A Golden Cage (Newport Gilded Age #2) by Shelley Freydont (review)

October 3, 2016 All Reviews, Historical, Mystery 2 ★★★

I received this book for free from Berkley Prime Crime in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A Golden Cage (Newport Gilded Age #2) by Shelley Freydont (review)A Golden Cage (Newport Gilded Age #2) by Shelley Freydont
Series: Newport Gilded Age #2
Published by Berkley on June 7th 2016
Number of Pages: 368
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Historical
Source: Berkley Prime Crime
Format: Paperback
Purchase: At Amazon

With her mother in Europe, Deanna is staying with the Ballard family, who agree to chaperone her through the summer season and guide her toward an advantageous marriage proposal—or so her mother hopes. Relishing her new freedom, Deanna is more interested in buying one of the fashionable new bathing costumes, joining a ladies’ bicycling club, and befriending an actress named Amabelle Deeks, all of which would scandalize her mother.

Far more scandalous is the discovery of a young man bludgeoned to death on the conservatory floor at Bonheur, the Ballards’ sumptuous “cottage.” Deanna recognizes him as an actor who performed at the birthday fete for a prominent judge the night before. But why was he at Bonheur? And where is Amabelle?

Concerned her new friend may be in danger—or worse—Deanna enlists the help of her intrepid maid, Elspeth, and her former beau, Joe Ballard, to find Amabelle before the villain of this drama demands an encore.

The cover is my favorite part of the book. The book itself isn’t bad, but the cover is lovely! I especially love the yellow dress…

I found myself finding other things to do during the course of reading this. Never a good sign with a book! But it was never boring enough that I wanted to DNF it. I didn’t really like any of the actors, Noreen came across as mean and sharp. And it made it very hard to believe her sudden almost 180 when she started being nice to Joe and then Deanna.

Deanna herself was fun, and I liked her interactions with Elspeth and Gran Gwen. But I also wanted to hit her with the book, for the amount of times she ran off (alone but for Elspeth) and got herself into situations that could have ended really badly.

I had no idea who the killer was, and when it was finally revealed… While it made sense for the time period, it just didn’t click with me. Especially as the wrap-up conversations with the characters afterwords made it sound like the killer was going to get away with it.

Deanna seemed to find all the clues, with occasional tidbits thrown in by Elspeth, and at one point Laurette. But Will, who was the police officer, kept coming up against dead ends. I liked Will, but he was made to look horribly ineffectual during the book. I saw the conversation with Joe coming from the first pages, but it was still amusing how it ended up.

I haven’t read the first book in this series, and I most likely won’t. Nor will I continue if there are more books, this one just wasn’t able to hold my attention enough. But judging by all the 4-star reviews for it out there, I’m in the minority. So you may like the book better than I did!


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