Safe from sand and spray, readable in bright sun, paperbacks are vacation faves, and we've got 15 exciting titles for you to stuff in your beach bag — just don't forget your sunscreen!
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Caught Read-Handed by Terrie Farley Moran
Happy to help her fellow bibliophiles, Sassy visits the local library with book donations for their annual fundraising sale. Unfortunately, the welcoming readers’ haven is in turmoil as an argument erupts between an ornery patron and new staff member, Tanya Lipscombe—also known as “Tanya Trouble.” She may lack people skills, but everyone is shocked when she’s later found murdered in her own hot tub.
The man last seen arguing with Tanya is soon arrested. But Alan Mersky, a veteran with PTSD, happens to be the brother of Sassy’s former boss—and he’s no murderer. Now it’s up to Sassy and Bridgy to clear Alan’s name and make sure the real killer gets booked.
Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones
Twelve. Twelve of the deadliest beasts ever forged in the fires of hell have escaped onto our plane, and they want nothing more than to rip out Charley Davidson's jugular and serve her body to Satan for dinner. So there's that. But Charley has more on her plate than a mob of testy hellhounds. For one thing, her father has disappeared, and as she retraces his last steps she learns he was conducting an investigation of his own, one that has Charley questioning everything she's ever known about him. Add to that an ex-BFF who is haunting her night and day, a rash of suicides that has authorities baffled, and a drop-dead sexy fiancé who has attracted the attentions of a local celebrity, and Charley is not having the best week of her life. But all of that barely scratches the surface of her problems. Recent developments have forced her to become a responsible adult. To conquer such a monumental task, she's decided to start small. Really small. She gets a pet. But how can she save the world against the forces of evil when she can't even keep a goldfish alive?
A tad north of hell, a hop, skip, and a jump past the realm of eternity, is a little place called Earth, and Charley Davidson, grim reaper extraordinaire, is determined to do everything in her power to protect it.
Stalked by Allison Brennan
A new trainee at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Lucy Kincaid has already seen more than her share of murder and mayhem. Still reeling from the sex-crime case that sealed her reputation, she’s found a true friend and mentor in Agent Tony Presidio. No matter what goes down at the Bureau, Tony’s got her back—until he’s called to New York to help investigate the murder of a reporter with ties to Lucy.
But the reporter may not be the first victim of a patient killer with a penchant for revenge, and she’s definitely not the last. Connections between closed cases, a missing person, and Tony himself lead Lucy to fear for those she cares for most. When the FBI is rocked by the death of one of their own, Lucy seeks the help of her boyfriend, private investigator Sean Rogan, to help put together the puzzle—and puts her career in jeopardy. But the harder she pushes for answers, the clearer the truth becomes: There’s a killer inside Quantico. Watching her every move. Waiting to kill again…
Dark Spies by Matthew Dunn
Will Cochrane crouches on a hilltop, assembling his sniper rifle. He's still thinking about being removed from his mission tracking the terrorist financier Cobalt. Instead, he's been sent to babysit a CIA operative and her asset in Norway, a routine assignment far below the skill level of the only agent to earn the code name Spartan. But as he scans the vista before him, he sees something that's just not possible, an eminent Russian spymaster—code-named Antaeus—whom Will is sure he killed three years ago. . . .
Will reports to Langley immediately and the response is emphatic: Antaeus Must Not Be Touched. Further Inquiries Require Project Ferryman Clearance. Almost as soon as he hears this, Will sees Antaeus's men execute the asset Will was sent to protect, and Will decides to take a shot at the spymaster, knowing it will make him a marked man. Will manages to kill the attackers and save the CIA operative, but the elusive spymaster slips from his grasp, and both the CIA and MI6 tell him to surrender for disobeying orders.
Now the only way to save his career—and his life—is to get into the U.S. and expose the truth about Project Ferryman. But to accomplish this Will has to outmaneuver four deadly Russian assassins and an elite FBI team controlled by officials who will stop at nothing to keep their sins and secrets safe.
Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell
Dr. Kay Scarpetta is about to head to Miami for a vacation when she notices seven pennies on a wall behind their home. Is this a kids' game? If so, why are all of the coins dated 1981 and so shiny they could be newly minted? Then she learns there's been a homicide five minutes away. A high school teacher was shot with uncanny precision as he unloaded groceries from his car. Yet no one heard or saw a thing.
Soon more victims surface. The shots seem impossible to achieve, yet they are so perfect they cause death in an instant. There is no pattern to indicate where the killer will strike next. First it was New Jersey, then Massachusetts, and then the murky depths off the coast. There she comes face to face with shocking news that implicates her niece, Lucy—Scarpetta's own flesh and blood.
On Scope by Jack Coughlin and Donald A. Davis
The U.S. consulate in Barcelona has been attacked. The terrorists' mission: To put Madrid on the path back to Islamic rule. America's response: Unleash its black operations team, Task Force Trident, to take them down. Now it's up to Gunnery Sergeant Kyle Swanson, one of the world's best snipers, and his beautiful sidekick Beth Ledford, to go on the attack.
The force behind the terrorist attack is a top-secret network of Islamic bankers called the Group of Six. The group's allies will do whatever it takes to uphold the radical Islamic takeover-at any imaginable cost. Once Kyle Swanson's name is unearthed from secret files, he and the group's most vicious hit man will become hunter and prey. As Kyle and Beth fight against an unknown enemy, the fate of world power hangs in the balance. And all it takes is just one shot…
Sting of the Drone by Richard A. Clarke
In Washington, D.C., the Kill Committee gathers in the White House's Situation Room to pick the next targets for the United States drone program. At an airbase just outside Las Vegas, a team of pilots, military personnel, and intelligence officers follow through on the committee's orders, finding the men who have been deemed a threat to national security and sentenced to death.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world-in the mountains where the drones hunt their prey-someone has decided to fight back. And not just against the unmanned planes that circle their skies, but against the Americans at home who control them. . .
Magic and Macaroons by Bailey Cates
For magical baker Katie Lightfoot, the only way to beat the Savannah summer heat is to whip up some cool treats for the Honeybee Bakery’s patrons. But when a meeting of the spellbook club is interrupted by a stranger collapsing on the floor of her shop, mumbling something about a voodoo talisman, Katie drops everything to begin investigating.
Her search for answers quickly leads her into a dangerous blend of Savannah’s infamous voodoo queens, a powerful missing charm—and a deadly witch who seems to be targeting the city’s magical community. And with the case getting hotter by the second, Katie will have to work fast to track down the talisman and the killer before the timer runs out…
Hooked on Ewe by Hannah Reed
It’s early September in Glenkillen, Scotland, when American expat (and budding romance novelist) Eden Elliott is recruited by the local inspector to act as a special constable. Fortunately it’s in name only, since not much happens in Glenkillen.
For now Eden has her hands full with other things: preparing for the sheepdog trial on the MacBride farm—a fundraiser for the local hospice—and helping her friend Vicki with her first yarn club skein-of-the-month deliveries. Everything seems to be coming together—until the head of the welcoming committee is found strangled to death with a club member’s yarn.
Now Eden feels compelled to honor her commitment as constable and herd together the clues, figure out which ones are dogs, and which ones will lead to a ruthless killer . . .
Flourless to Stop Him by Nancy J. Parra
It’s never a good time for a crisis. Toni’s busy whipping up gluten-free holiday treats when a murder forces her to put baking on the back burner. A dead man has been found in the bathtub of a local inn—in a room registered to her brother, Tim.
With her sibling now a prime suspect in a mysterious homicide, Toni is determined to find out who set him up. But she’s about to get some unwanted assistance from former investigative journalist Grandma Ruth, who won’t let anything slow her progress in running down a killer…
Fillet of Murder by Linda Reilly
Sometimes in this life, you have to fish or cut bait. After walking away from a miserable job and an even worse boyfriend, Talia Marby has no regrets. She’s returned to her hometown and is happy to help her dear friend Bea Lambert by working at Lambert’s Fish & Chips, a cornerstone of a charming shopping plaza designed to resemble an old English village.
But not all the shop owners are charming. Phil Turnbull has been pestering Bea to sign a petition against a new store opening up, and his constant badgering is enough to make her want to boil him in oil. When Talia and Bea stumble upon Turnbull murdered in his shop, the police suspect Bea. Now it’s up to Talia to fish around for clues and hook the real killer before her friend has to trade serving food for serving time…
Hiss and Tell by Claire Donally
Political heiress Priscilla Kingsbury is about to marry Carson de Kruk, son of business mogul Augustus de Kruk, at the Kingsburys’ waterfront compound. For reporter Sunny Coolidge, an assignment from the Harbor Courier to cover the event is like catnip.
But when Sunny photographs men pulling the body of a dead woman out of the water, the Kingsburys’ private security isn’t happy. They claim the woman’s death was an accident, but the story seems fishy. Now, with a little help from her police officer boyfriend and her cunning cat Shadow, Sunny is determined to get the scoop on a killer.
Wound Up in Murder by Betty Hechtman
With two yarn retreats in the bag, Casey is looking forward to running her third one at Cadbury by the Sea’s Vista Del Mar hotel on the Monterey Peninsula. This time, each knitter will get a Mystery Bag of knitting materials to turn into a personal project.
But Casey gets tangled up in another retreat at the same hotel, when the organizer and his wife have a very public spat. As Casey is delivering her baked goods later that night, she finds the woman dead in the bushes with a magician’s silk scarf nearby—just like the scarf Casey’s ex-boyfriend, Sammy, used during his magic act at the retreat. As Sammy takes center stage as the prime suspect, Casey and her friends will have to stitch together the clues before the real killer pulls a disappearing act…
Peaches and Scream by Susan Furlong
To help run the family peach farm during her parents’ absence, Nola Harper returns to her childhood home of Cays Mill, Georgia, and soon discovers that things back at the farm aren’t exactly peachy. A poor harvest and rising costs are threatening to ruin the Harpers’ livelihood, and small-town gossip is spreading like blight thanks to Nola’s juicy reputation as a wild teenager way back when. But Nola really finds herself in the pits when she stumbles upon a local businessman murdered among the peach trees.
With suspicions and family tensions heating up faster than a cobbler in the oven, this sweet Georgia peach will have to prune through a list of murder suspects—before she too becomes ripe for the killer’s picking…
Overlord by David L. Goleman
The countdown to armageddon has begun. Some believe it began 700 million years ago, others say it started in 1947 in Roswell, New Mexico. Regardless of its exact origin, the war between the worlds is about to reach its final conclusion: The End of Days. As global allies fall to the wayside and nations start a mad scramble to realign their military structures, only one element in the arsenal of the world can possibly give Earth a fighting chance at survival: The Matchstick Man. But who is this small being, exactly? Can he outsmart his former masters? Can he be trusted? Can the event group defeat the world's greatest evil—before it's too late?
Meanwhile, the Event Group is the one entity that refuses to accept the inevitable defeat of humankind. They've learned that the answer to this ancient war has always been afoot, and that they may even hold the clue to salvation inside their own artifact vault. But without Colonel Jack Collins leading the charge, does the Event Group have what it takes to thwart the invasion? Meanwhile, the worst fears of Department 5656 are finally being realized—and time has already run its course…