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Thursday, August 7, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Beach Bags and Burglaries by Dorothy Howell

Beach Bags and Burglaries (Haley Randolph #8)
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 29th 2014 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2014)

Goodreads synopsis: Part-time sleuth and full-time fashionista Haley Randolph just won an all-expenses-paid vacay at the Rowan Resort, a ridiculously exclusive island getaway that caters to the whims of millionaires, royalty, and Hollywood A-listers. With her three BFF's--Marcie, Bella, and Sandy--along for the ride, the only thing she's missing is the Sea Vixen, the season's hottest beach bag. . .The island has everything Haley imagined: pristine beaches, posh accommodations, and possibly Brad Pitt. But trouble soon looms on the horizon when Jaslyn Gordon, a maid at the island resort, goes missing. And while practically looting the resort for a Sea Vixen beach bag, Haley of course finds the maid--on the beach. . .and clearly dead.

I was disappointed with this novel. The author did not re-introduce us to the characters in the beginning. And the pacing of the story felt like she shot a starting pistol and said GO!  I felt like I was running through the first part of the book without a breather. I would have liked to have seen more parts were characters were re-introduced. Not everyone who picks up this book will have read the last book, if any of the previous books. I know I am bad about reading books out of order. And I can't believe I'm the only one.

I know this whole series seems to be about Haley's obsession with handbags, but it just seemed a petty indulgence to me not something she just couldn't control about herself.

I felt like there were way too many old flames, detectives, FBI agents, reporters and secret agents for my liking. I mean, can you say overkill? Especially in light of the fact the beginning of the book said his vacation was a no man holiday.

The vacation package that Haley suspiciously won from the department store where she worked seemed a bit over the top, and then that vacation package gets upgraded? Please. I would have liked to seen a bit more realism in this story. It was all a bit melodramatic. I know cozy mysteries are supposed to be mystery on the lighter side but this was just too much over the top for me.

I gave this book 3 stars merely for the fact that there were a few redeemable characters that appealed to me. This book just wasn't my cup of tea, so to speak. And I am a big fan of cozy mysteries.

I received this ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley in return for an honest review. I thank the author, publisher and Net Galley for allowing me to review this title.

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