Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to Kathleen Bridge back to Escape With Dollycas!
Montauk – Separating Fact from Fiction…
by Kathleen Bridge
I chose Montauk to be the main setting for my Hamptons Home and Garden Mysteries because it fulfills all the prerequisites readers look for in a cozy or traditional mystery. As an author, I have used poetic license in creating Meg Barrett’s Montauk, while not veering too far from reality.
The Montauk Point Lighthouse is an amazing structure that sits on the easternmost tip of Long Island and was commissioned by George Washington. Montauk’s nickname, THE END, refers to the piece of land jutting into the Atlantic, where the lighthouse sits. How cozy is that?
The hamlet of Montauk is nestled between the ocean and the Long Island Sound. On the ocean side you have white sandy beaches and one of the top surfing destinations in the country–Ditch Plains Beach. During the summer season you can find a fantastic gourmet food truck parked at the entrance to the beach. The ocean cottages I talk about in my books are real. They are perched on cliffs overlooking the ocean, sometimes referred to as the Montauk Moors and during hurricane and nor’easter season you might think you were in Cornwall, England.
On the northern part of Montauk, lies a thriving fishing community. Montauk boosts more saltwater fishing records than any other port in the world–not just the U.S.–the world!
Because of its beauty and closeness to Manhattan (116 miles due west) and East Hampton (16 miles due west), it has had its share of celebrity residents: Andy Warhol, Dick Cavett, Ralph Lauren, Annie Leibovitz, Billy Joel and Julianne Moore just to name a few. Montauk has been the setting of the television series, Royal Pains, Revenge, and The Affair. Also filmed in Montauk, are the movies, Still Alice and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a short story that takes place in Montauk, The Unspeakable Egg, and James Patterson uses Montauk as the setting in some of his novels. The Rolling Stones really did hang out in Montauk, and the Memory Motel, a title of one of their songs, still sits on Main Street.
In my second book, Hearse and Gardens, I talk about the “Montauk Monster.” The Montauk Monster was real. In my first book, Better Homes and Corpses, I told about German spies who swam to shore during WWII and were apprehended by the local Coast Guard–also true. Theodore Roosevelt spent time in Montauk with his troops after the Spanish American War as they recovered from yellow fever. Teddy also hung out at Deep Hollow Ranch, the oldest working cattle ranch in the United States. I try to weave all of Montauk’s’ rich history into my books.
Now for fact vs. fiction: A Tale of Two Sisters Books in Montauk is a thinly disguised The Old Man and the Sea Books in my series.
In my books, I based the vintage store Rockin’ Retro, on a real shop I used to visit every time I came to Montauk, called Whoa Nellie.
Mickey’s Chowder Shack is my fictitious amalgamation of The Clam Bar, Lunch, and The Dock Bar and Grill. And Paddy’s Pancake House is my version of Mr. John’s Pancake House on Main Street.
Another fact is: I LOVE MONTAUK! If you are interested in seeing photos or learning more about the “real” Montauk, please check out my “Montauk–The End” board on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/KathleenBridgeG/montauk-the-end/ .
What a great post! Love to have a reference when I am reading to clearly form pictures in my mind.
Thank you Kathleen for being my guest today!
About 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 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 Country Living magazine.
Find out more on her webpage here.
Hearse and Gardens (Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery)
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (May 3, 2016)
The Berkley Publishing Group
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B013Q70DGY
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
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.
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Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”