On a normal day, I’d wake up and step onto the deck of my cozy beachfront cottage in Montauk and greet the morning.
On a normal day, I’d take the twenty-seven steps down to the shore and meditate, using the rhythm of the waves as my mantra. If the weather was rough, I’d leave my hearing aids behind and revel in the feel and smell of the briny ocean wind as it lashed my face.
On a normal day, I’d walk along the beach to check for poetry written in the sand by a reclusive author with a tragic past.
On a normal day, I’d make a pot of rocket fuel in my French press, bring the pot and my favorite I-heart-NY mug, along with the East Hampton Journal to my screened porch and scour the ads for estate and garage sales.
On a normal day, I’d peruse my Cottages by the Sea storyboard filled with clippings and diagrams of my current interior design project.
But today was a not-so-normal day.
Today was the not-so-normal day that I went to the Seacliff estate in East Hampton and found socialite and rare antique collector Caroline Spenser, bludgeoned to death.
Today was the not-so-normal day that I found myself seated in an East Hampton patrol car, trying to stifle the gag reflex. Not that I was a stranger to riding in police cars. My father was a retired Detroit PD homicide detective, but I was a stranger to finding murdered corpses.
Today was the not-so-normal day that I glanced at the bumper sticker on the back of my Jeep that read, MONTAUK—THE END, referring to the town’s location on the easternmost tip of Long Island.
Up until this not-so-normal day, I’d thought of Montauk as THE BEGINNING.
But now, I wasn’t so sure.
You can read more about Meg in Better Homes and Corpses, the first book in the NEW “Hamptons Home and Garden” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime.
About Better Homes and Corpses
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. . .
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GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on August 12 for the chance to win a print copy of Better Homes and Corpses. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected.
Meet the author
Kathleen Bridge started her writing career working at the Michigan State University News in East Lansing, Michigan. She is the author and photographer of an antique reference guide, Lithographed Paper Toys, Books, and Games, and the author of Revenge of the Sports Widows—How to Cope with a Sports Fanatic. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and has taught creative writing classes at the William Cullen Bryant Library in Roslyn, New York. Kathleen is also an antiques dealer in Long Island, New York, and has contributed to magazines, including Country Living magazine.