"A Design to Die For" By Kathleen Bridge: Review/Giveaway

by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the book and a link to purchase it

Murder With Style
A difficult break-up, cheating will do that, compelled Megan “Meg” Barrett to flee Manhattan and her top job at American Home and Garden magazine and escape to Montauk, Long Island. There, with her background in home and garden design, she opened up Cottages by the Sea, a small interior design business. Her “wingwoman” Elle Warner, like minded in their “passion for interior design and junk pickin’,” owns a local shop filled with many delightful vintage finds, and they’re both resources for a local TV production highlighting a 1930’s detective duo. Elle is engaged to Arthur Shoner, a great law enforcement resource when the need arises. There was another man in Meg’s life, Cole Spenser, but his new out-of-the-country job has turned the sparks off...for right now, she has her Maine Coon Jo to keep her warm and a poetry pen “sand” pal that “sizzled in the air.” Designing and trying to find unique treasures seems too often interrupted by a mystery...or a murder, and she just can’t help poking her nose in. It must the “cop gene” she inherited from her homicide-detective father.

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A Design to Die For earns 5/5 EVP Recorders...Engaging Fun!
Memorial Day is just around the corner and, to Meg’s apprehension, heralding hordes of tourists. Enjoying a few quiet, if not foggy, moments, she and Elle are set to enjoy lunch, but their friend, newly married Jenna Eastman, appears...banged, bruised, and limping. “I think my husband...is trying to kill me.” She told her friends about her usual jog, a silver Mercedes, being run off the road, and saved from certain death by a bush. Jenna is quite wealthy after inheriting her father’s estate. Jenna’s husband, Roland Cahill, is much older, and has been trying to make a personal mark among the Hampton elite with his background in construction, but his cock-of-the-walk manner while renovating Jenna’s inherited family home, Enderly Hall, puts people off. Enderly Hall is set to be the center piece at Montauk Designer Showcase, but Jenna’s regretting it. With an overheard conversation about selling the property and faking its providence as designed by a famous architect, Jenna demanded a divorce. So attempted murder? Maybe. But, it seems things have backfired..Roland Cahill, disliked by many, has been found dead at the bottom of a cliff.

Perfect Gem! Kathleen Bridge had me as an eager fan with her By the Sea Mystery series (Reviewed HERE), but she’s captured my interest in her Hamptons Home & Garden series, too. I’ve read one other book, but it was easy after a couple of chapters to be well into the background and character connections. Kathleen’s writing style uses a first-person narrative with Meg’s perspective with excellent description of the setting, design elements, character appearances, and food to give the reader a clear picture. Her dialogue does well to illustrate the tone and emotions and the varied personalities from arrogant to entitled, from guarded to open, from clueless to clever. The murder mystery, however delayed more than I like, was engaging with several twist and misdirection and riddled with a showroom full of suspects. Marital un-bliss. Reputations at stake. Some things not as they seem. It was fun to weed through the clues, they’re there, and try to solve. Kathleen always creates strong, independent women, and in this series, there’re plenty of them. I love Meg, a unique lead dealing with her physical challenge; she wears hearing aides. And, intertwining ghost stories, tales of witches, paranormal investigators, Captain Kidd’s curse, and poetry references made the reading experience quite the page turner.

BONUS! Kathleen brings us “Recipes for Meg’s First Dead Poets Society Book Club Meeting,” from savory to sweet...from Meg’s father Jeff Barrett enjoy Roasted Shrimp Cocktail with Thai Chili Sauce, Slow-Roasted Salmon with Tomato and Basil, and Basil-Spiced Jasmine Rice, and from the culinary-challenged Meg, her No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars. She also includes “Meg & Elle’s Think Outside the Box Guide to Vintage Decorating.” Fun and interesting ideas for refurbishing furniture, outdoor pillows and decorations, and care and uses for old paintings and pottery. Tips included for making a road trip to outdoor flea markets a game and revealing a design secret about oversized mirrors.

Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery
Better Homes and Corpses (2015)
Hearse and Gardens (2016
Ghostal Living (2017)
Manor of Dying (2019)
A Design to Die For (2020)

Be a Big Kathleen Bridge Fan!
Kathleen Bridge pens wonderfully entertaining series with strong women in the lead, and always clever, engaging drama. There is my favorite four-book By the Sea Mystery, but my first introduction to her work was with the five-book Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery. She offers something for every cozy taste!

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To enter to win an ebook copy of A Design to Die For, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "design,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 22, 2020 . U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. We delete all emails after the contest is over.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And speaking of podcasts, check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up last week.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. I’ve been wanting to read this series. Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  2. This sounds like a wonderful series. Thank you for the review and contest.

  3. Sounds like a book I would enjoy reading. Thanks for the chance.

  4. Sounds good and thank you for the chance. pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com

  5. Love! Love! Love this series! Can’t wait for the next installment.

  6. Thanks for the chance! JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com


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