Category Archives: beach reads

Mangrove Lightning by Randy Wayne White

Mangrove Lightning

Randy Wayne White is always a quick fun read. I didn’t think this one was as good as previous novels. The sci – fi was a bit much. But I always like to see what the characters are up to in the newest novel. I’m going to recommend it, but it is not as good as past novels. If you haven’t been reading this series you would have missed a lot of background on the characters and even if that weren’t true this would not be a great as a first Randy Wayne White novel.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Shelley Clark
Rating:  Recommended
Challenge Published in 2017

Camino Island by John Grisham

Camino Ilsand
This was far from my favorite Grisham – perhaps I’ve simply come to expect lawyers to play a major role in his books and there’s nary one to be had among the major players here. But, really, it was the plot that failed. I enjoyed reading about the theft of the manuscripts but the book just lost steam after that. I tried to inject some interest imagining Fernandina Beach, FL (where a friend of mine used to run a small bookstore) as Camino Island, and smiling at Bruce’s sartorial preferences as I recalled the guys I went to law school with in Georgia who lived for seeksucker and bow ties. And I enjoyed the antics of some of the secondary characters. But those just weren’t enough to generate my continued interest in the storyline. I enjoyed John Dunning’s Cliff Janeway series, also involving rare book collecting, much more.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by:  Mary Hall
Rating: Not Recommended
Challenge: Published in 2017

Find Her by Lisa Gardner

FInd Her

This is one of Lisa Gardner’s DD Warren books. The story line was back and forth from DD’s story to the main character, Flora Dane. Flora survived a kidnapping and was missing for 472 days. Her return to life has not been an easy transition. As you read the book, more about Flora is revealed. It was hard to think about all the things Flora endured, even though it wasn’t based on anyone’s real life story. But in the end, Flora feels redeemed. I enjoyed the book, it was hard to put down at times.

Availability: COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Lynette Starke
Rating: Highly Recommended

Camino Island by John Grisham

Camino IlsandI think I must have read at least one Grisham novel in the 90s, but I remembered little of it (them?) and thought Camino Island sounded like a good summer read. It’s about the elaborate heist of five rare manuscripts (the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald) and the efforts of a young writer to infiltrate the inner circle of the popular book dealer who is suspected to have the stolen manuscripts in his possession. The premise was promising, but the prose was so clunkily functional that it felt more to me like a long description of a book I might be interested in than the book itself.

Since the plot involves a loose yet gossipy community of writers in a touristy beach town, Grisham is afforded an opportunity to comment at least indirectly on the compromises between art and commerce that the writing life entails. He launches a few barbs at the self-consciously literary Leigh, whose “tortured prose” saps the life out of even the most promising stories, as if to draw a contrast with his own uncluttered if unsatisfying style. That said, I did keep turning the pages!

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Eric Blomquist
Rating: Recommended with Reservations
Challenge: Published in 2017

A Hiss Before Dying By Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown

A Hiss Before Dying

 

I had not read one of Rita Mae Brown’s books before. This book was one of a series, but it was easy to understand without having read the previous books, It is a cute book and a fast read, with talking animals and history lessons from the 1700’s mixed with a current day mystery.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Shelley Clark
Rating:  Recommended

Four: A Divergent Story Collection by Veronica Roth

It took me a little while to decide on a number book …. 2061 (it had been too long since I read the first two), one fish, two fish (seemed a little too short), any Stephanie Plum book (could not remember which ones that I had read). I enjoyed the Divergent series of books and I was curious as to why there was another book, so Four: A Divergent Story Collection seemed like the best choice.

The book is divided into four main chapters (maybe they are short stories) and there are also three “scenes”. The first three chapters take place before Divergent and the fourth (as well as the scenes which are just scenes from the Divergent book told from Four’s perspective) take place during Divergent. Four should be read fourth even though it starts before the first book since I think it would take away some of the surprise. It is the same world, same overall plot, and it just adds a slight bit of background and point of view from Four – I don’t think it really adds to the overall story and it doesn’t really have the same discovery that you enjoyed while reading Divergent.

For huge fans, it is probably great as another fix, I found it enjoyable but I don’t think it added to the series, so … recommended. Note – I highly recommend Divergent.

Availability: COSMOS
Review Submitted by:  Andy Ashenfelter
Rating:  Recommended
Challenge: A book with a number in the title.

Dare to Die by Carolyn Hart

Dare to Die

Annie and Max Darling again find themselves surrounded by intrigue and murder in their South Carolinian island home. (I would sure hate to live near them–no dearth of deaths in each book!) Hart writes smoothly, without undue waste of words, so the storyline moves along nicely. The ending was a pleasant “reveal” as one suspect after another takes prime place as the murderer.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by:  Jane Kostenko
Rating:  Must Read