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Hearse and Gardens

Hearse and Gardens

4.7 6
by Kathleen Bridge

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Better Homes and Corpses
“A delightful sneak peek into life in the Hamptons, with intricate plotting and a likeable, down-to-earth protagonist. A promising start to a promising series.”—Suspense Magazine
“The descriptions of furniture and other antiques, as well as juicy tidbits on the Hamptons, make for entertaining reading for those who enjoy both antiques and lifestyles of the rich and famous.”—Booklist

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery Series , #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.90(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Kathleen Bridge, national bestselling author of 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, 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.

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Hearse and Gardens 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
BeckyMcF More than 1 year ago
Book 2 in the Hamptons series is even better than the first! Besides liking the main characters in this series, I enjoy the extras about food, antiquing, decorating, the Hamptons, and health. There is casual but clever insertion of asthma and inhalers which could be very helpful to readers. The discovery of a skeleton opens a fun, secret rooms and passages mystery that coordinates quite well with Meg's real life dramas. At the end, everything made perfect sense and best of all, for me as the reader, I got some surprises! I am looking forward to Book 3!
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Escape to Montauk with interior designer Meg Barrett. She is excited to help her friend Elle Warner inventory and move the furnishings of some bungalows on the Harrison Falks estate. They end finding more than they bargained for when they find a skeleton in a secret room. It isn’t long before the remains are identified as the son of Harrison Falks. Rumor had him leaving the area 20 years ago in possession of a well known piece of art created by Andy Warhol. Meg just can’t help but to insert herself into the investigation and the family drama. Her bones may be the next ones found as she is installing herself right on the killer’s radar. I really like Meg. She may be hearing impaired but she knows how to deal with that and most of the time the disability doesn’t present any problems…but, of course…there are those times…where it gets her into a bunch of trouble. I like the way she works together with Elle and that they each know their strengths and weaknesses and really balance each other. The house that Meg is working on sounded wonderful before she decorated it but amazing after so worked her magic on the place. We meet Harrison Falk, his family, caretaker and staff. Eclectic is a great way to describe this bunch. Old money, a huge estate, with so many secrets. Great descriptions by this author make is so easy to visualize the vast estate and these characters. I really like the way the author weaves history into this story and introduces us to Montauk residents of the past and their stories. This time I found the information about pop art and artists very interesting. The plot has some nice twists and the pacing is absolutely perfect. There is a good dose of humor and a bit of romance sprinkled throughout the story too. This was a fun read and I can’t wait to return to Montauk.
Carstairs38 3 months ago
Too Many Distractions. Again. I had a mixed reaction to the first book in the Hamptons Home and Garden series, but I enjoyed the ending and I really wanted to like the series, so I gave Hearse and Gardens a try. Sadly, it didn’t improve any on the flaws of the first book. Meg Barrett and her friend Elle Warner are excited to be given access to one of the cottages on Elle’s great-uncle’s estate. The cottage is about to be moved, but first, the pair can go in and remove anything they think they can use for their antique and decorating businesses. While they are exploring the cottage, they find a door to a long forgotten recording studio. Inside the studio is a skeleton. Everyone is quick to assume that the skeleton belongs to Great Uncle Harry’s son who disappeared well over a decade ago. But if those are his remains, who locked him in the studio? Everyone assumed he ran off with the neighbor’s wife. Where is she? Is she dead as well, or is she the killer? And what about the rare Warhol painting the duo supposedly stole? The book starts off very quickly as we find the skeleton in the first few pages. However, the pace lags after that. Meg goes about her life, including a feud with another decorator and a legal fight over the cottage he’d bought for herself. Actually, I found those sub-plots more compelling than the main mystery at times. Plus we get long passages describing places and things that Meg has found or giving us the history of the Hamptons. The mystery does have some good twists, but most of them come in the final third of the book, and once the pace picked up, I again got very interested in it. The characters are certainly interesting. Meg is a strong character, and I appreciate her partial hearing loss since it is something different for a protagonist in a cozy series. There are a few returning characters, and I enjoyed seeing them again. The new characters are outstanding as well, and I never had a hard time keeping them all straight. The book has some decorating tips at the end as well as two recipes from Meg’s dad, a gourmet chef. I wish the pacing of this book were better because there is much to like in Hearse and Gardens. As it stands, this will be my last visit with Meg to the Hamptons. NOTE: I received a copy of this book in hopes I would review it.
Booth More than 1 year ago
I 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
Author Kathleen Bridge is proving to be an exciting voice in cozy mysteries. HEARSE AND GARDENS is written with the same enjoyable mix of mystery, action, and humor as Bridge’s first Hamptons Home & Gardens installment, BETTER HOMES AND CORPSES. The characters in this series are wonderfully layered, and eclectic. Series lead, Meg Barrett, is hearing impaired, but this does not stop her from getting into the thick of things, and holding her own…and then some! My favorite parts of both book in this series is going on antique, and up cycling hunts with Meg and her friend Elle. If I could come across the amazing treasures the do (with the exception of dead bodies), I’d be out there searching every day! With her fluid writing, sense of timing, and superb way with descriptions, author Bridge’s series is one you will want to add to your bookshelves! The back of this book has some great decorating tips, and yummy recipes!