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A Gilded Grave

(Newport Gilded Age #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  706 ratings  ·  117 reviews
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. T
Kindle Edition, 405 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by Berkley
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3.75  · 
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 ·  706 ratings  ·  117 reviews

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Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Deanna Randolph has finally entered her first season in Newport. She, and her parents, are hoping for a better outcome at this event than her season in New York. Joe Ballard decided not to pursue an engagement with Deanna, humiliating her and her family. Now she has to worry about seeing him at all of the Newport gatherings and she's just not sure how she feels about that. Fortunately, there is a new gentleman in town, Lord David Manchester, and it seems he has his eye on Deanna - or maybe Deann ...more
Peggy R
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was given an ARC of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. I have to say upfront that I am new to historical cozy mysteries. However, I am a huge fan of Shelley Freydont's Celebration Bay Mystery series so when I had the chance to review the first book in her new historical series I was happy to be chosen.

Deanna Randolph is a not your typical amateur sleuth. She is a young woman from a prominent family with a streak of independence during a time period where such a trait is
Lisa Ks Book Reviews
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 gr
She-Wolf Reads
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
I think the strength of this book is in its great historical and period detail. It takes place in Newport during the Gilded Age and I was intrigued by the setting and premise - one that I rarely read about. The houses, the clothes, the parties - all lots of fun. I must admit to feeling lukewarm about everything else - the characters? Interesting enough though the fear of the large Black man from Barbados who must, of course, practice voodoo, was off-putting. The plot? Could have been a little mo ...more
Jennifer Brown
I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

When I first started reading adult books, I was in love with historical romance. I always wanted to live in that time, corsets and all. As I got older, it was mysteries and thrillers that kept my attention. I would read a romance novel every once in a while, but it just wasn't the same.

I think I found a perfect love with this series! I am not sure if I have ever been introduced to a historical mystery or what but I ab
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A Gilded Grave by Shelley Freydont is a historical cozy

Deanna is having her coming out season in Newport, RI in 1895. She and her maid, Elspeth, become involved in a murder investigation involving Elspeth's brother.

The descriptions of the social scene, clothing, and the "cottages" is very vivid. I felt I was there watching.

The author did a good job of describing the social situation that women were in during that time period as well as showing the class boundaries all wrapped in an entertaining
Anna Lee Huber
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Utterly captivating! Freydont skillfully combines the glittering excess of the Gilded Age and a believable upstairs-downstairs dynamic with a thrilling murder mystery. Readers will fall in love with this intrepid new sleuthing pair and the dashing young men they assist. A must read for fans of historical mystery.
3.5 stars

Eighteen-year-old Deanna Randolph is making her debut in Newport society after her arranged marriage to Joseph Ballard, scion of one of Newport's old families, falls through. Deanna doesn't want to marry Joe or anyone right now. She isn't cut out for society life like her sister Adelaide who is insipid as a girl can be and engaged to the worthy Charles Woodruff. She's tired of her mother's strict rules, the stuffy clothes she's forced to wear and the endless rules that keep her from rui
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
"A Gilded Grave" is a murder mystery taking place in the late 19th century among American socialites (the golden age). Deanna Randolph is the daughter of a wealthy family, living in luxury, but with little control over her own life.
Most of the book was a pleasure to read. Deanna is a progressive and independent thinker, compassionate toward the lower classes, but constantly worried about her place in society. The social interactions were a lot of fun in this book, and well-handled. I've read so
Chelsey Wolford
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Here lately I have been on a huge historical fiction/mystery kick and that seems like all I have been reading! However, I am not complaining; it is just what I have been craving lately. This new series by Shelley Freydont is sure to be one of my favorites; set during the gilded age, the characters and setting have a certain Downton Abbey feel, and you can never go wrong here. Our sleuth and main character, Deanna Randolph, was brave and intuitive; she goes against the grain a bit because she doe ...more
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love historical mysteries and am fascinated by the Gilded Age, so of course I enjoyed A Gilded Grave.

Deanna is a strong, intelligent protagonist who determines to solve the mystery of a servant's death in a time where such independent behavior was not expected (or desired) for women. I like her camaraderie with her maid, Elspeth. I also like Joe, her former romantic interest. Although he is from a very moneyed background, he wants more and starts a shop to work on mechanical inventions (like a
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all who enjoy historical mysteries.
The Gilded Age must have been exhausting! Just trying to keep up with Deanna Randolph, a young cottager(a new term for me) of Newport, RI during the summer season of 1895, "the height of Gilded Age", and her lady's maid, Elspeth, is not an easy task, but I enjoyed attempting to keep up with them while my imagination had me wondering what it all must have been like to have 4-6 social engagements in one day, changing outfits 6-8 times a day during the summer season in Newport which only lasted 6 w ...more
Julia David
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really, really enjoyed this story. I hope I hear more from Deanna and Joe. It is an interesting look into life during 1895 in Newport. Even though Deanna is suppressed by her mother most of the time, she is able to become quite the sleuth along with her maid, Elspeth. Joe wants to invent and his inventions will help his family's business, but he must live in an area that is frowned upon by the elite and so he is kind of on the edge of society. Deanna and Joe's parents wanted them to marry, but ...more
Pamela Mitchell
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A Gilded Grave is so beautifully written, I felt I had traveled back to Newport during the opulent Gilded Age. The compelling plot gripped me immediately and I couldn't put the book down until I read the last word. I loved the interesting well-developed characters especially strong, feisty debutante Dianna Randolph and her maid Elspeth, Joe Ballard and Gran Gwen. I highly recommend this book for anyone who likes mysteries that keep you entertained and engaged from beginning to end. I look forwar ...more
Shelley Giusti
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelley Freydont's Debut Novel takes us back to the summer 1895 in her brand new series.Where we meet Deanna Randolph and the Lords and Ladies of that era. Deanna is about to attend a ball when she finds out that one of the maids has been murdered. So when the main suspect is some one from the upper class society, Deanna must find out what is going on be fore it is to late.

Shelley had taken the this nineteenth century story and brought it to life. The dress attire and the way she describes the
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: daniele

Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele

A Gilded Grave, the first book in Shelley Freydont’s new Newport Gilded Age Mystery series, is a delight. This well-crafted historical mystery transported me to the opulent world of the Gilded Age, and I cannot wait to return.

The year is 1895, and it is custom for the most eminent of the upper class to summer in Newport, Rhode Island. This is Deanna Randolph’s big year as she is being presented to society with hopes of
Michael Adams sr.
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Freydont A Gilded Grave is a great novel. Deanna Randolph is a likeable, relateable character, whether it's her controlling mother who thinks that the servants shouldn't be friends with the upper class, or her sense of curiosity that sometimes gets her into trouble. Freydont successfully brings a story from the gilded age to the present. The story starts out with Deanna,18, who is going to her first ball of the Newport season. Lord David Manchester, a sugar magnate, and his sister Lady Madeline ...more
Christy Carlyle
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 out of 5 stars

Shelley Freydont’s A GILDED GRAVE is one of my favorite historical mysteries of 2015. In Deanna Randolph, Freydont gives readers a youthful, intriguing heroine and amateur sleuth, but, for me, her setting of Gilded Age Newport, playground for the late 19th century’s wealthiest American families, is the real star of the book. Freydont portrays Newport as lush, pretentious, and full of intrigue. She gives readers insights into the kind of wealth most of us can only imagine, but s
Doward Wilson
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a fast paced, well researched series debut. Newport, Rhode Island in the summer of 1895 showcased the cottages of the rich and famous during the height of the Gilded Age. The cottages were usually forty or more rooms and well staffed by servants. The social classes were well defined, business monopolies in full swing but things are starting to change. When a maid is found murdered on the cliffs, socialite Deanna Randolph is pulled into investigating along with her maid who has a family ...more
Michelle Palmer
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
Although this book was not my usual genre (This was a historical mystery) I have read several in the genre (primarily Rhys Bowen) and this was a true gem. I thoroughly enjoyed this peek into 1895 Newport, Rhode Island Society. The characters are fascinating and multidimensional. The mystery kept me guessing almost to the end. Little hints were dropped here and there, which kept me interested. Truly wonderful book with a bit of romance to add to the intrigue. Deanna and her maid Elspeth, begin di ...more
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in what I hope is a new series! Deanna and her maid Elspeth assist in finding clues in two murders while trying to keep Deanna's childhood friend, Joe and Elspeth's brother, Orrin out of jail. Deanna has always been strong willed, but reigned in by a stronger mother. Her brave and curious mind take her through plot twists and turns during lavish balls, tea time gossip and other gatherings where it's all about being seen during the gilded age in 1895 Newport, RI. Characters ...more
I wonder if anyone else fells uncomfortable with the translation of 5 stars into "It was amazing." I don't know how often I would comfortably say that phrase about any book. A Gilded Grave deserves five stars because it wonderfully achieves what it was meant to be: a very entertaining mystery. Freydont has done an excellent job portraying life in the rich set of Newport during the early 1900's, seen through the eyes of Deanna, a young woman being pushed into the life her mother deems appropriate ...more
Mark Baker
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, mystery
Deanna Randolph’s debut summer season in 1895 Newport gets off to a rocky start when a maid is murdered during the first ball of the summer. Now she must reluctantly team up with lifelong friend and former fiancée Joseph Ballard to learn the truth no matter where it leads.

This is a good debut filled with intriguing characters. Deanna and Joe make a great detecting duo, and I found the story compelling as it built to a logical solution. The book did get a bit bogged down in the details of the tim
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked that this was historical fiction, set in Newport in the late 1890s. Sumptuous descriptions of huge mansions, lovely gowns, 4 hour long diners, and of course all of the manners that go along with high-society of the time. I like that there's the promise of romance down the line, but it didn't bother with it yet in this first book. Perhaps one day she'll get the guy, or the guy will get her; but in the meantime the protagonist is simply busy enjoying her own life and having new experiences ...more
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This historical cozy mystery was very good. While historical cozies are not my usual choice, I have enjoyed the ones that I have read and this one is a good one. The author describes the clothing so well! I wish I could be there to see it!

Nancy Drew is a more modern Deanna Randolph. Deanna is bold and tomboyish and her sidekick is Elspeth, her personal maid. They work very hard to find clues so Elspeth's brother will not be held for the murder of his girlfriend.

If you loved Nancy Drew, I think
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
This is the first entry in the Newport Gilded Age Mystery Series, and it is delightful from the first page to the last. Ms. Freydont does a skillful job of transporting the reader back in time to the turn of the century when the elite summered in Newport, RI, a world wrought with opulent glitz and glamorous excess. Deanna is a spunky, intelligent protagonist who is all too happy to contradict what is proper and expected of a lady. Her betrayal by Joseph is overshadowed by their lifelong friendsh ...more
Jun 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
Calling this one 3.5 stars. The story wasn't bad and I really liked Deanna and her faithful ladies' maid, Elspeth. However, the lives of the EXTREMELY idle rich just grated on me. I guess I should have taken that with a grain of salt since I knew what the time period was for the book going in. Anyway, I detested Deanna's mother and found myself hoping a terrible fate would befall her. Ms. Freydont did her homework on this time period and how the obscenely rich lived then. The 2nd in this series ...more
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great read, a historical mystery that takes place in 1895, The Gilded Age. I loved the authors writing style, she grabbed my attention right away, the mystery itself was serious and fun at the same time, there were many twists and turns. I enjoyed the characters, the good and the bad.
I loved the main character, Deanna, she was serious, but very feisty, she was out of the box for that period of time.
I enjoyed the relationship with Deanna and her lady's maid, Elspeth, they were qui
Jun 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Actually not a bad cozy mystery. I really should give it a higher rating, but I didn't realize at first that it is a young adult historical cozy mystery. The book is not described that way, but that is how I found it. I like my heroines a little bit older and more mature.
Marissa Alexander
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Very Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None. Multiple murders, a set group of suspects in a house, etc. I would read another one if this becomes a series.
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aka Gemma Bruce

Shelley Freyont is the author of the Lindy Haggerty Sudoku mysteries. She attended the University of Utah majoring in philosophy and dance. Shelley Freydont has also toured as a professonal dance with Twyla Tharp Dance and Americal Ballroom theater. She has appeared and choreographed in television, film, and Brodway.

* Lindy Haggerty Mystery
* Kate McDonald Mystery

Other books in the series

Newport Gilded Age (2 books)
  • A Golden Cage (Newport Gilded Age #2)