"The Perfect Staging for Murder" By Kathleen Bridge: Review/Giveaway

 Review 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

Megan Barrett left Manhattan and her top job at American Home and Garden magazine and escaped to Montauk, Long Island where she opened up Cottages by the Sea, a small interior design business. Her BFF Elle Warner owns a local shop filled with many delightful vintage finds, so together they’re valuable resources for a local TV production of a 1930s’ detective duo drama. Designing and trying to find unique treasures seems too often interrupted by a mystery ... or a murder, and Meg just can’t help snooping. It could be the “cop gene” she inherited from her homicide-detective father. It’s going to come in handy when her boyfriend Patrick Seaton requires an alibi.

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The Perfect Staging for Murder
Earns 5/5 Take Twos … Engaging Page-Turner!

The set of the mini series Mr. and Mrs. Winslow is again tense. Meg Barrett works part time with the set and costume design team and witnessed too many conflicts between her boyfriend Patrick Seaton, the screenwriter, and Brett Golden, the replacement director. Patrick hated that Brett again veered from his script and demanded the last scene be reshot; Brett just scoffs. Some of the cast hurried away from the altercation while others stood nearby. No one intervened. It seemed, since Brett had alienated most of the cast and crew, they thought Brett deserved whatever Patrick dished out. But, did he dish out murder? The public confrontation with yelling and personal threats will be hard to dismiss when Brett is found murdered. Add to the dilemma of Patrick’s disappearance and lack of an alibi, and you can’t help but understand why the cops think they have an open and shut case. Calling Meg … Investigate!

Kathleen Bridge’s writing style is one by which I am very entertained. Her attention to detail, endearing relationships, wit and humor, and of course, a complex mystery to challenge my armchair detective are just some of the positive elements. The victim appears to be a karmic choice with varied conflicts with coworkers and family, but his fiancĂ©e is also one needing closer scrutiny due to her past with husbands. The avenues of interest kept me guessing, personal connections were great motivation, Meg and her fashionista BFF were an entertaining duo, and plenty of perilous fun to keep the reader on the edge, but I really enjoy Meg Barrett who’s a great example of one who overcomes a physical challenge. I find it isn’t necessary to be a series addict to join in with this seventh book, just sit back and enjoy!

Recipes and Cozy Murder … the Perfect Duo!

Kathleen Bridge always adds some delicious recipes along with some interesting insights into Meg’s father Jeff Barrett’s Detroit-Style Pizza and Meg & Patrick’s Apple Crisp Pizza. Kathleen also includes Meg & Elle’s Think Outside the Box Guide to Decorating Your Own Space Fun with interesting ideas from both ladies for “artists, writers … and dreamers” to create “A space that is all your own!”

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)

A Fatal Feast (2021)

The Perfect Staging for Murder (2023)

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 By the Sea Mystery, but my first introduction to her work was with the Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery. She offers something for every cozy taste!

Facebook - Author Kathleen Bridge

Website - Kathleen Bridge

Enter to win an eBook copy of The Perfect Staging for Murder by Kathleen Bridge by making a comment below about design, decorating, and detectives: (1) a favorite design item in your possession, (2) your favorite decorating style, or (3) what era of detective do you like the most? Sam Spade, Nancy Drew, Rockford Files, or …? , or by simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "staging,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 10, 2023. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

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 check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up soon.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. 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'm more of a Mike Hammer/Shell Scot kind of guy.

    It seems weird to read about Montauk without a mention of the Monster!

  2. Love watching the decorating shows on HGTV and reading the decorating magazines. Lots of ideas I would like to try in my house.

  3. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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