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

Catherine Astolfo
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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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: 514 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: #557,710 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too Graphic But Good Plot February 17, 2013
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.
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grim but good November 23, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The characters are well developed and the story pulled me in from the beginning. It is a little slow getting started but the description of the setting is necessary to set the stage. The negatives are that there is a back story that is never explained. This is a minor negative. Also, the sex scenes are more graphic than I appreciate but not offensively so. The far worse elements in the story are treated with tact and discretion.

There are enough hints dropped that you think you know "who done it" with enough surprises to keep it interesting. I will read more by this author.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book! :)
I think this book was quite intriguing and the storyline encouraged me to read it. I liked the writing because it was quite simple but enjoyable. Read more
Published 4 months ago by ChloeTheReader
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Story But Disturbing
I read this book in one sitting. I liked it and thought that the author had a very good imagination. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mjollnir the Hammer
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Kind of sad. But a well written novel..
Published 5 months ago by Sherry
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 6 months 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 6 months 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 8 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 8 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 9 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 12 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 16 months ago by Sue J
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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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