Saturday, July 6, 2019

Manor of Dying by Kathleen Bridge

Manor of Dying (A Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery, #4)
Good Day!  Kathleen Bridge is the author of A By the Sea Mystery series as well as A Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery series.  Fans of A Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery series were lucky with Beyond the Page Publishing picked it up the series after it was canceled two years ago by another publisher.  Ms. Bridge lives on a barrier island off Florida's central east coast.  The first three books in  A Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery series are Better Homes and Corpses, Hearse and Gardens, and Ghostal Living.
Manor of Dying by Kathleen Bridge is the fourth A Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery.   Meg Barrett along with her friend, Elle Warner are heading to Shelter Island where Nightingale Manor resides.  A production company is going to film the pilot of the 1930s mini-series Mr. & Mrs. Winslow at what was once an old sanitorium.  Meg and Elle have been hired to help select pieces for the set as well as inventory the items.  Nightingale Manor has an attic filled with period furniture that they can utilize plus belongings from the former sanitorium residents.  Meg did a little research before their departure.  She discovered that Dr. Nightingale’s grandfather ran the manor as a sanitorium and in the 1950s an actress was murdered by her friend which resulted in the facility being shut down.  Meg, Elle and Felicity (the set designer) are taking the elevator to the ground floor to make the last ferry of the day when the power goes out.  Twenty hours later when the power is restored, the elevator descends to the basement.  When the doors open, the threesome see Dr. Blake Nightingale, the current owner, on a gurney with an ice pick in his heart.  The killer recreated the 1950s murder of the actress. The suspect list is limited to those who were stranded in the manor during the storm. Meg believes there is a reason the guilty party recreated the old killing.  So, Meg begins looking into the suspects backgrounds to see if she can find any connections.  She will need to watch her back, because someone is unhappy with Meg’s sleuthing.  Can Meg unravel the clues in time, or will she end up in a perilous position?

The abandoned Château de Carnelle designed for André Philippe Alfred Regnier, Duke of Massa, in 1875 by renowned architect Hippolyte Destailleur. Located on the edge of the forest Carnelle, in the Ile de France region of France. This land was given to the monks of Saint-Denis by Charles V. The Duke of Massa, childless, donated his estate to the city of Paris and it was converted into a sanatorium in 1930. The castle was finally closed in 1992.
Manor of Dying can be read alone if you have not read the previous three books in A Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery series.  The author provided the backgrounds on the main characters plus we are told about the last three cases.  The characters are developed and relatable.  Kathleen Bridge is a descriptive writer which will allow readers to visualize the scenes and the characters.  However, it does slow down the pace of the story.  I enjoyed the information on various decorating styles and the descriptions of the beautiful antiques.  I wanted some of the lovely pieces stored in the attic of Nightingale Manor.  The mystery was interesting in the way it tied to the past murder.  I liked how Meg found various clues to the old case while digging into Dr. Nightingale’s murder.  I wish it had been a little more challenging to identify Dr. Nightingale’s killer.  The story highlights how women were treated in psychiatric facilities in the past plus the horrible procedures they suffered in an attempt to “cure” them.  Meg is missing her boyfriend, Cole with the holidays approaching.  They get to spend so little time together.  Patrick Seaton, though, continues to be thrown in her path and she cannot help but think about a future with him.  We will have to wait and see what happens.  Manor of Dying has vintage fashions, a beach poet, a creepy sanitorium basement, two adorable Scottie dogs, an iced cosmetic surgeon, and one curious interior decorator.

St Francis Hospital, late 1930's
Manor of Dying is available on Amazon. Thank you so much for stopping by today.  I hope you are having a safe and fun holiday weekend.  Tomorrow I am reviewing More Than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer.  I hope you have a relaxing day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
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