Better Homes and Corpses
Hamptons Home & Garden Mysteries, Book #1
By Kathleen Bridge
Author website: http://www.kathleenbridge.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt
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…
FIRST IN A NEW SERIES
Better Homes and Corpses is a wonderful first in what I hope will be a fabulous new series. Characters are entertaining, storyline is great, fast paced and intriguing. I really enjoy the main character, Meg Barrett. She is strong, yet vulnerable. Smart and inquisitive and she has a true reason for that trait. Her father is an ex-policeman. I loved that fact and that she had a real knack for figuring things out. Plus the police were not offended by her help here and there. Nice. The setting was beautiful and well described. And even though there are a lot of characters introduced, they were easy to get to know and keep straight. The characters were wonderful. I look forward to getting to know the main circle of characters even better over what I hope to be a long lived new series.
As the book begins, Meg was going to help an old friend catalog her families many antiques. The Queen Mother of the Hamptons’ daughter Jillian went to school with Meg. Since Meg moved to Montauk from Manhattan to start an interior design business and this will be a wonderful boon for her. Unfortunately, when Meg arrives she finds Jillian cradling her mother’s lifeless body. Not an auspicious start for sure. Meg’s friend Elle Warner ends up being called on to do some of the cataloging as well and thankfully that means they can both tread through the many suspects and antiques together. There are suspects everywhere it seems and past events are uncovered that lead Meg to question even her old schoolmate. Jillian has not been quite stable for years it seems.
I adore all the characters and the suspects too. This book has a real Agatha Christie feel to it that pulls you in and takes you through all the twists and turns with such aplomb and I loved it. Characters like Doc Heckler – old friend/father’s “spy”, Elle – Meg’s dear friend, the wonderful poetic, widowed neighbor. Suspects were plentiful and for different reasons, Cole – son of the murder victim who has been estranged for years, Adam Prescott – assistant to the murder victim, Salvatore – the scandalous artist who has lived on the estate for years, Adam’s meddling mother – Frances, and even Tara Gayle – Meg’s rival for more than just good buys. The mystery is very well written and kept me guessing.
Kathleen Bridge has written a wonderful first in a series. Her writing style reminds me so much of the wonderful books by Agatha Christie, the wonderful television mysteries including Murder She Wrote and others in the same vein and I loved it. I was pulled in from the first pages of Better Home and Corpses. I love Meg and think she is one of my favorite main characters. Although I know absolutely nothing about antiques or interior design, I never felt lost in the weeds when they were being discussed. I love how many twists, turns, red herrings and hints and clues there were. Never overdone, just the right amount and just the right amount of suspense and intrigue. A truly fabulous first that has made me a true fan. I cannot wait for the next.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*