Connie’s Retirement Beach Reads

connieatbeachI really was at the BEACH READING! Half the fun of going on vacation is choosing and packing my #1 necessity — BOOKS! Every summer, extremely generous friends of my brother give him a week at their beach house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Oh, did I mention that this house is on the beach and there are dozens of comfy chairs with a view inside and out to sit and read in?

This year, I chose my books well—not a “don’t bother or just ok” in the bunch.  It seemed my nieces, sisters, and family friends all had required reading hanging over their heads.  Brothers and nephews were wasting time running around the sand.  It was pure recreational reading for me. Another plus—sharing recommendations among family of all ages!

Here are my favorites. (Summaries taken from Amazon.)

The Badlands by C. J. Box

Connie’s take: As always, Box is a master at capturing the bitter cold and crime in his western settings.  I’ve read all of his Joe Pickett series.  This is my first Cassie Dewell thriller and she’s an intriguing character.

Summary: Twenty miles across the North Dakota border, where the scenery goes from rolling grass prairie to pipeline fields, detective Cassie Dewell has been assigned as the new deputy sheriff of Grimstad—now the oil capital of North Dakota.  With oil comes money, with money comes drugs, and with drugs comes the dirtiest criminals wanting to corner that market. Even though Kyle Westergaard has been written off as the “slow” kid, he witnesses a car accident and now has a lot of money and packets of white powder in his possession.

Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Dayconnie'sfamreading

Connie’s take: A well-written, atmospheric mystery!

Summary: Juliet Townsend is used to losing.  Back in high school, she lost every track team race to her best friend, Madeleine Ball.  Ten years later, she’s still running behind, stuck in a dead-end job cleaning rooms at the Mid-Night Inn, a one-star motel that only attracts the cheap or the desperate. Then one night, Maddy checks in.  Well dressed, flashing a huge diamond ring, and as beautiful as ever.  Maddy has it all.  By the next morning, though, Juliet is no longer jealous of Maddy—she’s the chief suspect in the murder.

Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship by Robert Kurson

Connie’s take: A great adventure story with real life heroes!

Summary: Finding and identifying a pirate ship is the hardest thing to do under the sea.  But two men—John Chatterton and John Mattera—are willing to risk everything to find the Golden Fleece, the ship of the infamous pirate Joseph Bannister.  If Chatterton and Mattera succeed, they will make history—it will be just the second time ever that a pirate ship has been discovered and positive identified.

The Soul of Discretion by Susan Hill

Connie’s take: Just as interesting as the gripping mystery is the dynamic of Simon’s relationships with his girlfriend, sister and difficult father.

Summary: In the eighth of the successful Simon Serrailler series, the Chief Superintendent is faced with worse crimes than ever, and the town of Lafferton is left reeling.  When Simon is called in by Lafferton’s new Chief Constable, Kieran Bright, he is met by two plainclothes officers, who ask him to take the principal role in a difficult, potentially dangerous undercover operation.  He must leave town immediately, without telling anyone—not even his girlfriend Rachel, who has only just moved in with him.

Connie Regan

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