Spring Shopping by Kathleen Bridge

I love vintage shopping and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I love it in the summer. I love it in the fall. I love it in the winter. But I especially love it in the Spring. Shopping for antiques and vintage is something my mother and I have been doing for decades. So, when I called Mom up and said it was time to go to our favorite outdoor market at our favorite shop in Melbourne, Florida, she was all for it.

The weather was perfect. Temperatures in the mid-70s, just a few clouds in the sky, and a light breeze off the Indian River Lagoon. Once a month the shop does an outdoor market, bringing in new vendors that fill the parking lot. This would be their first spring market of the season. And yes, even in Florida, we shop for seasonal items to decorate our cozy domiciles. The shop itself sells items that fulfil both my mom’s and my taste. Mom is into primitive Americana and I’m a fan of vintage, shabby, well-worn, rustic, and unusual—one-of-a-king things I can put in my small cottage by the sea.

My mother collects nineteenth-century wooden butter molds and I collect nineteenth-century cloth books on poetry, history, natural sciences, and fiction.

***Notice the Capt. Clyde B. Netherton wood sign – the inspiration for the name of one of my recurring characters in my By the Sea Mysteries.

Recently, I was browsing through one of my books titled, The Water World, dated 1885 and came across a chapter on lighthouses, then found a black-and-white engraving of the Montauk Lighthouse. Next, I turned the page and there was a chapter on Mermaids. In my fourth By the Sea Mystery, the residents are celebrating the Mystic Merfest based on a legend having to do with sunken ships and treasure. Talk about serendipity.

Because I have downsized and now live in a small cottage, I’ve had to be more discerning in my shopping choices. Sometimes I don’t buy anything, but always come away with great ideas to display and rework things I already have. I figure buying vintage and antique is a way of recycling and at the same time supporting local businesses in my area, just like I do my independent bookstore. Below is a photo from inside Rehab Vintage Market. Can you tell what season it is?

If you’re ever in Melbourne, Florida, check out Rehab Vintage Market. We might even bump into each other. www.rehabvintagemarket.com Or follow them on Facebook and Instagram. You can tell them Kathleen Bridge sent you.

When a murderer crashes a masquerade ball, it’s up to Liz to unmask the killer . . .

It’s been quite a year for novelist Liz Holt. She’s overcome a lot and is finally feeling at peace with her new life at her family’s hotel, the Indialantic by the Sea, on the beautiful barrier island of Melbourne Beach, Florida. She’s ready to ring in the New Year at the Florida Writes Literary Masquerade Ball.

But when her ex-boyfriend surprises her at the ball, she can’t disguise her anger, and the two engage in a very public argument. When her ex turns up on the hotel grounds, shot through the heart, Liz finds herself topping the suspect list. With the help of family and friends, she needs to clear her name before the real killer waltzes away scot-free . . .

Recipes included!

Praise for Kathleen Bridge

“A delightful sneak peek into life in the Hamptons, with intricate plotting and a likeable, down-to-earth protagonist. A promising start to a promising series.” —Suspense Magazine on Better Homes and Corpses

“The descriptions of furniture and other antiques, as well as juicy tidbits on the Hamptons, make for entertaining reading for those who enjoy both antiques and lifestyles of the rich and famous.” —Booklist on Better Homes and Corpses

“An excellent read.” —RT Book Reviews on Hearse and Gardens

Ghostal Living is a marvelously entertaining tale of revenge, murder, quirky characters—and disappearing books! With a clever protagonist, wonderful details of life in the Hamptons, and plot twists on top of plot twists, Kathleen Bridge will have mystery readers clamoring for more.” —Kate Carlisle, New York Times bestselling author