As a mystery writer, I’m always ripping out newspaper or magazine articles and copying/pasting links that might someday become an inspiration for a future book. The premise for the first book in my Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery series came from a magazine article I read about writer Sally Quinn purchasing the falling-in-ruin Grey Gardens in East Hampton, New York. In the article, Ms. Quinn talked about the items she’d discovered in the mansion’s attic and how she restored the interior of the house, based on old photographs, to its original splendor. I tore out the article and filed it under, “Story Ideas.” A few years later, I went to my file and found the article. As an antiques dealer and fixer-upper, the thought of treasure in an old attic at an estate where the rich and famous live and die, gave me the idea for BETTER HOMES AND CORPSES.
After Meg Barrett found her fiancé still had designs on his ex-wife, she decided it was time to refurbish her life. Leaving her glamorous job at a top home and garden magazine, she fled Manhattan for Montauk, only to find decorating can sometimes lead to detecting…
In between scouring estate sales for her new interior design business, Cottages by the Sea, Meg visits the swanky East Hampton home of her old college roommate, Jillian Spenser. But instead of seeing how the other half lives—she learns how the other half dies. Jillian’s mother, known as the Queen Mother of the Hamptons, has been murdered. Someone has staged a coup.
When she helps a friend inventory the Spensers’ estate for the insurance company, Meg finds herself right in the thick of things. Cataloging valuable antiques and art loses its charm when Meg discovers that the Spenser family has been hiding dangerous secrets, which may have furnished a murderer with a motive. As Meg gets closer to the truth, the killer will do anything to paint her out of the picture…
Mystery Cozy [Berkley Prime Crime, On Sale: August 4, 2015, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780425276587 / eISBN: 9780698171039]
The inspiration for my second Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery came from a newspaper article I read in Dan’s Hamptons about Andy Warhol’s estate in Montauk selling for fifty million dollars. I added the article to my file. Voila! A year later it gave me the idea for HEARSE AND GARDENS, whose main storyline is about a wealthy Pop Art broker’s murdered son and a missing Andy Warhol painting of a can of Aqua Net Hairspray.
A Hamptons interior designer deals with skeletons in the closet in the new mystery from the national bestelling author of Better Homes and Corpses.
To keep her mind off the legal battle over the oceanfront cottage she’s trying to buy, Meg agrees to help her friend inventory and clear out furniture from the massive Montauk estate of wealthy art broker Harrison Falks. But the job takes a terrifying turn when Meg discovers a skeleton in a hidden room in one of the estate’s many bungalows. The remains turn out to be those of Harrison’s son, who went missing nearly twenty years ago—along with one of his father’s Warhol paintings.
As Meg delves into the Hamptons’ pop art past, she gets drawn into the sketchy goings-on and family drama at the estate. But when Meg makes no bones about solving the crime, she just might become the subject of the killer’s next installation.
INCLUDES RECIPES AND DECORATING TIPS
Mystery Cozy [Berkley Prime Crime, On Sale: May 3, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780425276594 / eISBN: 9780698171077]
Years ago, I was sitting in my backyard reading a story in The New York Times about F. Scott Fitzgerald, “A Fleeting Era’s Timeless Chronicle” by Patrick J. Lyons. The first sentence in the article had me hooked. “Few places that F. Scott Fitzgerald inhabited over a short and shallow-rooted life infused his writing the way Long Island did.” The article went on to tell how Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby from his rented home in Great Neck, Long Island, a short distance away from where I sat. Also mentioned in The New York Times piece was a short story Fitzgerald wrote that takes place in Montauk, called, “The Unspeakable Egg.” In the file, it went.
As you’ve probably guessed, the article became the inspiration for my third book about what would happen if an unpublished F. Scott Fitzgerald novel surfaced in the Hamptons, and shortly after, the manuscript’s authenticator was found dead. Soon, I was off on a journey that would lead my protagonist, Meg Barrett, to the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast in the old whaling village of Sag Harbor, rich with history and the home of many famous American authors. The seed was sown and eventually budded into GHOSTAL LIVING.
In the latest mystery from the author of Better Homes and Corpses and Hearse and Gardens, Hamptons interior designer and antiques picker Meg Barrett uncovers a veil of spooky goings-on…
The first Sag Harbor Antiquarian Book and Ephemera Fair is right around the corner, and interior designer Meg Barrett has her hands full decorating rooms at the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast for wealthy rare book collector Franklin Hollingsworth. Rumor has it Hollingsworth is in possession of an unpublished manuscript written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. When the Fitzgerald manuscript’s authenticator is found dead at the bottom of a cliff, Meg suspects a killer is on the loose.
Rare books start disappearing from the B & B and Meg sees a connection between the stolen books and the deceased authenticator. With the fair looming, she finds herself caught up in catching a killer and thief before another victim is booked for death.
INCLUDES RECIPES AND DECORATING TIPS
Mystery Cozy [Berkley Prime Crime, On Sale: May 2, 2017, Mass Market Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780425276600 / eISBN: 9780425276600]
Well, it’s time to write my next book. I’m sure somewhere in my files there’s a seed ready for germination. Right now, what might bloom is a mystery…
About Kathleen Bridge
Kathleen Bridge started her writing career working at the Michigan State University News in East Lansing, Michigan.
Bridge is the author and photographer of an antiques reference guide, Lithographed Paper Toys, Books, and Games, a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and has taught creative writing classes at THE Bryant Library in Roslyn, New York.
She is also an antiques and vintage dealer in Long Island, New York, and A Home and Garden Magazine-aholic.