“Beach Bags and Burglaries,” by Dorothy Howell, is a fun and simple summer story filled with drama, murder, romance, and a tropical getaway with four best friends: Bella, Sandy, Marcie, and Haley Randolph. Haley is the one who won the biggest all-expenses paid trip with her four best friends. She is a part-time, going on full-time event planner who wants nothing more then to relax and have a boy-free vacation. At least she plans to relax until she actually gets to the remote island getaway where she happens to literally trip over a dead girl and get herself caught in yet another murder mystery adventure.
All Haley wanted to do was spend time forgetting about boys and enjoy the sandy beaches and clear waters, but what she got was spending all her time looking for the biggest designer bag of the summer, trying to catch a killer while attempting to stay away from four ruggedly handsome and familiar men wanting to help her. This story started out great, but by the end I felt a bit lost. All the characters were great and the story was humorous, but I felt like I had skipped a few books and I was missing a lot of information about Haley.
Whenever anything about her past came up in relevance to what was happening in the present she would just disregard offering any information. From the five men that came to Haley’s rescue I only knew that Ty was her ex-boyfriend, Ben was a journalist, Luke worked undercover, and Jack and Shuman were cops, but how they all related back to Haley or her friends was kind of another mystery added to the story. I still enjoyed all the romantic drama intertwined with the chase of the murderer.
This isn’t your typical nail-biting mystery novel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the twists offered in this fun summer read outside under the awesome sun. This is the perfect book to pack into your summer tote bag. Just remember to try to read other Dorothy Howell novels beforehand so you can keep up with the romance, mystery, and Haley.
Pub: July 29, 2014