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Previewing Gilded Newport Mysteries: Murder at the Breakers 

Previewing Gilded Newport Mysteries: Murder at the Breakers

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

Since the wind down of some of the staple mystery wheel franchises, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries has been soft launching potential new entries with one-offs to bench test whether any could potentially kick off another film series. This Friday, Ali Skovbye, who recurred in the Gourmet Detective Mysteries, moves center stage with the refreshingly analog Gilded Newport Mysteries: Murder at the Breakers, which throws it all the way back to 1895.

ded Newport Mysteries: Murder at the Breakers

While a murder is at the heart of the mystery, it’s a much lighter take on the world of my much-loved The Alienist while treading some of the same territory and society. Hearties alumnus Skovbye is 21-year old Emma Vanderbilt-Cross, a keenly minded observer and writer relegated to the society column and debutante beat for Newport, Rhode Island’s “Newport Observer.”

ded Newport Mysteries: Murder at the Breakers

A member of the tony Vanderbilt clan in name only, with some of its clout and none of its money, her job at the paper covers the household expenses for her and her beloved housekeeper Nanny O’Neal (Gillian Barber–a fave back to The X-Files), while her starving artist parents roam Europe trying to be less starving.

ded Newport Mysteries: Murder at the Breakers

Eager to break away from the gilded beat, her attempt to write straight news is met with derision that stops just short of a pat on the head by her dismissive editor (Geoff Gustafson). The tide turns, unofficially, when she and her half-brother, Brady Cross (James Drew Dean), head to a party for the debut of her cousin and find themselves in the middle of a murder, with Brady the prime suspect.

ded Newport Mysteries: Murder at the Breakers

Met with an “absolutely not” when she seeks to cover it, she instead turns her attention to helping, and getting help from, her friends, police detective Jesse Whyte (Danny Griffin) and coroner’s assistant Harriet Rice (Amira Anderson). Between them and Nanny, who is well read on all things Sherlock Holmes, which comes in handy, they piece together clues and work to clear Brady’s name. And then a new arrival (Nathan Witte) in town, whose motives are unclear, enters the chat and introduces a new wrinkle.

Terry Ingram directed Keri Ferencz’s script based on Alyssa Maxwell’s book series. It’s a fun switch up to have a period mystery that’s fully steeped in the clothes and social mores and architecture of the time and rooted in old-fashioned, tech-free detective work. It’s also a timely companion to the Jane Austen-era tributes happening in February for the Loveuary premieres over on sister network Hallmark Channel.

Gilded Newport Mysteries: Murder at the Breakers premieres Friday, February 2nd, at 9 pm/8c on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and streaming live on multiple outlets in the U.S. Here are a couple of sneak peeks.

Photos courtesy of Allister Foster/Hallmark Media; videos courtesy of Hallmark Media.

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