The Seeds Planted before a Book Blooms
by Kathleen Bridge
(Guest post provided by publicist.)
As a mystery writer, I’m always ripping out newspaper or magazine articles and copying/pasting links that might someday become an inspiration for a future book. The premise for the first book in my Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery series came from a magazine article I read about writer Sally Quinn purchasing the falling-in-ruin Grey Gardens in East Hampton, New York. In the article, Ms. Quinn talked about the items she’d discovered in the mansion’s attic and how she restored the interior of the house, based on old photographs, to its original splendor. I tore out the article and filed it under, “Story Ideas.” A few years later, I went to my file and found the article. As an antiques dealer and fixer-upper, the thought of treasure in an old attic at an estate where the rich and famous live and die, gave me the idea for Better Homes and Corpses.
The inspiration for my second Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery came from a newspaper article I read in Dan’s Hamptons about Andy Warhol’s estate in Montauk selling for fifty million dollars. I added the article to my file. Voila! A year later it gave me the idea for Hearse and Gardens, whose main storyline is about a wealthy Pop Art broker’s murdered son and a missing Andy Warhol painting of a can of Aqua Net Hairspray.
Years ago, I was sitting in my backyard reading a story in The New York Times about F. Scott Fitzgerald, “A Fleeting Era’s Timeless Chronicle” by Patrick J. Lyons. The first sentence in the article had me hooked. “Few places that F. Scott Fitzgerald inhabited over a short and shallow-rooted life infused his writing the way Long Island did.” The article went on to tell how Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby from his rented home in Great Neck, Long Island, a short distance away from where I sat. Also mentioned in The New York Times piece was a short story Fitzgerald wrote that takes place in Montauk, called, “The Unspeakable Egg.” In the file, it went.
As you’ve probably guessed, the article became the inspiration for my third book about what would happen if an unpublished F. Scott Fitzgerald novel surfaced in the Hamptons, and shortly after, the manuscript’s authenticator was found dead. Soon, I was off on a journey that would lead my protagonist, Meg Barrett, to the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast in the old whaling village of Sag Harbor, rich with history and the home of many famous American authors. The seed was sown and eventually budded into Ghostal Living.
Well, it’s time to write my next book. I’m sure somewhere in my files there’s a seed ready for germination. Right now, what might bloom is a mystery…
Thank you so much Kathleen for dropping by today!
Ghostal Living (Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery)
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (May 2, 2017)
The Berkley Publishing Group
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01KUCY83W
The first Sag Harbor Antiquarian Book and Ephemera Fair is right around the corner, and interior designer Meg Barrett has her hands full decorating rooms at the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast for wealthy rare book collector Franklin Hollingsworth. Rumor has it Hollingsworth is in possession of an unpublished manuscript written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. When the Fitzgerald manuscript’s authenticator is found dead at the bottom of a cliff, Meg suspects a killer is on the loose.
Rare books start disappearing from the B & B and Meg sees a connection between the stolen books and the deceased authenticator. With the fair looming, she finds herself caught up in catching a killer and thief before another victim is booked for death.
Welcome to the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast. Meg Barrett has been working hard to complete all the rooms before the first Sag Harbor Antiquarian Book and Ephemera Fair. Rare book collector Franklin Hollingsworth and owner of the Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast is going to present an unpublished manuscript written by F. Scott Fitzgerald at the fair. Before he can do that the man that authenticated the work is found dead. Also, other rare books have gone missing from the B&B. Meg believes the death and the thefts are connected. She finds herself wrapped right in the middle of another investigation.
Each of the rooms at Bibliophile Bed & Breakfast is decorated around classic authors. Rooms dedicated to Emily Dickinson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, John Steinbeck, Louisa May Alcott, and Edith Wharton. All the furnishings, books and knick knacks are described in detail to give you a clear picture of all the rooms. I really enjoyed the way the authors were mentioned throughout the book.
The author also describes the grounds and people in vivid detail. Even the hurricane that blows through can be almost felt through the pages thanks to her writing style.
Meg is a unique character, strong and doesn’t let her hearing disability hold her back. In fact, because of it she can read lips which comes in quite handy when trying to catch a killer. Her romantic life is a bit of a mess but that doesn’t take over the mystery.
We are given several viable suspects with many twists. Greed, lies and secrets lead us to an eventful ending.
Take a little trip to the Hamptons and enjoy some time with Meg and her friends.
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.
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