days as a society reporter behind her. But at the last moment, she must fill in at the Harvest Festival. With nearly every eligible daughter of Newport high society in attendance, Emma can almost hear romantic dreams shattering like glass slippers when the prince finally appears—as a corpse in the garden.

The prince was stabbed in the same manner as another man recently found on nearby Bailey's Beach, who strongly resembles a relation of Emma's presumed dead for nearly thirty years. It’s up to Emma to find a connection between the two victims—before a killer slips away like the fading summer...

Author: Alyssa Maxwell
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1496720757
Publisher: Kensington
Murder at Kingscote

In late nineteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island, journalist Emma Cross discovers the newest form of transportation has become the newest type of murder weapon...

On a clear July day in 1899, the salty ocean breeze along Bellevue Avenue carries new smells of gasoline and exhaust as Emma, now editor-in-chief of the Newport Messenger, covers Newport's first-ever automobile parade. But the festive atmosphere soon turns to shock as young Philip King drunkenly swerves his motorcar into a wooden figure of a nanny pushing a pram on the obstacle course.

That evening, at a dinner party hosted by Ella King at her magnificent Gothic-inspired "cottage," Kingscote, Emma and her beau Derrick Andrews are enjoying the food and the company when Ella's son staggers in, obviously still inebriated. But the disruption is nothing compared to the urgent shouts of the coachman. Rushing out, they find the family's butler pinned against a tree beneath the front wheels of Philip's motorcar, close to death.

When Emma later receives a message informing her that the butler bullied his staff and took advantage of young maids, she steers the police toward a murder investigation. While Emma investigates the connections between a competing heir for the King fortune, a mysterious child, an inmate of an insane asylum, and the brutal boxing rings of Providence, a killer remains at large--with unfinished business to attend to...

Author: Alyssa Maxwell
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1496720764
Publisher: Kensington
Murder at Wakehurst

During the autumnal chill of Newport, Rhode Island at the close of the nineteenth century, journalist Emma Cross discovers an instance of cold-blooded murder on the grounds of Wakehurst Mansion…

Following the death of her uncle, Cornelius Vanderbilt, in September 1899, a somber Emma is in no mood for one of Newport’s extravagant parties. But to keep Vanderbilt’s reckless son Neily out of trouble, she agrees to accompany him to an Elizabethan fête on the lavish grounds of Wakehurst, the Ochre Point “cottage” modeled after an English palace, owned by Anglophile James Van Alen. 

The festivities include a swordplay demonstration, an archery competition, scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, and even a joust. As Emma wanders the grounds, she overhears a fierce argument between a man and a woman behind a tall hedge. As the joust begins, she’s drawn by the barking of Van Alen’s dogs and finds a man on the ground, an arrow through his chest. The victim is one of the 400’s most influential members, Judge Clayton Schuyler.

With the help of her beau Derrick Andrews and Detective Jesse Whyte, Emma begins to learn the judge was not the straight arrow he appeared to be. As their investigation leads them in ever-widening circles, Emma will have to stop the killer from taking another life...

Author: Alyssa Maxwell
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-1496720771
Publisher: Kensington
Murder at Beacon Rock

In June 1900, reporter Emma Cross discovers the body of a woman in the waters below the Morgans’ mansion, which threatens to send members of Newport’s high society floundering...

As a reporter, Emma is used to covering Newport’s social events. But this time she is appearing on the arm of her fiancé, Derrick Andrews, at a small but exclusive gathering of the New York Yacht Club at Beacon Rock, the Grecian-inspired summer “cottage” of Edwin and Elizabeth Morgan.

The members—which include cousin and Yacht Club Commodore John Pierpoint Morgan and widow Lucy Carnegie, the first woman to be admitted to the Club—are there to discuss their strategy for the next America’s Cup Challenge, to be held in New York Harbor the following summer.

But it’s Emma who must come up with a strategy when she discovers a woman’s body bobbing against one of the hulls of the boats moored at the base of Beacon Rock. Is it possible she fell from the Newport ferry and was carried by the tide? Or could she have drowned herself or fallen victim to foul play?

After the woman is identified as the missing daughter of a yacht designer, the police—with the exception of Emma’s friend Detective Jesse Whyte—hastily conclude she is a suicide, perhaps to quiet any scandal for the Morgans, since her body was found floating near their property. But Emma suspects the woman was murdered and begins to sort through a who’s who of sportsmen, boat crews, and the Newport elite in search of a stone-cold killer...

Author: Alyssa Maxwell
First Release: 2022
Ebook: B09MZSXL2Q
Publisher: Kensington

Lady and Lady's Maid

Murder Most Malicious

In post-World War I England, Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, step outside of their social roles and put their lives at risk to apprehend a vicious killer...

As a difficult 1918 draws to a close, there is much to celebrate for nineteen-year-old Phoebe Renshaw and her three siblings at their beloved family estate of Foxwood Hall. The dreadful war is finally over; eldest daughter Julia’s engagement to their houseguest, the Marquis of Allerton, appears imminent; and all have gathered to enjoy peace on earth, good will toward men.

But on the morning of Boxing Day, the Marquis goes missing. Not entirely missing, however, as macabre evidence of foul play turns up in gift boxes given to lady’s maid Eva Huntford and a handful of others.

As the local constable suspects a footman at Foxwood Hall, Phoebe and Eva follow the clues to a different conclusion. But both young women will need to think outside the box to wrap up this case—before a cornered killer lashes out with ill will toward them...

Author: Alyssa Maxwell
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-1617738326
Publisher: Kensington
A Pinch of Poison

Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, encounter an uncharitable killer at a charity luncheon sponsored by a posh school for girls...

Good deeds build good character, and good character is what the Haverleigh School for Young Ladies is all about. Lady Phoebe—with the tireless assistance of Eva—has organized a luncheon to benefit wounded veterans of the Great War, encouraging the students to participate in the cooking and the baking. But too many cooks add up to a recipe for disaster when the school’s headmistress, Miss Finch, is fatally poisoned. 

The girls at Haverleigh all come from highly respected English families, none of whom will countenance their darling daughters being harassed like common criminals by the local police. So Lady Phoebe steps in to handle the wealthy young debutantes with tact and discretion, while Eva cozies up to the staff.

No one is above suspicion, not even members of the school’s governing body, some of whom objected to Miss Finch’s “modern” methods. But Lady Phoebe and Eva will have to sleuth with great stealth—or an elusive killer may try to teach someone else a lethal lesson...

Author: Alyssa Maxwell
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-1617738364
Publisher: Kensington
A Devious Death

In the sobering yet hopeful years following the First World War, Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, find their summer plans marred by an instance of murder...

Phoebe and her sister Julia are eager for a summer getaway at High Head Lodge, the newly purchased estate of their cousin Regina. But they are not the only houseguests. Regina's odd friend, Olive, is far from friendly, and Regina's mother and brother—bitter over the unequal distribution of her father's inheritance—have descended on the house to confront Regina. 

In addition to the family tension, Eva is increasingly suspicious of Lady Julia's new maid—wondering why she left her former employer so suddenly. And why does Regina seem ill at ease around the maid, as if they were previously acquainted? But things go from tense to tragic when their hostess meets an untimely end—murdered in her bed with no signs of struggle.

Now, with suspects in every room, Lady Phoebe and Eva must uncover secrets hidden behind closed doors—before a killer ensures they never leave High Head Lodge...alive.

Author: Alyssa Maxwell
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1617738401
Publisher: Kensington
A Murderous Marriage

Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, are preparing for a wedding, but it may not be the happy occasion everyone hopes for...

Since the Great War, the Renshaw family fortune has suffered. Now Julia Renshaw is under pressure to marry for money—and has settled for Gilbert Townsend, a viscount and wealthy industrialist. He is decades older than Julia, and it’s clear to her sister, Phoebe—and to Eva, who has been like a surrogate mother—that this is no love match. Nevertheless, the wedding takes place—and in a hurry.

At the reception aboard the groom’s yacht, there appears to be tension between Gil and several guests. The bride is also less than pleased to discover her honeymoon will be more crowded than expected—with Gil’s pretty secretary, among others, coming along. Worse, that very night, Julia is injured during a hot-tempered outburst on her new husband’s part...

The next morning, Gil’s body is found in the water—and Phoebe and Eva must discover who pushed him over—before the Renshaws’ social standing is irreparably stained by Julia’s arrest for his murder...

Author: Alyssa Maxwell
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1496717405
Publisher: Kensington
A Silent Stabbing

As England recovers from its costly involvement in the Great War, Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, find the steady comforts of their lives unsettled by a local case of murder...

Eva is excited for a visit from her sister Alice, who lives in Suffolk with her husband and three children. But when Alice arrives alone, desiring a break from her family, Eva becomes concerned. Her dismay deepens as Alice starts spending time with a former beau, Keenan Ripley, who owns the nearby pear orchard. At the same time, Phoebe's sister Julia, now a widow and pregnant, is in a fretful state, and Phoebe struggles to be helpful to her.

When Keenan's brother Stephen, the new head gardener at the Renshaw estate, Foxwood Hall, is found impaled by a pair of hedge clippers, the police—including Eva's beau, Constable Miles Brannock—suspect his closest kin. Stephen had been eager to sell their orchard to an American developer, but Keenan had fiercely resisted. A table set with two teacups and scones suggests Keenan had company the morning of the murder—and Eva fears her sister was with him.

If Alice were to provide Keenan with an alibi, her reputation and marriage would be ruined. She denies being there but is clearly withholding secrets, much to Eva's consternation. Now, to protect her sister, Eva and Phoebe set off to expose the gardener's real killer, putting their own lives at risk...

Author: Alyssa Maxwell
First Release: 2020
Ebook: B07R6P9XZT
Publisher: Kensington
A Sinister Service

A trip to Staffordshire for Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, leads to murder in a famed pottery works...

Following the devastation of the Great War, England's noble class takes comfort in honoring tradition. To celebrate their grandparents' wedding anniversary, Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her siblings travel to Staffordshire to commission a china service bearing the Wroxly coat of arms from the venerated Crown Lily Potteries, a favorite of Queen Mary.

The two leading designers at the illustrious china manufacturer offer competing patterns. But when one of them is found dead—his body crushed in a grinding pan and his design pattern book missing—his rival is immediately suspected. The police are also suspicious of the dead designer's resentful young son, a schoolmate of Phoebe's fifteen-year-old brother Fox. When Fox gets involved to help his friend, Phoebe begins to investigate the rival artist.

At the same time, Eva is enlisted to go undercover at the works so she can gain the confidence of the female employees, who are only allowed to paint, not design, which may have led to a grudge against the victim. Pursuing a killer who has no compunction about using a kiln as a coffin, Phoebe and Eva take their lives into their hands to discover the shattering truth...

Author: Alyssa Maxwell
First Release: 2021
Ebook: B087YTLF69
Publisher: Kensington
A Deadly Endowment

To make ends meet, Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, have decided to open up Foxwood Hall to guided public tours. Not everyone is pleased about it—even to the point of committing murder...

The lean times following the Great War continue to require creative solutions for England's noble class. But Lady Phoebe’s proposal to open up the Renshaw estate to guided tours for additional income strikes many in the family as a “vulgar enterprise.” Phoebe’s grandfather, the Earl of Wroxly, however, reluctantly concedes the necessity.

Their first tour group consists of members of the Historical Society, a magazine writer, and a flock of students. It’s a large group for Phoebe, her sister Amelia, and Eva to manage, and when the widow Arvina Bell goes missing, Eva goes in search of her—only to find her in the library, strangled with a silken drapery cord. 

The schoolchildren are promptly sent home, but the members of the Historical Society—many of whom also wandered off at times—remain for interrogation. There is also, curiously, a framed photo missing from the library.

As the police hastily zero in on a suspect, Phoebe and Eva weigh the clues. Does the crime have to do with rumors of hidden treasure at Foxwood Hall? But they must make haste to solve the widow’s murder—before someone else becomes history...

Author: Alyssa Maxwell
First Release: 2021
Ebook: B091MJ6TWT
Publisher: Kensington