Today, I am reviewing The Weekenders, by the charming Mary Kay Andrews.
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to go to an author talk sponsored by the Glenn McNairy Branch of the Greensboro/Guilford County Library and Bookmarks. (More about Bookmarks in the fall.)
Mary Kay (aka Kathy) was discussing her latest beach book, The Weekenders. There was an informational presentation about her writing and the book itself, and then a very good question-and-answer period (I always ask about the writing process, because I am trying to figure out the best way for me to get the writing done), and the audience was both attentive and intelligent...just as I would suspect a group of readers to be.
I purchased my copy of the book, and then got it signed and began reading a few days hence.
The book did not disappoint.
First, I need to explain a few things.
I "met" Mary Kay Andrews when she was still Kathy Hogan Trochek, writing her Callahan Garrity mysteries. I read them all, and didn't take much notice of the frontspiece, where it mentioned she wrote romance novels under the name "Mary Kay Andrews." (These are the names of her children, by the way. Her daughter's name starts with a "K" and her son is Andrew.) Anyway, I loved her mysteries, and was disappointed to finish them and not be able to find any more.
But her "Beach Books" (her term) are exactly as they should be.
They have romance and conflict, and like any good beach book, the two are inexplicably linked. (Our heroine CANNOT like the guy at the beginning. There has to be tension of some sort. Which rarely happens in real life...you either like the guy or he's an a--hole... but it's fun in a beach book.)
The dialogue is really well done, which is most compelling to me. I hate it when characters in a novel don't talk like real people. I mean, honestly? Very few of us speak in full and complete sentences every time we speak. Mary Kay's folks have a way of conversing that's fully believable.
What I love the most about this book is that there is, at last, another murder. I don't normally pick up a beach book because I'm not a romance reader. But add a dead body? I'm there!
I recommend this book if you love a great big book that you can read while you relax on the screened-in porch. (And if you have said porch? I am coming to your house! I will bring lemonade AND vodka!) "Beach Books" are a niche worth exploring, and I recommend starting with Mary Kay Andrews.