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A Mystery Summer Vacation

Updated on February 9, 2016

Top 10 Mystery Books of Summer 2012

I am taking three weeks off from work this summer and staying at a place a love. The accommodations are wonderful. The neighborhood is quaint. There are cute shops in the area and lots of restaurants to choose from. I have budgeted $500 for my whole vacation. This includes lodging, transportation, food and entertainment. "How is she going to manage that?" you may ask. Well, I'll tell you.

My favorite summer vacation is spending time on my couch reading books. My favorite genre is mysteries. There are lots of good mysteries that have just come out or will be out soon. I have decided to buy the electronic versions of the books. I will use my Amazon account to use the Kindle Cloud reader on my laptop, iPhone and iPad. However, as I browse in the local independent bookstores, I might be buying more books that are in print.

But to tell you the truth, this vacation is going to cost me much more than I stated above. I have to admit it. I am sending my kids to sleep away camp. Now the house is empty - just me and my partner. She plans to spend her time drawing and gardening while I am enjoying reading. I can't wait!!!

My Summer Vacation Begins

As in most luxury resorts, the food is made to perfection and there are many activities to choose from. I will use the kitchen for breakfast, and dining lunch and snacks and treat myself. to dinner in one of the restaurants in the area. Part of the day will be spent walking in the neighborhood or visiting local attractions.

Day one starts off with buying the basic food necessities. This includes breakfast staples (coffee, mile, cereal, eggs, butter, etc.), lunch items (salads ingredient, bread, cheese, vegetables, fish, etc.) and snacks (fruit, nuts, crackers, chips, etc.). There is a local market nearby that sells fresh baked goods, fruits, vegetables, fish and meat. This picture is shows a bowl of grapes that I bought there recently.

As I spotlight the books, I will also describe the things I plan to do.

Snatched by Karin Slaughter - I'm going to drop the kids off at camp and shop for the week

The kids are going to camp this morning. I should be home by mid-morning. Then I'm going to do some shopping for the week. We'll probably have some cheese, fruit and bread for lunch. Dinner will be at the pasta restaurant down the street. After that, we'll probably go to a movie.

Finally, I'm going to start reading Mystery Books. The first one is Snatched. Snatched is a Novella - more than a short story, but not as long as a novel. Interestingly, it is only in an eBook format. This is a good way to start my vacation and feel accomplished by the end of the first day.

11th Hour by James Patterson - Besides reading today, we're going to take the dogs to the park.

I certainly will have finished Snatched by now. I will lie in bed lazily today and start reading f11th Hour for a couple of hours. Then I'll get up, shower, dress, have breakfast, and get ready for the couch where I will continue reading. We'll have a light lunch in the backyard and talk for a while. Dinner will early be at the Chinese restaurant. After that we'll take the dogs for a walk to the park for a couple of hours. Maybe we'll watch some TV later that evening and possibly read some more.

11th Hour (Women's Murder Club)
11th Hour (Women's Murder Club)

James Patterson has been my favorite mystery write for the past year. He is so prolific. Unfortunately, he is writing with other people (in this case Maxine Paetro) and sometimes the quality and tone of his stories aren't the same. For instance, I felt that Guilty Wives was written with David Ellis and is a far cry from most of the James Patterson books.

11th Hour is the next book in the Women's Murder Club series. it is made up of Detective Lindsay Boxer (the heroine), and three of her friends (Claire the Medical Examiner, Cindy a newspaper reporter, and Yuki the assistant District Attorney). who help her solve the crimes. I've already read the first 20 chapters (each chapter is 2-3 pages). There are often multiple crimes in this series.If you go to the James Patterson website, you can read the first 20 or so chapters in each of his soon to be released novels.

Read more about 11th Hour on my 11th Hour lens


Stolen Prey by John Stanford - Dinner with friends tonight.

We will go out to dinner with friends of our tonight. We don't get to do that often when the kids are around. But during the day, I will be finishing 11th Hour and beginning Stolen Prey. I haven't read all of John Stanford's books, so I'm looking forward to this one.

Stolen Prey (The Prey Series Book 22)
Stolen Prey (The Prey Series Book 22)

Stolen Prey is the 22nd in the Lucas Davenport series. Mr. Davenport is an agent in the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Investigation. I like his character a lot. He, like Will Trent, doesn't always follow the rules. His mission is to get the job done no matter what. Stanford's latest novel is about a small town family that is murdered, a Mexican drug ring and a possible link to a software company. There are many twists and turns in Stanford's novels. I'm sure this is no exception.


Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich - Today I'm going to visit the local bookstores to browse.

It will probably take me a few days on the couch to read Stolen Prey . So Day 6 of my vacation I'm going to browse in the local bookstores. Maybe I'll find something I like in print to add to my collection. Last night we left overs. Dinner tonight is at the Thai restaurant. I might even have a Mojito tonight. After dinner I'll start Wicked Business.

Wicked Business: A Lizzy and Diesel Novel (Lizzy & Diesel)
Wicked Business: A Lizzy and Diesel Novel (Lizzy & Diesel)

wicked Business is the second in a new series of novels by Janet Evanovich. I've already read every Stephanie Plum novel (the number series). She also writes other Stephanie Plum novels in between the number series, romance novels, the Barnaby series (which I haven't read) and a new Diesel series. Wicked Business is the second in the Diesel series. I haven't read the first one, Wicked Appetite, but I read that this series includes characters from previous Between the Numbers Plum books. Most of the Evanovich books are light reading and it should be a fast - and fun - read.


The Columbus Affair: A Novel by Steve Berry - The dogs deserve another romp in the park after breakfast in the local cafe.

I'm going to stay in bed until I finish Wicked Business. That shouldn't take too long. Then we're going to the cafe down the street from one of the bookstores. I'll probably have a bagel with cream cheese. I'll be reading until lunch. After that, we'll take the dogs to the park. More reading and then dinner at the Japanese restaurant. More reading after dinner.

The Columbus Affair
The Columbus Affair

The Columbus Affair is not a part of Steve Berry's Cotton Malone series, but it does make reference to his organization. It is about a famous reporter who is betrayed by his information source and his reputation is ruined. He feels hopeless and suicidal. When stranger shows up at his house and tells him his daughter has been kidnapped and will be killed unless the reporter helps them, he goes to her aid. One of the things he must do is help the stranger find a treasure that is related to Christopher Columbus's voyages.


Lullaby by Robert B. Parker - A trip to Wine Country

I start the day with reading The Columbus Affair in bed. We have a late breakfast at home. We are going to take a day trip to Wine Country. The drive is beautiful. We go to a couple of wineries for tasting and then to our favorite restaurant in the area for a late lunch/early dinner. We will be home late in the day. I have time to read before bed.

Robert B. Parker's Lullaby (Spenser)
Robert B. Parker's Lullaby (Spenser)

Lullaby is actually not written by Robert B. Parker but by Ace Atkins. He was picked by the Parker estate to be the one who continues to write the Spenser novels. Since I have never read a Robert B. Parker novel, I don't feel compelled to go back and read other Spenser novels. Atkins continues the Spenser novels, but with a new "voice".

This is a synopsis of the story from Amazon:

When fourteen-year-old Mattie Sullivan asks Spenser to look into her mother’s murder, he’s not completely convinced by her claim that the police investigation four years ago was botched. Mattie is gruff, street-smart, and wise beyond her years, left to care for her younger siblings and an alcoholic grandmother in a dilapidated apartment in South Boston. But her need for closure and her determination to make things right hit Spenser where he lives- they’re the very characteristics he abides by.


Trial Junkies by Robert Gregory Browne - Catching up on reading

I take one more day to finish The Columbus Affair. The next couple of days is spend reading of Lullaby.. I very happy reading on the couch and not doing much of anything else. We even grill dinner at home a couple of nights. By Day 12, I start Trial Junkies .

Trial Junkies (A Trial Junkies Thriller Book 1)
Trial Junkies (A Trial Junkies Thriller Book 1)

Trial Junkies is an exciting new novel from Robert Gregory Browne. It's the first in a new series. The characters are realistic, the book is fast paced and has a great ending. According to customer reviews, the story is about Ethan "Hutch" Hutchinson who searches for the killer of one of his old college friends.


Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn - A guest comes to visit

My friend is going to visit for a few days. This will put a crimp in my reading, but that's OK. I do get a little reading in when I wake up and when I go to bed. We sit around and talk while my friend is here. We take occasional walks in the neighborhood and picnic in the park. One night we go out for a special dinner at a fancy restaurant.

Gone Girl
Gone Girl

Gillian Flynn is a new author to me. I looked at the customer reviews on Amazon. It seems people really like this book. Gone Girl is the story of a marriage gone bad and the ways each spouse tries to manipulate the other. It is a psychological thriller that seems worth reading. The writing is excellent and the plot very exciting plots.


Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman - Reading on the couch

My friend leaves on Day 15 and the couch becomes my reading sanctuary again. I finish Trial Junkies in the morning and start Gone Girl in the afternoon after a nice lunch in the backyard. We order a pizza for dinner. It takes me a couple more days to finish this book and then another few days to read Don't ever Get Old. The dogs get to go for daily walks to the park. By this time I figure out the times that other dog walkers take their dogs to the park. There is a new restaurant opening in the next town that we go to one of these nights. We go to the Indian restaurant another night and a burger place the next. The other nights we have left overs.

Don't Ever Get Old (Buck Schatz Series)
Don't Ever Get Old (Buck Schatz Series)

There is rarely an elder hero in most mystery and thriller novels. Buck Schatz is an 80 something year old retired Memphis homicide cop. Buck's friend from a POW camp during World War II is dying. He asks Buck to find the guard that brutalized them and vindicate the victims. He eventually agrees to do so with the assistance of his grandson. The plot is full of secrets and people dying along the way until Buck finally finds the shocking truth about the guard.


With Open Eyes by Iris and Roy Johansen - Lunch with friends and pick up the kids at the airport

It's Day 21 and this is the end of my vacation. With Open Eyes is a very short book - only 33 pages. I finish the book in the morning. We have lunch with friends at our favorite buffet. Later that afternoon, we pick the kids up at the airport. I realize how much I miss my kids - and then they ask to have fast food for dinner.

With Open Eyes: An Original Short Story (Kendra Michaels)
With Open Eyes: An Original Short Story (Kendra Michaels)

I know nothing of these authors or anything about this book, so I'm going to post the book description from Amazon.

Blind for the first twenty years of her life, Kendra Michaels learned at an early age to become hyper-aware of her surroundings, perfecting the art of picking up the most subtle audio, olfactory, and tactile cues in the world around her. Kendra's astonishing powers of observation and analysis have made her a favorite of law enforcement agencies all across the country. She cares little for investigative work but can’t deny her unique skill, or the results she’s been able to facilitate. Like a secret weapon, she is in high demand, but her talents are put to the test when her mentor calls on her to help solve a mysterious disappearance and she uncovers one explosive secret that not even the police want her to find.


Do you have any suggestions for summer reading? I'm not stuck on just mysteries. I will read pretty much anything that someone recommends.

What Do You Think of My List? - Any suggestions?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Sounds like my dream vacation (and one I will no doubt have to wait a good couple of years for-kids need to get a bit older) Your partner wouldn't by any chance be someone linked to bookreportradio(dot)com (host is Elaine Charles)? At least half of these books are on my "to-read" list after hearing about them on the show! Clearly you have similar taste in books, so perhaps you should take a listen(station guide on their site) and add some more from their suggestions! :) Must say, I loved 11th Hour.

    • dcosmato lm profile image

      dcosmato lm 

      6 years ago

      This sounds like an idea vacation, especially for anyone who loves to read! Enjoy your time with your favorite authors.

    • dcosmato lm profile image

      dcosmato lm 

      6 years ago

      This sounds like an idea vacation, especially for anyone who loves to read! Enjoy your time with your favorite authors.

    • efriedman profile image


      6 years ago

      Will link to this lens on my "Money-Saving Tip for Vacation" lens.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Sounds like a much needed break. My first wife loved detective novels, and while my son and I would go out exploring and doing our fun activities, she went to the library and brought back books to read. Unfortunately that was one of the causes the the breakup. If you love reading though, there is nothing better than being somewhere comfortable and familiar and with everything you need to hand. Why pay a small fortune to stay somewhere else when you have all that at home.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      â Thanks for this great tip , Just Awesome!

    • dlobel profile imageAUTHOR

      Debra Lobel 

      6 years ago from Oakland, CA

      @mbgphoto: I haven't read the Steg Larsson series. You are the second person today to mention it. I just bought it a little while ago. Thanks for the recommendations.

    • BLemley profile image

      Beverly Lemley 

      6 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Nice way to spend your vacation! B : )

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      6 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Sounds like great vacation. You like many of the same authors I do. I just finished 11th Hour by Patterson and loved it. Have you read The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo ? I found it to be really good.

    • dlobel profile imageAUTHOR

      Debra Lobel 

      6 years ago from Oakland, CA

      @SheilaMilne: Thank you for the suggestions. I'll put them on my must read list.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Love mystery books. Just don't have the time to read.

    • SheilaMilne profile image


      6 years ago from Kent, UK

      I love thrillers too! Have you tried Stieg Larsson's books? I recommend them. Also Jo Nesbo. As you can see, I've taken a Scandinavian turn in my reading. :)

    • randomthings lm profile image

      randomthings lm 

      6 years ago

      Well done. Good books. Good couch. Kids away at camp. There isn't a better vacation!

    • rallo-smith profile image


      6 years ago

      A very unique and great idea for a vacation.

    • dlobel profile imageAUTHOR

      Debra Lobel 

      6 years ago from Oakland, CA

      @ErinMac LM: I haven't read Wicked Appetite yet. I might have to squeeze it in before my vacation. :)

    • ErinMac LM profile image

      ErinMac LM 

      6 years ago

      Great lens! Can't wait to read Wicked Business, I loved Wicked Appetite.

    • PBJasen profile image


      6 years ago

      Great idea! Love your lens.

    • MarilynThompson profile image

      Marilyn Thompson 

      6 years ago from Washington State

      Some great vacations are in our own backyards

    • psiloveyou1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Great relazing vacation. I like Harlen Coben books.

    • biminibahamas profile image


      6 years ago

      Sounds like a great vacation! No packing and no going thru security ..

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      6 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Now, this is my kind of vacation! Totally love this idea and your selection of books!

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 

      6 years ago from Albany New York

      I would love to have a vacation like this!

    • Einar A profile image

      Einar A 

      6 years ago

      Very creative article! I also love to read, and my idea of a summer vacation is to take off into the mountains with just me, my pack and a paperback or two that I can read in camp in the evenings.

    • belinda342 profile image


      6 years ago

      Ahh, the perfect vacation! No matter where I go--I always have a book to read. E-readers make it easy to now carry several! Thanks for the list. I'll be checking some of these out.

    • HenkWillemse profile image


      6 years ago

      Good spin on the summer destination, and within one's mind lies the whole of the universe.


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