Hearse and Gardens
Hamptons Home & Garden Mysteries, Book #2
By Kathleen Bridge
Author website: http://www.kathleenbridge.com/
A Hamptons interior designer deals with skeletons in the closet in the new mystery from the national bestselling 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
Montauk interior designer Meg Barrett loves to work with her friend Elle Warner. Especially when she gets to inventory the households of rich citizens. Elle has been asked to do just that in one of the famous bungalows on the Harrison Falks estate. Meg is enthusiastic and hoping to find some good items. What they do find is a shock. A skeleton in a secret room. Everyone believes it is the missing son of owner Harrison Falks. He went missing with a famous piece of artwork created by Andy Warhol. Elle is friends with the family and is in the midst of things, so Meg of course has to dive into the mystery. Meg never lets her hearing impairment get in her way, in her life, in her business nor in her searching for answers when a mystery arises.
Hearse and Gardens is filled to the brim with fabulous characters, wonderful mystery and stellar setting. The characters are truly the stars of this book and the first in this series, “Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery”. I love the characters that are interspersed with the main ones. Several things are going on at the same time as the hunt for answers surrounding the skeleton. Meg’s dream home is being threatened and that makes for a fabulous side story. She is still in her rental, but dreams of what she is going to do with the home. Legal wrangling gets in the way. The story about the skeleton itself is filled with intrigue and even famous people. Artists, including before mentioned Andy Warhol used to populate the bungalows along with the family. Old family mysteries, deceit and missing persons haunt them still.
Author Kathleen Bridge’s descriptive writing style brings the idyllic setting to life. Every home and store and scenery becomes a vivid image jumping off the pages. The characters are well developed. Meg is becoming one of my favorite protagonists. Her spunk and intelligence is endearing. The mystery itself is well written and kept me guessing. All of the mysteries are entertaining and so well layered. I think this installment is even better than the first. Meg’s friends are even more developed and more enjoyable.
Hearse and Gardens is the second installment in the wonderful “Hampton Home and Garden Mystery” series and is even better than the first. If this is your first foray into the series, you will be able to enjoy and follow the story with no problem. I would suggest reading the first Better Homes and Corpses though because it is a great one. I love how more settled Meg is and how she has grown as a person and protagonist. The writing is a pleasure to read and this is definitely one book that is hard to put down. I thoroughly enjoy that the other has written Meg as a strong and enjoyable character that just happens to be hearing impaired. That does not define Meg, does not hinder her and definitely does not become an in your face item. Author Kathleen Bridge has once again written a fabulous cozy, full of flair, panache and very well designed. I cannot wait for the third book!
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review