Tag Archive | antiques

Review of Hearse and Gardens by Kathleen Bridge

Hearse and Gardens by Kathleen Bridge

Review:
hease-and-gardensI now want to live in the Hamptons. Meg Barrett has taken me into her world of interior design, as well as cozy bungalows and I am now ready to hire her to decorate one for me to live in beside the ocean.

Kathleen Bridge has once again painted the picture of utter beauty that is the Hamptons. The lifestyle, elegance of the people and nature of living by the ocean have been sold to the reader. We get to see new locations that astound and amaze in the second installment of the Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery as we are taken to the grandiose home that is Sandringham. Oh what an amazing place!

In the process of helping clear out some older bungalows we find our first of many mysterious hidden rooms. This one, however, has the skeletal remains of a man that has been missing for some twenty years. This is only the beginning to Sandringham’s many mysteries. As Meg and Elle continue working with the family, more secrets ooze from the walls. Meg is literally the grown up Nancy Drew in this book. I found myself reading this, jealous of her pursuits of such a fantastic riddle.

skeleton-on-wallThe story was gripping, full of literal twists and turns and enough family secrets to keep one researching for years. The question throughout the story was always who had Uncle Harry’s best interest in mind and who was after the lost Warhol painting, the money and estate. The guilty would start looking innocent and the innocent, guilty. It was a wonderful rollercoaster of confusion. To add to the confusion, I had to question the fictitiousness of the writing. It all sounded so plausible that such a painted existed that I had to ask Kathleen. Who knew!

This story was not only a mystery on the surface with the sleuth, victims and suspects, but ran much deeper for me. It was psychological. It seemed that the hidden passages, discovery of bodies and the unknown fate of her housing situation showed the outward appearance of what Meg was struggling with inwardly. As an interior designer, she goes searching for the past, for items to fill a void in not only a person’s space, but also their life. She helps them create a story, a world that they want to live in and to escape to. At the same time, it fills voids in her own life.

She misses having a place to call home, a person to call her own after a bitter separation and she is mentally trying to figure out these hidden nuances in her personality and come out on the other end like one of her design creations, a beautiful statement that is one of a kind and looks put together with everything in the perfect spot. That is hard to do as a human and I think she will realize this as she comes into her own. But, I think she is making great progress in this book and I look forward to seeing her continue to develop as a character in the hands of Kathleen Bridge.

Synopsis:

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.

About The Author:

kathleen-bridgeKathleen Bridge, author of Hearse and Gardens and Better Homes and Corpses, started her writing career working at the Michigan State University News in East Lansing, Michigan. She is the author and photographer of an antiques reference guide, Lithographed Paper Toys, Books, and Games.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, and has taught creative writing classes at Bryant Library in Roslyn, New York. Kathleen is also an antiques and vintage dealer in Long Island, New York, and has contributed to Country Living magazine.

Author Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkathleenbridge/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/KathleenBridgeG/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kathleenbridge

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorkathleenbridge/

Blog: http://weekendinthehamptons.blogspot.com/

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Review: Killer Finds by Vicki Vass

13230227_280388338960295_793233865171716419_nIf you think shopping for expensive and one of a kind antique for your clients is stressful, you should sit next to a dead guy on an airplane for six hours straight. So much for enjoying your wine in first class, right? Poor Anne Hillstrom just wanted to get some good deals for her and fellow Spoon Sister, CC, to be able to tell their antique fan base about. This is what she has to endure on the ride home from Paris.

Back from their extravagant Paris trip, something seems odd about the death of Bernie Gladstone as increasingly strange things start to occur around Anne and CC. First, Anne finds and item in her orange Prada bag. Honestly, I was drooling over the bag because I have wanted a replica of this exact bag for forever! Sure, the mystery item is fascinating, but that bag! Delicious Anne!

From broken locks to being followed on antique trips ,the ladies realize something strange is going on. This would be a good time for CC’s young cousin from Munich, Ingrid, to come for a visit, right? Of course! The excitement increases when they get an opportunity to go to the estate sale of Bernie’s and buy a few items that look unimportant. Isn’t that always the case? Read this part carefully. It’s really good and detailed. I feel like I was going through the items with Anne and CC without it becoming wordy or boring which can be hard for a writer I imagine. The choices of words were perfect.

If you love antique sales, you get to attend some with the Spoon Sisters and see some behind the scene action and drama. Oh yes, Betsy Buttersworth comes in and does some major mental damage to Anne and the scenes are so well played. I was embarrassed, enthralled and clasping my hand over my mouth. Buttersworth! She’s quite a piece of work and I love her a lot. What a troublemaker you are lady. Never change.

So we are given a dead guy at the beginning but Ms. Vass gives us a bonus dead body to 13230262_285999325065863_4662431015420774577_nhelp with the plot. Isn’t that sweet of her? That was a hint by the way. You’ll have to read the book, come back and look at this statement again to get the joke. Then, laugh really hard. It’s funny.

I also liked that I got some real art history thrown in with art fiction and a conspiracy theory via an antique they find and bring back from Paris. I actually went and did research to see if this was fact or fiction. Well-played Vicki! I love it when reality and fiction collide so well and you don’t know when one starts and the other ends. This part of the story makes you scratch you head. Loved it!

Some romance is thrown in the story, but I didn’t see that it did much for the story line. Of course, that’s just me. I’m not a big romance fan. I just want to find the dead bodies and who put them there. My poor husband. Anyway, the rest was perfection and was needed for everything to come together. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to another Spoon Sister adventure. This book was a killer find. See what I did there?

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