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Hearse and Gardens PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Hearse and Gardens
Author: Kathleen Bridge
Publisher: Published May 3rd 2016 by Berkley
ISBN: 9780425276594
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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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 broker Harrison Falks. But th 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.   INCLUDES RECIPES AND DECORATING TIPS

30 review for Hearse and Gardens

  1. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Best friends, Meg Barrett (interior designer), and Elle Warner (antique store owner), find a skeleton in a hidden room in a beach cottage resulting in the re-opening of a cold case on a missing person. What follows is a thrilling hunt for both a killer and valuable antiques as these two ladies roam the rich neighborhoods of the Hampton's searching for trash that can become your treasure. The true wealth of this story is its delightful cast of eclectic characters; a beautiful ocean setting; a cle Best friends, Meg Barrett (interior designer), and Elle Warner (antique store owner), find a skeleton in a hidden room in a beach cottage resulting in the re-opening of a cold case on a missing person. What follows is a thrilling hunt for both a killer and valuable antiques as these two ladies roam the rich neighborhoods of the Hampton's searching for trash that can become your treasure. The true wealth of this story is its delightful cast of eclectic characters; a beautiful ocean setting; a clever plot; a huge, smart cat named Jo; and lots of humor.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Robbins

    For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs...

  3. 5 out of 5

    LORI CASWELL

    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 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.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne

    Interior designer, Meg Barrett, continues to fight to purchase a cottage on Long Island. In the meantime, she agrees to assist her best friend take inventory and clean out a bungalow on Montauk. The bungalow is part of the estate of a wealthy art broker, Harrison Falks. Meg makes a shocking discovery when she finds an old skeleton hidden in the bungalow. The skeleton is identified as Harrison’s son who disappeared twenty years ago along with one of Harrison’s expensive Warhol paintings. Meg becom Interior designer, Meg Barrett, continues to fight to purchase a cottage on Long Island. In the meantime, she agrees to assist her best friend take inventory and clean out a bungalow on Montauk. The bungalow is part of the estate of a wealthy art broker, Harrison Falks. Meg makes a shocking discovery when she finds an old skeleton hidden in the bungalow. The skeleton is identified as Harrison’s son who disappeared twenty years ago along with one of Harrison’s expensive Warhol paintings. Meg becomes very curious as to what happened to the younger Falks and proceeds to investigate, but she comes up against more family drama than she anticipated. This is the second book in the “Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery”. I have to admit, the series won me over with the first book especially because it is set in my own area. Readers even get a little lesson on vintage items and what they are worth. Meg is a wonderful character. She is strong willed and probably takes more dangerous risks than she should, but what amateur sleuth doesn’t? There’s also a bit of romance, but it doesn’t overpower the mystery. The mystery is still the main part of the story. The Falks family certainly is a prime example of an eccentric group. The author does a great job of showing the readers exactly how eccentric they are. She, also, does a great job in describing the setting. She transports the reader right to Long Island. The story moves at a nice, steady pace. There are a few twists and turns along the way. I’m looking forward to reading the next installment. Disclosure: The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Ks Book Reviews

    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 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!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I had a hard time putting down this the second in the Hampton's Home & Garden mystery series. There is magic in this book though not the paranormal kind. Magic I have only seen in a few of my most favorite series. There is something truly unique and special about main character Meg and her adventures. Something so relate-able and believable. She is one of my most favorite cozy main characters of all time. She is not only brave and smart, she has a great work ethic, a no nonsense attitude and I had a hard time putting down this the second in the Hampton's Home & Garden mystery series. There is magic in this book though not the paranormal kind. Magic I have only seen in a few of my most favorite series. There is something truly unique and special about main character Meg and her adventures. Something so relate-able and believable. She is one of my most favorite cozy main characters of all time. She is not only brave and smart, she has a great work ethic, a no nonsense attitude and the girl knows her way around a yard sale! We could easily be friends. She sees the beauty and potential in things people take for granted and I have truly enjoyed spending the last two days with her. This is the perfect weekend get away book!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    Meg and her friend Elle are cleaning out a cottage when they stumble upon a skeleton sealed in a forgotten room. While the identity of the skeleton isn’t really a mystery, it does give rise to a lot of questions. Who sealed the man in the room? Where is the woman he supposed ran off with? Or is she the killer? Where is the painting the pair supposedly stole? As you can see, there is plenty of compelling stuff here for a good mystery. Sadly, the book is slowed way down by Meg living her life, incl Meg and her friend Elle are cleaning out a cottage when they stumble upon a skeleton sealed in a forgotten room. While the identity of the skeleton isn’t really a mystery, it does give rise to a lot of questions. Who sealed the man in the room? Where is the woman he supposed ran off with? Or is she the killer? Where is the painting the pair supposedly stole? As you can see, there is plenty of compelling stuff here for a good mystery. Sadly, the book is slowed way down by Meg living her life, including things she finds for her decorating business. Ironically, I found two sub-plots that doesn’t tie into the mystery to be more compelling than the mystery for much of the book. We do get some great twists before the end, and the characters are great. Sadly, it isn’t enough to raise the book above average. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lauren A

    3.5 stars

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stormi (BMReviewsohmy)

    This is the second book in the Hamptons Home and Gardens mysteries and was just as interesting as the first one. Meg agrees to help her friend with some inventory and clear out furniture from a large Montauk estate and they ended up finding more than they wanted. They find a hidden room and inside is a skeleton that turns out the be the remains of the owner of the estate's son who went missing about twenty years ago. At the same time he went missing a famous Warhol painting did as well. Meg start This is the second book in the Hamptons Home and Gardens mysteries and was just as interesting as the first one. Meg agrees to help her friend with some inventory and clear out furniture from a large Montauk estate and they ended up finding more than they wanted. They find a hidden room and inside is a skeleton that turns out the be the remains of the owner of the estate's son who went missing about twenty years ago. At the same time he went missing a famous Warhol painting did as well. Meg starts snooping around the Hampton's pop art past and finds lots of family drama. She also meets Byron a very handsome man who kind of wines and dines her. Since Cole is not in the picture anymore as he went back home she is need of a little dining with a handsome man. Though she is not the only one after the man. The mystery was really good and I was kind of surprise with who the murder was which made me wonder if I wasn't paying attention good enough as I normally can figure it out...lol. Oh, well sometimes I get stumped. It has some great characters and I like Meg and I always wished I had an eye for detail and could be a designer of sorts. I would love to be in interior designer. I like her friend Elle as well. I am really curious about how this thing with Byron is going to pan out because of something at the end. Overall, I enjoyed it and if you like cozies and a home and garden theme then you should check out this series.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Sometimes I come late to a series and can't wait to read the earlier ones I've missed. Sometimes--well, not so much. Meg is an interior designer who's helping her pal Elle, a wealthy antiques dealer, clean out a family cottage, when they discover a skeleton shut into a secret room. In addition to being involved in a land dispute, Meg, who is hearing-impaired, adopts a huge, spoiled Maine coon cat in the course of this. She also has too-many-men trouble. There's nothing terrible about it, but it Sometimes I come late to a series and can't wait to read the earlier ones I've missed. Sometimes--well, not so much. Meg is an interior designer who's helping her pal Elle, a wealthy antiques dealer, clean out a family cottage, when they discover a skeleton shut into a secret room. In addition to being involved in a land dispute, Meg, who is hearing-impaired, adopts a huge, spoiled Maine coon cat in the course of this. She also has too-many-men trouble. There's nothing terrible about it, but it didn't grip.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin Copp

    This is the second book in the series and I am just not enjoying them like I thought I would. In this one Meg is helping her friend Elle clean out a massive estate in Montauk. They run across a skeleton in a secret room which turns out to be the son of the estates owner. She and Elle are drawn into trying to find the killer. I don't think I will read any more in the series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    I thoroughly enjoy this series! Meg has a great look on dealing with the cards that are dealt to you. Her sleuthing skills are, uh, haphazard, but a fun read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie and Louis Rigod

    Interior and landscape designer, Meg Barrett is loving living in the Hamptons of New York. Although she is having to fight ownership of her dream cottage, "Little Grey," life is definitely looking up. Meg's business partner and friend, Elle Warner invites Meg to help her 'pick over' the antiques in her 'Uncle' Harrison's bungalows. Uncle Harrison is from the days of the 'Pop' art period. He built his home, 'Sandringham' a few acres from legendary artist Andy Warhol. Harrison Falks is an elderly m Interior and landscape designer, Meg Barrett is loving living in the Hamptons of New York. Although she is having to fight ownership of her dream cottage, "Little Grey," life is definitely looking up. Meg's business partner and friend, Elle Warner invites Meg to help her 'pick over' the antiques in her 'Uncle' Harrison's bungalows. Uncle Harrison is from the days of the 'Pop' art period. He built his home, 'Sandringham' a few acres from legendary artist Andy Warhol. Harrison Falks is an elderly man now, and misfortune has followed him for several decades. When Uncle Harrison's dead son, Pierce is found in the bungalow, his misfortunes continue, including a steady decline of mental and physical abilities. Meg feels something is not 'right' and she proceeds to get more involved with the persons living at Sandringham and the tragic tale of Pierce. Meanwhile, she has to fight the battle of her home, inherit a Maine Coon Cat, and more while living with a natural disability of impaired hearing. I'm quite impressed with the naturalness that the character of Meg is drawn by the Author. Her hearing impediment is recognized but it doesn't stop Meg from living her life fully. Nor is she embarrassed by something that is not her fault. I also liked that Ms. Bridge chose to not stress the sometimes vocal issues that the hearing impaired are pressed by. This is implied and needn't be stressed. Excellent character development in my opinion. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lee Cannon

    Murders in the Hamptons This was a really good book. Meg and Elle are once again scouring estate/garage sales for treasures for their businesses in the Hamptons. While clearing out a bungalow on Elle's wickedly wealthy Uncle Harry's estate they discover a skull and skeleton. This is just the beginning of their wild escapade with murder and mayhem. Throw in a Meg's legal battle over her newly purchased old cottage, as well as her stalker, and you're in for an exciting murder mystery that encompass Murders in the Hamptons This was a really good book. Meg and Elle are once again scouring estate/garage sales for treasures for their businesses in the Hamptons. While clearing out a bungalow on Elle's wickedly wealthy Uncle Harry's estate they discover a skull and skeleton. This is just the beginning of their wild escapade with murder and mayhem. Throw in a Meg's legal battle over her newly purchased old cottage, as well as her stalker, and you're in for an exciting murder mystery that encompasses the past and present. Solid five star read!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shell

    I want to like this series, but.... I will say I do like the main character, Meg. However the book goes so fast that many times I have to go back and re read to see who is who again. The author at times introduces new characters in rapid succession and it doesn’t have an easy flow. The historical details are interesting but at times I feel it drags on too long. I want to like this series as I also read the first book but I am just not sure I will go for the third. At times it feels like work read I want to like this series, but.... I will say I do like the main character, Meg. However the book goes so fast that many times I have to go back and re read to see who is who again. The author at times introduces new characters in rapid succession and it doesn’t have an easy flow. The historical details are interesting but at times I feel it drags on too long. I want to like this series as I also read the first book but I am just not sure I will go for the third. At times it feels like work reading it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gloria Brzny

    this book was o.k. the characters were not a stand out or well rounded. they made it confusing and had to reread at times to keep them straight. the history of the times and Andy Warhol were good. as well as the setting the Hamptons made you want to be there. there was a little too much about Meg's life. however the ending was good. action-packed and seemed to tie everything together.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    I love any series by the beach. I know very little about the Montauk area but this was informative. Also had another favorite in it: an estate home. As a designer I enjoyed her work on the houses and using antiques. I'm sure it's good to have romantic tension with 2 guys after one woman but I'm not really into that. Looking forward to the next book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen

    A good second book for this series. When I read these books, I want to be in the Hamptons in an ocean-side cottage. Meg and Elle find a skeleton in a cottage that they are rummaging through for goodies for their interior design business and shop. They start investigating the 20 year old murder.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    2.5 stars I found this book to be such a let down after the first in the series. It didn't contain the same charisma. I will give the series a break before deciding if I will return to it. Definitely not a stand alone. You will need the first one to understand many aspects of this one.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Spook Harrison

    I loved our heroine; that she was a human woman without a weight complex and had hearing aids. Very cool! I couldn't relate to the setting or antiquing but it seemed plausible, and the mystery was well done. I'll read this author again!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Oh my gosh, this story was even better. Especially since I now feel like I know the characters. Once again I loved the story, characters and the setting. I can't wait for the 3rd book in this series to come out so I can buy it!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Susan Parks

    3.5 Stars

  23. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    I like the characters and the setting. I love all the fun stuff about decorating. The mystery was great.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah "Kat"

    3.5 stars. I enjoy this series. There was a lot going on, and I swear there were a couple of things referenced at the conclusion that I don’t remember reading about ....

  25. 5 out of 5

    🐥Erica Lundstrom🐥

    I'd give this a 3.5. I rounded to a 3 because the story line was inchoate a few times and some of the dialogue was too trite. I enjoyed it though.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    A little too much on poetry without a good reason for having that much about it. Otherwise, quite enjoyable.

  27. 4 out of 5

    OpenBookSociety.com

    http://openbooksociety.com/article/he... Hearse and Gardens Hamptons Home & Garden Mysteries, Book #2 By Kathleen Bridge ISBN: 9780425276594 Author website: http://www.kathleenbridge.com/ Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt Synopsis: 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 inven http://openbooksociety.com/article/he... Hearse and Gardens Hamptons Home & Garden Mysteries, Book #2 By Kathleen Bridge ISBN: 9780425276594 Author website: http://www.kathleenbridge.com/ Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt Synopsis: 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 Review: Montauk interior designer Meg Barrett loves to work with her friend Elle Warner. Especially when she gets to inventory the households of rich citizens. Elle has been asked to do just that in one of the famous bungalows on the Harrison Falks estate. Meg is enthusiastic and hoping to find some good items. What they do find is a shock. A skeleton in a secret room. Everyone believes it is the missing son of owner Harrison Falks. He went missing with a famous piece of artwork created by Andy Warhol. Elle is friends with the family and is in the midst of things, so Meg of course has to dive into the mystery. Meg never lets her hearing impairment get in her way, in her life, in her business nor in her searching for answers when a mystery arises. Hearse and Gardens is filled to the brim with fabulous characters, wonderful mystery and stellar setting. The characters are truly the stars of this book and the first in this series, “Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery”. I love the characters that are interspersed with the main ones. Several things are going on at the same time as the hunt for answers surrounding the skeleton. Meg’s dream home is being threatened and that makes for a fabulous side story. She is still in her rental, but dreams of what she is going to do with the home. Legal wrangling gets in the way. The story about the skeleton itself is filled with intrigue and even famous people. Artists, including before mentioned Andy Warhol used to populate the bungalows along with the family. Old family mysteries, deceit and missing persons haunt them still. Author Kathleen Bridge’s descriptive writing style brings the idyllic setting to life. Every home and store and scenery becomes a vivid image jumping off the pages. The characters are well developed. Meg is becoming one of my favorite protagonists. Her spunk and intelligence is endearing. The mystery itself is well written and kept me guessing. All of the mysteries are entertaining and so well layered. I think this installment is even better than the first. Meg’s friends are even more developed and more enjoyable. Hearse and Gardens is the second installment in the wonderful “Hampton Home and Garden Mystery” series and is even better than the first. If this is your first foray into the series, you will be able to enjoy and follow the story with no problem. I would suggest reading the first Better Homes and Corpses though because it is a great one. I love how more settled Meg is and how she has grown as a person and protagonist. The writing is a pleasure to read and this is definitely one book that is hard to put down. I thoroughly enjoy that the other has written Meg as a strong and enjoyable character that just happens to be hearing impaired. That does not define Meg, does not hinder her and definitely does not become an in your face item. Author Kathleen Bridge has once again written a fabulous cozy, full of flair, panache and very well designed. I cannot wait for the third book! *OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sheryl Booth of Booth Talks Books

    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 Gar 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. The 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.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Hackel

    This is the second book in the series and it doesn't disappoint! While salvaging items from Ellie's great-uncle's property, Meg and Ellie make an unusual find-a skeleton in a hidden sound proofed room. Needless to say, emptying out the bungalow is delayed as Meg and Ellie join the search for the murderer. The body is the great-uncle's son, missing for around 20 years. The great-uncle, 3rd wife and daughter, granddaughter, nurse, manservant, and cook all live in the mansion or in the garage apart This is the second book in the series and it doesn't disappoint! While salvaging items from Ellie's great-uncle's property, Meg and Ellie make an unusual find-a skeleton in a hidden sound proofed room. Needless to say, emptying out the bungalow is delayed as Meg and Ellie join the search for the murderer. The body is the great-uncle's son, missing for around 20 years. The great-uncle, 3rd wife and daughter, granddaughter, nurse, manservant, and cook all live in the mansion or in the garage apartment. What makes solving the murder especially hard, is closest neighbor and pseudo uncle to the granddaughter, had a wife that disappeared at the same time as the son. Rumor was they stole an Andy Warhol painting and ran off together. Meg especially begins exploring the mansion and surroundings, fascinated by hidden stairways, hidden rooms, and hidden treasures. Eventually the body of the missing wife is also found in the mansion, and the mystery becomes even more complex. I loved the architectural details given while exploring and discussing the mansion. I also loved the human development seen through various characters. Favorites include Uncle Henry who goes from a confused and pitiful old man to a strong older gentleman with change of care and medications. I also liked the way Meg's hearing issues are addressed and how she removes her hearing aides (and why), yet reads lips and gets lots of information. Other interesting sides include foods and unusual seasonings and spices, a budding romance and another possibly in the works, the renovation of a cottage (Meg's employment), garage and estate sales, gardens, film festival, and even a Main Coon cat with one eye called Jo. Phew! SO much happens and the action never stops. This is a book that will be enjoyed by most everyone because it has so much to offer! Although I had read the previous book, I don't think it was essential to the story. Meg referred to things from the first book in a minor way when explanations were needed.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kayt18

    Hearse and Gardens is the second installment in the wonderful “Hampton Home and Garden Mystery” series and is even better than the first. If this is your first foray into the series, you will be able to enjoy and follow the story with no problem. I would suggest reading the first Better Homes and Corpses though because it is a great one. I love how more settled Meg is and how she has grown as a person and protagonist. The writing is a pleasure to read and this is definitely one book that is hard Hearse and Gardens is the second installment in the wonderful “Hampton Home and Garden Mystery” series and is even better than the first. If this is your first foray into the series, you will be able to enjoy and follow the story with no problem. I would suggest reading the first Better Homes and Corpses though because it is a great one. I love how more settled Meg is and how she has grown as a person and protagonist. The writing is a pleasure to read and this is definitely one book that is hard to put down. I thoroughly enjoy that the other has written Meg as a strong and enjoyable character that just happens to be hearing impaired. That does not define Meg, does not hinder her and definitely does not become an in your face item. Author Kathleen Bridge has once again written a fabulous cozy, full of flair, panache and very well designed. I cannot wait for the third book!

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