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

Catherine Astolfo
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

THE BRIDGEMAN (An Emily Taylor Mystery - Book 1)

Some secrets can come back to haunt you…

Principal Emily Taylor feels safe in the friendly little town of Burchill—until she finds a body in her school. The murder of caretaker Nathaniel Ryeburn brings back memories she'd rather forget and plunges Emily into a mystery that involves a secret diary, an illegal puppy mill and a murderer innocently disguised as an ordinary citizen.

As fear rips through the traumatized town, Emily's investigation inadvertently leads the police to her door, and to her husband Langford, who is hiding a secret of his own. It becomes clear to Emily that many of Burchill's residents are merely wearing masks. And it's time for those masks to be ripped away…and for a killer's identity to be revealed.

"A story rich in detail with unexpected twists and turns." —Meredith Henderson, actress, film producer, poet

"Love and depravity, rebirth and rot, veneer and the real wood underneath—Astolfo brings these opposing forces into play." —Garry Ryan, author of the Detective Lane Mysteries

"Master storyteller Cathy Astolfo pulls out all the stops as old secrets come back to kill…in this chilling story of twisted desires." —Lou Allin, author of She Felt No Pain

Editorial Reviews


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: 374 KB
  • Print Length: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Imajin Books (October 23, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005Z5IM28
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,659 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!! 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good read/a little hard to follow July 17, 2012
By Mary
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small town, big crimes June 10, 2012
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting mystery April 9, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing November 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
really intriguing but felt like it missed the mark. just when you feel you're getting some insight into this dark world the author jumps back and quickly wraps up the story...
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as I Remember - Without the Murder October 28, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Emily Taylor brought to life many memories of being a school principal. I don't pretend to have been as efficient and competent as Emily but I sure do recall all of the trials and tribulations, and things to do, and things not to do stuff that goes along with running a school. As I read "The Bridgeman" I couldn't help but imagine myself living out the scenario of arriving at school and finding a dead body in the boiler room. As Emily handled the situation I found myself saying,"Yep, Emily, that's what you needed to do" or, "Hold it Emily. You have a superintendent to deal with here", or "The parents, Emily. Don't forget about the parents." I was so into this story that I would forget where I was supposed to be and twice forgot to start dinner. Catherine Astolfo has written a book that is creative, imaginative and nerve endingly mysterious. It is one that is pure entertainment for all but is especially gratifying for anyone involved with education at the elementary school level. Catherine left us dangling at the end which is the sure fire way to make sure we "read on". Can't wait to start "Victim". Well done Catherine
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspense in Unlikely Setting December 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Catherine Astolfo intrigues us from the beginning of The Bridgeman which occurs in the unlikely setting of a school in a small town in Canada. Her heroine Emily Taylor, is also an unlikely protagonist as the school principal. However, Catherine shrouds Emily in mystery early on as Emily professionally performs her responsibilities at the school in the midst of a murder. The characters are real and I cared about them. She teased us with just enough of the history of Emily and her husband to confirm their relationship. Most of all, as a mystery buff, I loved the puzzle and learning about a Bridgeman. I am looking forward to reading more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good mystery March 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like the Emily Taylor character (and her husband). I also like the characterization of the townspeople (even better in Victim).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing I like better than a book filled with suspense - Couldn't ...
Wow! What a total page-turner! Nothing I like better than a book filled with suspense - Couldn't put it down! I loved all the mystery behind Nathaniel and the murders. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Ashley Irby
5.0 out of 5 stars Bizarro Cabot Cove
Emily Taylor, a school Principal, is like anyone else - well, probably more nice, but with her own demons. The townsfolk really come to life in this novel. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jason Stuckless
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
This book kept your interest and at times tore your heart out. Would recommend it to anyone liking a good mystery.
Published 2 months ago by D C Stone
5.0 out of 5 stars Riviting
The twists and turns as the plot develops had me reading as fast as I could, always wanting to know what happened next. I love the plot device of "evil hiding in a small town. Read more
Published 3 months ago by E. L. Sapp
5.0 out of 5 stars this book is agreat read..........NO SPOILERS!!!!
I read this book from a book set called DEADLY DOZEN..........It was a great book it was so easy to get into I new from the first page that I was going to enjoy it....... Read more
Published 4 months ago by michelle baldwin
1.0 out of 5 stars Seriously?
This book is about a bestiality crime and a puppy mill. I think that is all that needs to be said.
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars I tried
This is a difficult review to write, as I am frustrated to the point of not being able to adequately express my feelings. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jayhawk Momma
4.0 out of 5 stars The Bridgeman
The Bridgeman is a strong start to the Emily Taylor series. Astolfo is not afraid to tackle a serious subject, but at the same time keeps readers involved in the mystery. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Liz Bugg
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
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. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Simone Lilly-Egerter
4.0 out of 5 stars Too Graphic But Good Plot
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. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Liz Terek
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More About the Author

Catherine Astolfo retired in 2002 after a very successful 34 years in education. She can recall writing fantasy stories for her classmates in Grade Three, so she started finishing her books the day after her retirement became official. 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.

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

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


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