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Springtime in the Hamptons comes late, but it’s worth it! Brisk walks on the bright chilly beach, cinnamon buns at tea time, blooming forsythia and….murder?
Innkeeper Antonia Bingham has hit her stride as the proprietor of East Hampton’s Windmill Inn. After solving a series of murders, Antonia has taken on more work as an estate manager, giving her entree her into some of the area’s most glamorous homes. Once inside, Antonia checks the heat, looks for leaks or damage, and finds the occasional dead body. As the police can’t be trusted, it’s up to Antonia—a modern day Miss Marple, with an overly enthusiastic adoration of carbs and a kamikaze love-life—to put her skills of deduction to use. Nestle in with a steaming mug of your favorite tea and get ready to peek behind the gates of the mansions of the Hamptons, as Antonia Bingham solves another shocking and devastating murder.
Q: Antonia, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
AB: Although I am exceedingly unfit and possess no discernible athletic prowess I actually ran track in high school, albeit briefly. I think I was pretty good at it for those fleeting years, but then I got shin splits and chucked my racing career (not after lots of daydreams imagining myself running marathons and winning Olympic medals.)
I also have a terrible singing voice, which also held me back on a possible career. Once I was on an airplane with my parents when I was about ten, and we sat next to the casting director of the Broadway Musical “Annie.” She said I would make a terrific orphan (for some reason my mother was offended by that.) I was dying to audition, but the problem was, I can’t sing at all. I’m totally tone-deaf. It was a non-starter.
Q: Who’s the character you get along with the best?
AB: I was fortunate enough to meet the lovely Joseph Fowler, a renowned author of historical fiction, a few years ago. Joseph and I both came into one another’s lives when we were in need of a good friend. I had recently moved to East Hampton and purchased The Windmill Inn and had opened a restaurant. I was wallowing in self-doubt and felt like I was sinking. Joseph was among my first customers at the restaurant. He was recently widowed and was getting used to life on his own. Needless to say, both of our lives had changed dramatically and we needed emotional support and friendship. Joseph is a tremendous cheerleader of mine and has become something of a father figure for me. (The fact that he reminds me so much of my late father also helps!) He is a true gentleman in a world where there are not many gentlemen. He loves my cooking, which always pleases me. He is also a great sounding board and has become something of a partner in crime (crime-stopping, really), assisting me in solving all of the murders that keep popping up around town.
Q: Which other character do you have a conflict with?
AB: Larry Lipper and I have a love-hate relationship. He has an incredible ability to fluster me and get on my nerves. Larry is conceited and smug and always inappropriate. I am constantly amazed at how full of himself he is, and how certain that others feel the same. He is my sparring partner and I usually cannot stand to be in the same room as him. That said, we always sort of end up doing things together. I think because he is the crime reporter for The East Hampton Star and I happen to keep solving crimes. I will concede that at times he is helpful and there is wisdom there. But I would never ever tell him that.
Q: Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author, Carrie Doyle?
AB: I think she should stop procrastinating and hop back to work on the third installment of “The Hampton Murder Mystery Series.” I get to solve a cold case, and it’s very interesting because she’s diving back in time to East Hampton twenty-three years ago and there is a lot she had forgotten about that era. I think it’s really interesting how much information she has about ‘The Hamptons’ and I like that she is telling readers about what it is really like, all-year-round and not just in the summertime.
Q: What’s next for you?
AB: I will continue to run the inn and the restaurant. My idol, Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) lives right around the corner from my inn and I am dying to have her stop by for dinner. And maybe I could have a cameo on her cooking show? That would be my ultimate dream come true!
About the Author:
Carrie Doyle was the founding Editor-in- Chief of the Russian edition of Marie Claire Magazine. She is currently a Contributing Editor of Hamptons Magazine and has written extensively for Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country and has also written for Women’s Health and Avenue on the Beach. With Jill Kargman, Carrie co-wrote the film Intern (which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1999), as well as several screenplays sold to Showtime, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Films and the Oxygen Network. Carrie and Jill co-wrote five books together, including three teen books for HarperCollins and two bestselling women’s fiction books, The Right Address and Wolves in Chic Clothing (Broadway Books). Carrie also penned the popular novel The Infidelity Pact (Broadway Books). Carrie lives in New York City with her husband and two children and is currently at work on an animated series for broadcast as well as her new series, the Hamptons Murder Mysteries.
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