Want to make your summer a little more exciting? Check out these nine beachy murder mysteries to read on your vacation, because there's nothing quite like making a cheery place like the seashore feel full of danger and dread.
Unless you're into cozy mysteries, you might find it difficult to locate a beach-set crime thriller at your bookstore or library, because there aren't really that many of them to begin with. To be fair, it's a lot creepier to kill someone off in a Gothic mansion or a cabin in the woods. Still, there's no denying the fact that beachy murder mysteries have a certain something about them. Beaches are generally thought of as safe and happy places, full of sun and fun, so the thought of someone being murdered there is both captivating and somehow more horrifying. Short of a Disney theme park, the beach is probably the last place you expect someone to be murdered.
The nine beachy murder mysteries on the following list will bring a sense of danger to your seaside destination, and the chills they'll send down your spine will offset the glow of the sun and heat of the sand. Check out my nine recommendations below:
'The Wife' by Alafair Burke
Six years into her marriage to Jason, Angela's life is turned upside down when two women accuse her husband of misconduct. After one of Jason's accusers vanishes without a trace, Angela must face a difficult question: Does she truly know who her husband is?
'Dangerous Crossing' by Rachel Rhys
Traveling from England to Australia in 1939, domestic worker Lily finds herself rubbing elbows with a number of society folk, including Edward, a Cambridge graduate who kisses her in Cairo. But by the time the ship arrives at its destination, World War II will have already begun, and two passengers will have died aboard.
'Best Friends Forever' by Margot Hunt
After meeting in an airport, Kat and Alice build a lasting friendship, becoming one another's confidantes. But when Howard, Kat's abusive husband, falls from the balcony of their South Florida home, Alice loses all contact with the woman she thought was her best friend, and finds herself the chief suspect in Howard's death.
'Watch Me Disappear' by Janelle Brown
Since her mother disappeared on a mountain hike one year ago, Olive has been adrift. After she begins to have visions of her mother wherever she goes, the teenager and her father throw themselves into an investigation into who Billie Flanagan was, and whether she might still be alive.
'What My Body Remembers' by Agnete Friis
Twenty years ago, when their daughter was seven years old, Ella Nygaard's father murdered his wife. Now living with PTSD in the wake of the incident, Ella is deemed unfit to care for her young son after a long stint in a psych ward. She kidnaps the boy and travels to her beachfront hometown, where she begins to dig deeper into her memories of the night her mother died.
'The Other Lady Vanishes' by Amanda Quick
When they meet in Burning Cove, Calif., Adelaide and Jake are like the town's other residents: on the run and hiding from their pasts. After a Hollywood psychic named Madame Zolanda correctly predicts her own death, Adelaide and Jake find themselves unwittingly pulled into the investigation.
'Dead Girl Running' by Christina Dodd
Working at a resort on the West Coast after surviving a gunshot to the head, Kellen hopes her husband isn't following her. In fact, she hopes he's dead. But when bodies begin to wash up nearby, Kellen struggles to investigate the murders without revealing the secrets of her own past.
'The Elizas' by Sara Shepard
After being pulled from the bottom of a hotel pool, Eliza, a novelist, claims to have been pushed, and undertakes the investigation all on her own. But when events in her life and her novel become hopelessly intertwined, Eliza realizes she must question much more than the recent attempt on her life.
'Devil's Breath' by G.M. Malliet
When a glamorous star washes ashore after a yacht party, Max Tudor believes he has an open-and-shut case on his hands. The dead woman must have been murdered by one of her fellow partygoers, right? As details of the actress' history come to light, however, Tudor begins to wonder whether she died because of her secrets, or someone else's.