Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is the eleventh book in this series, but it’s the first one that I’ve read. Despite that, I didn’t have a hard time understanding what was going on. The mystery is a stand-alone and there is enough backstory throughout the book for me to get an understanding of the main characters.

The book starts out with private investigator Charles Lenox finishing up a lengthy investigation that uprooted crooked police officers. The trial is around the corner and because of various political pressures, the prime minister wants Charles to write out his testimony to be read at trial and be out of the country to avoid taking the stand. Charles initially refuses, but eventually relents and heads to America to represent Queen and country.

Once in New York City, Charles is swept up with invitations to attend society functions with both the old money and new money set. As he begins his trip to Boston to meet more people of consequence, his train is stopped and he is asked to go to Newport to investigate the death of the season’s most beautiful debutante. Charles reluctantly makes his way to Newport, where he is sucked up into the world of the uber wealthy, and all that goes with it. Charles methodically investigates the case, carefully eliminating one suspect after another, until he discovers the killer.

This is a fun mystery with plenty of intrigue. It was interesting to read about the wealthy people and all of the trappings that go along with having money and being interested only in a person’s standing in society. As I said before, there was enough backstory that I felt I understood Charles’ character. The author did a good job of interspersing minor characters throughout the story and giving them just enough depth to add to the story, rather than detract. The mystery was interesting and the ending was pretty surprising. If there are more books in this series, I will definitely read them.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press. All opinions in this review are my own.