Thursday, August 6, 2015


I'm so thrilled to be a stop on 
 author Shelley Frydont's book tour for
Book 1 in the Newport Gilded Age Mystery series

First in a new series from the author of the Celebration Bay mysteries
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 séances to find the real murderer. But a misstep among the glittering upper classes could leave them exposed to something far more dangerous than malicious gossip…


A delightful debut novel. Author Shelley Freydont has made a wonderful transition from the twenty-first century cozy mystery to the nineteenth century historical mystery. It is so clear she has done her research of the Gilded Age. Her character’s words, behavior, and mannerisms are all perfect for the era.

Deanna Randolph is an unlikely sleuth, yet in the talented hands of author Freydont, she is not only believable, she is very much up to the task. It’s going to be interesting to watch Deanna grow as the series continues.

This was an incredibly well plotted mystery with more suspects than a few. With twists and turns all the way to the exciting end, I second, third, and fourth guessed myself and yes, still guessed wrong!

A GILDED GRAVE is sure to be a hit with historical and cozy mystery fans alike. 

Available Now!

Shelley is giving away 2 print copies of 
A winner will chosen by random draw through 
Rafflecopter at the end of the tour on August 14. 
Giveaway open to US only. 
This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.

Have you ever wondered what is was like to be your favorite sleuth? 
Shelley Freydont is giving us a peek!

A Day in the Life of  a Gilded Age Debutante Detective, Deanna Randolph

7:00 -  Morning ablutions; choose a morning dress, sit patiently while your maid, Elspeth, brushes and coifs your hair.

8:00 - Breakfast with Mama and Papa while Papa reads the New York Herald and Mama reviews your behavior from the day before, pointing out minor faux pas and larger gaffes. Your sister, Adelaide, is upstairs with the migraine. Adelaide never makes faux pas.

9:00 - Back upstairs to change into your tennis frock; Elspeth insists you wear a corset. Then she redoes your hair and adds a hat while you wish you could order one of the new tennis outfits from the Bloomingdales catalogue.  That tennis dress does not have a corset that pokes your ribs every time you lunge for a ball.

10:00 - Your friend Cassie picks you up in her carriage and you go to the Casino for tennis. Here you don’t get to play but only watch from the veranda while the other girls gossip and the gentleman show off.  Later, you overhear the gentleman discussing the murder of a maid  at Cassie’s ball the night before.  You happened to be one of the party who found the poor girl, and if what you’ve just heard is true,  it could have dire consequences for a dear friend, Joe Ballard, who was seen with the maid just before her murder.

11:00 - Sit through a boring luncheon while trying to figure out how you can sneak off to see Joe’s grandmother, Gran Gwen, and apprise her of what is being said about Joe even though some of it makes you blush.

12:00 - You suddenly remember you had promised  Gran Gwen to visit her this afternoon and have the carriage drop you off at her house.  Hopefully no one will tell mama. She doesn’t like Gran Gwen.  Gran Gwen is an eccentric and an egalitarian.

2:00 - Gran Gwen assures you she’ll take care of the situation and sends you home in her carriage. You hurry upstairs to change dresses again so you won’t be late for accompanying mama on an afternoon call.  Adelaide is still in bed with her migraine.

3:00 – The visit is followed by the afternoon promenade up Bellevue Avenue, where you smile and nod at people you saw the night before and will probably see again tonight. 

5:00 - Back upstairs and another change of dress and hair and it’s off to tea at Cassie’s where the murder took place.  They haven’t learned much more than they knew the night before, but you do excuse yourself and quickly climb the servants’ stairs to look at the dead girl’s room where you find what could be an important clue. Before you can leave, you’re discovered by the mysterious Barbadian servant of a visiting sugar plantation owner—a servant who can cast spells and conjurs voodoo curses, so you descend the stairs in a less than lady like manner.

8:00 - Wearing another, more formal evening dress, you dine with mama and papa at the opulent “cottage” belonging to the host and hostess of this evening’s soiree. At ten the harpist takes her place and you and several friends sneak out to the verandah to enjoy the evening and speculate about the murder.

2:00 - Mama decides it’s time for you to go home, fortunately you are innocently listening to an aria from Orpheo ed Euridice.

2:30 - You change into you night dress and Elspeth combs and braids your hair while you read aloud a selection from your favorite dime novel, Kate Goelet, Female Detective, and hope that you are half as successful in this investigation business as she is. 

It may sound like a lot of dresses and events for one person to go through, but Deanna is up to the task of changing clothes, attending balls and catching a killer in A GILDED GRAVE.

About the author

Shelley Freydont is the author of the Liv Montgomery, Celebration Bay Festival Mysteries (Berkeley Prime Crime). She also writes the Katie McDonald Sudoku murder series and Lindy Haggerty Dance Company mystery series. She has written several romance novels under the pseudonym Gemma Bruce. Her books have been translated into seven languages.

Her first women's fiction novel, Beach Colors, written as Shelley Noble, was published by William Morrow June 2012. Stargazey Point will be available July 2013.

A former professional dancer and choreographer, she most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. Shelley is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and Liberty States Fiction Writers.

For more about Shelley, please visit her website

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.



  1. Shelley Freydont is a new author for me, but I am looking forward to reading this book. I like the historical mystery feel of the book.

  2. This sounds really good, and I love the cover.

  3. I have been wondering about this new series. I love historical mysteries and now in a cozy I am in heaven. Thanks Lisa for review. Now I know I need to read this series.

  4. Someone in the upper class killing a maid? Would love to know more and see how they solve this one! Sounds like a great author I will have to explore.

  5. Thanks, Lisa. I enjoy historical mysteries and Shelley is a new author to me.

  6. Great post! I think this is an interesting era for Shelley to tackle and can't wait to read it!

  7. I love historical mysteries. It is fun to get lost in another period of time,and to escape today's troubles😁. The political bickering.

  8. I've never read this author before but this sounds so good. I can't wait to read it!