Monday, May 9, 2016

Review/Giveaway/Q&A: Hearse and Gardens by Kathleen Bridge

Cozy Mystery


Berkley Prime Crime Mystery

Release Date:
May 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.


My Review

Interior designer, Meg Barrett, continues to fight to purchase a cottage on Long Island. In the meantime, she agrees to assist her best friend take inventory and clean out a bungalow on Montauk. The bungalow is part of the estate of a wealthy art broker, Harrison Falks. Meg makes a shocking discovery when she finds an old skeleton hidden in the bungalow.

The skeleton is identified as Harrison’s son who disappeared twenty years ago along with one of Harrison’s expensive Warhol paintings. Meg becomes very curious as to what happened to the younger Falks and proceeds to investigate, but she comes up against more family drama than she anticipated.

This is the second book in the “Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery”. I have to admit, the series won me over with the first book especially because it is set in my own area. Readers even get a little lesson on vintage items and what they are worth.

Meg is a wonderful character. She is strong willed and probably takes more dangerous risks than she should, but what amateur sleuth doesn’t? There’s also a bit of romance, but it doesn’t overpower the mystery. The mystery is still the main part of the story.

The Falks family certainly is a prime example of an eccentric group. The author does a great job of showing the readers exactly how eccentric they are. She, also, does a great job in describing the setting. She transports the reader right to Long Island.

The story moves at a nice, steady pace. There are a few twists and turns along the way. I’m looking forward to reading the next installment.

For reading challenges:
Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge 2016
Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge 2016

Disclosure: The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

Q & A with Mystery Author Kathleen Bridge

Why did you decide to write your mystery series in the Hamptons and not a fictional location like many authors do?

I love the Hamptons, especially Montauk, because it has it all: celebs, sandy beaches, fabulous restaurants and a rich history. Each book in my Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery series takes place in one specific Hamptons town--or should I say each murder. In book one, Better Homes and Corpses, the murder takes place at the fictional Seacliff estate in East Hampton. Book two, Hearse and Gardens, takes place in Montauk. In my third book, the mystery takes place in Sag Harbor. The setting for book four will be either Bridgehampton or Southampton, I can’t decide which. My protagonist, Meg Barrett lives in Montauk.

What is it about Montauk that you love?

I live on Long Island and Montauk has always been my favorite getaway spot. I may be prejudiced, but I think Montauk is one of the most beautiful spots in America. When I first vacationed in Montauk and climbed to the top of the Montauk Point Lighthouse (commissioned by George Washington) that sits on a rocky cliff next to the Atlantic on easternmost point of Long Island, I was sold. The list of Montauk’s attributes goes on and on and I try to share its and the rest of the Hamptons unique ambiance and cultural calendar-of-events with my readers. I especially love Montauk in the off-season.

Why did you decide to give your main character, who is fairly young, a hearing loss?

My daughter has a hearing loss, wears hearing aids, and reads lips. She’s an amazing young woman who never lets her hearing loss hold her back from anything--a trait I’ve given Meg, along with the added perk that Meg can tell what the bad guys are saying from a distance.

Are you an interior decorator like your main character?

No, but I am a home and garden magazine-aholic, HGTV addict, and an antiques and collectibles dealer and writer. My main character's job, decorating local Hamptons cottages with her “finds,” is my dream career, especially if I could swing living in an oceanfront cottage in Montauk!

Can you give us a quick synopsis of your second Home and Garden Mystery, Hearse and Gardens?

Hearse and Gardens has to do with a skeleton and a missing Andy Warhol painting of a can of Aqua Net hairspray. In the early 1970s, Andy Warhol owned a compound in Montauk. I’ve created a similar compound, along with a mansion full of murder suspects. The Hamptons has been the home of many prolific bohemian pop art and abstract expressionists, including Willem De Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Roy Lichtenstein. And of course, I’ve included recipes, decorating, and gardening tips, along with a touch of romance.

Can you share something that your readers might not know about you?

I was actually an extra in a television episode of Royal Pains, which takes place in the Hamptons. It was a scene on the grounds of a fabulous mansion where a fictional Red Hat Society garden party was in full swing. I wore a fabulous large-brim hat with a stunning gold honey bee brooch pinned to an elaborate red satin ribboned bow. All I had to do was hold a flute of champagne (sparkling cider) and schmooze (lip-sync) with the other Red-HATers. Unfortunately, when viewing the garden party episode, all you see is my red hat and right arm. Oh well, it was fun getting to dress up, eat in a big white tent with the stars--something to scratch off my bucket list!

If you had a goal for your readers, what would it be?

To have FUN, maybe learn a few things they didn’t know, feel satisfied with the solution to the mystery, and hopefully, never guess “whodunit”!!


Now you can win a paperback copy of Hearse and Gardens by Kathleen Bridge? Thanks to Berkley, I have one paperback to giveaway to one lucky winner.

Just a few simple rules...

1) You must fill out the rafflecopter form below.

2) Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old

3) US Residents Only

4) For one extra entry: Tweet about this giveaway.

5) For one extra entry: Leave a comment for the author.

6) For one extra entry:  Follow this blog...old followers, too!  Just let us know how you follow and under what name.

7) For one extra entry: Follow me on Twitter.

8) For one extra entry: Follow or friend me on Goodreads

No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited.

The giveaway begins on May 9th (midnight est) and ends on May 16th (midnight est).

The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter. The winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen. I will announce the winner here on my blog.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I do like when there are recipes too

  2. Sounds like a great read, and there's recipes! Thank you for the giveaway.

  3. I would love to read this book—thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  4. Thanks for the giveaway and review. Kuzlin at

  5. I'd love to start reading this series! It sounds really good! Thank you!

  6. Enjoyed the review and interview. Sounds
    like a good read.
    Carol Smith

  7. Thanks for this captivating cozy which I would enjoy. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. Would love to win a copy of this book. Sounds so intriguing. Thanks fo rthe chance.

  9. I own and have read the first book in the series and thought it was fantastic. I'd love to add this one to my home library.

  10. Great series. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  11. It would be a pleasure to win this book. I am not familiar with the author or series so it would be something new for me.

  12. Sounds interesting! And I love that the cover has books and a view of the beach!

  13. Love this series and the location.I remember when the Barefoot Contessa opened in the Hamptons.

  14. Thank you for the giveaway! I loved the first book in this series and can't wait to read this one!!!!

  15. Would love to win this one! Thank you for the chance to win.

  16. This sounds like a great book, thank you for sharing.

  17. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! I ended up pre-ordering in a pre-ordering spree a few weeks ago and am really looking forward to it.

  18. This sounds like a great addition to this series.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  19. Great series...I loved Better Homes and Corpses. Can't wait to continue.

  20. This sounds really interesting- great review.

  21. Great Q&A! How interesting to be an extra in a tv show! I like to have fun when I read, congrats on the new title and thanks for the chance to win!

  22. I have the first book but haven't read it yet. I need to get busy.

  23. I haven't read this series, yet. I've heard good things about it, I had better get started, it sounds like my type of read.

  24. Love the titles in this series and always enjoy an interview with the author. Thanks for the chance to win.

  25. Would love to read this book. Its on my wish list to read. Thanks for a chance to win this wonderful book. Looks like a good read. :)

  26. Haven't read this series before, but looks like an intriguing one. Thanks for the giveaway.

  27. I love the cover (with the cat on it)
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  28. Hello Kathleen, Hearse and Gardens sounds great ♡ I would love to read your book. Thank you

  29. I just love the title of the book! I would love to win a copy and review it too!


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