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The Bridgeman (An Emily Taylor Mystery Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

In The Bridgeman, Astolfo throws opens the door of her idyllic setting into a world of darkness, depravity, and danger. Her safe haven turned inside out, Emily Taylor bravely untangles a web of lies and unthinkable acts of degeneracy. Threatening her own closely held secrets, the charming teacher dares to push boundaries of personal safety to right dreadful wrongs. After reading The Bridgeman, you'll want to go home, lock the doors, and hug your pet.   
- Anthony Bidulka, Author of The Russell Quant Mysteries

From the Author

The devil inspired me to write The Bridgeman. Not literally, I hope, but more in the sense that I am intrigued by evil people. I am attracted to the reasons behind their darkness. As an old song says, evil grows in the dark...or does it? I think truly wicked people walk among us, aliens with human faces. Their lack of empathy, twisted ideas, and desire to hurt absolutely make me want to dig around and find out why.
 
Instead of becoming a police officer or a detective (since I'm a physical coward), I became a mystery/crime writer. I look for evil everywhere and luckily, there is lots of it around. In the newspapers, on television, from word-of-mouth, and let's not forget, urban legends.
 
The Bridgeman began as a character sketch. On a drive through a little town in Ontario, I was stopped at a drawbridge, where I noticed the lockmaster going about his business in a very ordinary way, barely noticed, red-checkered jacket, plain face, every day, slow habits and movements. And I thought: what could this almost invisible person be hiding? What dark secrets might lie beneath the banality of his existence?
 
At the same time, my niece had acquired a job as a veterinarian's assistant. Her tales of the puppy and kitten mills and their victims gave me an idea for the secret my ordinary bridgeman might suppress.
 
So began the Emily Taylor Mysteries. At first, Emily Taylor, the local school principal, was a vehicle for the bridgeman character sketch, and later, for Victim's premise (Book Two).  By Book Three, Legacy, Emily had asserted a strong voice of her own and had become more the centre of the series than the carrier.
 
In the last few months, I have happily been adapted Emily for the new world of eBooks. She loves our publisher, Imajin Books, and has been blossoming under their tutelage. Despite being media shy, she even appears in the trailers!

Product Details

  • File Size: 963 KB
  • Print Length: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Imajin Books (October 23, 2011)
  • Publication Date: October 23, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005Z5IM28
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,889 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Catherine Astolfo is an award-winning, Canadian best-selling author of mystery and psychological suspense. Her short stories and poems have been published in a number of Canadian literary presses. Her story, "What Kelly Did", won the prestigious Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Crime Story in 2012.

In the fall of 2011, she was thrilled to be awarded a four-book contract by Imajin Books for her Emily Taylor Mystery series (previously self-published), and has never been happier with this burgeoning second career.

Catherine's books are gritty, yet portray gorgeous surroundings; they deal with sensitive social issues, but always include love and hope. They're not thrillers, but rather literary mysteries with loads of character and setting. And justice always prevails. Her most recent novel from Imajin Books is Sweet Karoline, a psychological suspense. Sweet Karoline hit the top ten of Amazon Canada on its first day of release. She is also the author of an ebook novella series, the Kira Callahan Mysteries, the first of which is Up Chit Cree.

Selected bibliography

The Bridgeman: An Emily Taylor Mystery. Imajin Books, October, 2011
Victim: An Emily Taylor Mystery. Imajin Books, November, 2011
Legacy: An Emily Taylor Mystery. Imajin Books, April, 2012
Seventh Fire: An Emily Taylor Mystery. Imajin Books, July 2012
"What Kelly Did" NorthWord Literary Magazine, 2012
"Family Recipe"EFD1:Starship Goodwords. Carrick Publishing,2012
Sweet Karoline. Imajin Books. July, 2013
"The Three R's" Thirteen: An Anthology of Crime Stories, Carrick Publishing, 2013
"The End of the World": The Whole Shebang 2, Toronto Sisters in Crime, 2014
Up Chit Creek: novella: Qwickies imprint of Imajin Books, 2015
"Pulling a Rabbit": Thirteen O'Clock, Carrick Publishing, 2015

Awards
Winner, Arthur Ellis Best Crime Short Story Award, 2012
Nominee, Zonta Club Women of Achievement, Brampton-Caledon, 2012
Winner, Derrick Murdoch Award, 2012
Winner, Bony Pete Short Story Award, First Prize, 2010
Winner, Bony Pete Short Story Award, Second Prize, 2009
Winner, Brampton Arts Acclaim Award, 2005
Winner, Dufferin-Peel Catholic Elementary Principal of the Year, 2002, the Catholic Principals Council of Ontario.
Winner, Elementary Dufferin-Peel OECTA Award for Outstanding Service, 1998

Websites: www.catherineastolfo.com; www.imajinbooks.com; www.sisbro.net

Email address: cathy@catherineastolfo.com


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By DIL on January 31, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I have to say that Catherine Astolfo is my favorite mystery author ever! I find it hard to find mysteries out there that combine both intriguing story lines and twists and turns that aren't expected with amazing characters and subplots that keep you hooked. Mrs. Astolfo delivers on it all. I've read every single book of her series and can't wait for more. Her prose is gorgeous and seamless and her stories are fascinating, deep and beautifully integrated and her characters are so well developed and real that you miss them when you put the book down... if you can. ;o) Check these books out, they really do rock!
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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderfully creepy book about Emily Taylor, a woman who is still recovering from her last adventure. She finds herself in a small town filled with secrets and evil. Total page-turner - I couldn't put it down until the very last word.
Note to the squeamish - the murder isn't the most gruesome thing in the book. Might be disturbing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed it enough to finish it but I wouldn't seek out another right away. I found the plot far fetched and hard to follow with the characters' roles interchanging. The author alludes to "things" that seem to have a connection to the main plot but leaves those "things" a mystery as well. I loved that it was free, though. Thanks, Amazon!
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Format: Paperback
Emily Taylor is an elementary school principal in a small town. Nothing ever happens in Burchill. Most assuredly, there's never been a violent crime. All that is about to change-forever.
After arriving as usual for school, Emily discovers their soft spoken maintenance man, Nate, dead at the bottom of the stairs. Nate's been shot. Being that nothing even close to this has ever happened here, the sheriff's department has to call in `big city' police to give them advice. Everyone is dumfounded.
Known as the Bridgeman because of a longstanding tradition in the town, Nate's role extended beyond caretaker of the school to being a counselor & confidant. Injured animals were brought to him in droves for refuge & care. Who would want to kill a man like that?
Despite her own fears, Emily knows she must help find the murderer. There are people she has concerns about, such as Nate's parents, but nothing substantial. As her investigation continues, new revelations come to light. Was Nate really the man they all thought he was? How many skeletons exist in this town's closet? Emily must put herself at risk to return the town to its quiet existence & bring a murder to justice.
As the book began, it certainly was intriguing. From a plot standpoint, it was tremendous. Small town atmosphere & an unlikely victim made it unique. Emily will make a great heroine for the series should the author continue.
One word of caution: the revelations about certain characters' fetishes & their sexual practices are quite graphic. Honestly, it caught me off guard. Also, the description of abuse the animals endured was a bit much. I don't wish to detract from the author's vision or talents, but I believe these descriptions could've been left out. With or without them, the plot could've stood strong.
Read more ›
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An interesting mystery with more dark side than I usually like. As another reviewer mentioned, there was mention of some secrets/traumas from the past which added an air of foreboding but they weren't explained. I guess the author will be unveiling the past, piece by piece.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. School Principal Emily Taylor has lived in the little town of Burchill for two years. She feels that she and her husband have finally found their perfect home and safe haven, that is, until the school caretaker Nathaniel Ryeburn is found murdered. The townspeople are filled with fear as the reality of a murder in their midst is realized. Who could this killer be? Is it someone they all know? As Emily begins to investigate on her own, she learns that as Bridgeman, Nathaniel was also the town counselor, and knew everyone’s secrets, something she didn’t expect because the Nat she knew was reserved, shy and quiet. Then Emily comes across evidence and a shocking discovery. Sadly, her curiosity brings investigators to her home, while she and her husband try to hide from their own secret past.

This was a great novel; I was drawn in from the very beginning. The author was very detailed in her descriptions, that you could actually feel like you were standing there right beside her. The characters were believable and realistic, especially for a small town. The mystery uncovers a twisted secret that completely stunned me! I loved the story and plot, but I wish there was more added about Langford’s past, that portion felt incomplete. Hopefully, future books in the Emily Taylor series will expound on this. I was also disturbed by the graphic nature of the animal abuse; the author’s descriptive nature was a little too intense in this instance. Needless to say this is not a book for young readers.
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The Bridgeman is set in rural, small town Canada, a perfect place for Emily and Will/Langford Taylor to start their new life. Right up until she finds the body of the caretaker (Nat) in the school where she is the principal. Emily and Will are relatively new to the community and the reader sees the townspeople of Burchill from Emily's eyes as she tries first to understand how someone as kind as Nat could be murdered, and second to find out who did it when it appears she may be a suspect. Nat's family has been responsible for the opening and closing of the lochs for generations, almost invisible, but with the advent of technology, the man on the bridge (the bridgeman) is no longer essential.

With Nat's murder, Emily's new found sense of peace is shattered. Emily uncovers a 'business' and human proclivities that most would like to think could never exist. As the story plays out, Astolfo carefully lays out the events and motivations that lead to yet another death. In the process, Emily finds that she and Will have friends in Burchill and become 'parents' to a collie named Angel, but they are not yet willing to share their secret past. The characters have depth and are likeable, with just enough `mystery' left to motivate reading other Emily Taylor stories.
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