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.
At first, the tragic tableau appears to be a reckless accident—one which could ruin Philip’s reputation. But when
Emma later receives a message informing her that the butler bullied his staff and took advantage of young maids, she
begins to suspect the scene may have been staged and steers the police toward a murder investigation. But 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 …
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