Our Favorite Beach Reads

Though it may not feel like it in some places, Spring Break is right around the corner. The Chicks decided to celebrate by sharing our favorite beach reads, which include everything from Whodunnit to Who Wore it Best? 

 Kellye Garrett


Confession: I’m addicted to my Kindle. I take it almost everywhere—except in the bathtub and to the beach. Kindles and water do not mix! So for me, I equate the beach with the best time to feed my celebrity gossip magazine addiction and my intense need to ultimately decide who wore it best. As far as I’m concerned, Us Weekly might as well be called Beach Weekly. You’ll also find People magazine crammed into my beach bag. And I’ll read them from cover to cover. I don’t watch Teen Mom, but if you put one on the cover of Us Weekly, I am all up in her drama with her baby daddy and her mama. I can’t help it. I just love to read mags when I’m on the beach. Not to mention, they make great fans when it gets too hot!

Ellen Byron


I consider the beach a delightful place to be at sunset. Aside from that, I avoid sun, sand and sea like the plague. That being said, I love a good summer read. I’m very much looking forward to our own Lisa Q. Mathews’ Permanently Booked, as well as a little something called Terror in Taffeta from a certain Marla Cooper! I’m not just plugging my fellow Chicks, I really want to read their oeuvres. And there’s a new Louise Penny launching on August 30th. My mother will buy it, read it, and send it to me, so by the time I get it summer may be over. Still, I’m in L.A. where it seems to be summer every day now, so it could count as a beach read.  But I’m thinking I may kick off my summer reading with a little nonfiction: The Murderer Next Door. Because, well, you never know. My neighbors seem perfectly lovely, but as the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed.

 Marla Cooper

CotC Marla CooperWhen this post goes up, I’ll be somewhere on a beach in Maui, so the topic of beach reads is particularly appealing to me at the moment. At the top of my vacation reading list? Dying for a Daiquiri by Cindy Sample. Not only because I actually am dying for a daiquiri in anticipation of my trip, but because the series is just plain fun—perfect for taking along on vacation. Plus, it’s set in Hawaii, so it’s pretty much a no-brainer. Another fun mystery set in Hawaii is The Flaming Luau of Death by Jerrilyn Farmer. I’ve already read that one, but if you haven’t, it also pairs well with umbrella drinks. After that, I would probably go for some Florida-set mysteries, including of course, Permanently Booked by our own Lisa Q. Mathews, the Key West Food Critics series by Lucy Burdette, and the Dixie Hemingway Mystery Series by Blaize Clement. Now that I have my reading all planned out, all I need is for the cabana boy to bring me another drink. Cheers!

Lisa Q. Mathews

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As I type this, I am puke-green with envy. My sister is in Mexico, and my college roommate and our very own Marla Cooper are both in freaking Hawaii. And I am in…New Hampshire. It’s sunny here, but the wind is howling and I’m bundled up for Spring Break in an LL Bean sweater, duck boots (also from LL Bean) and sweatpants. So unfair. But it’s good reading/writing weather and I have to confess—I’m with Kellye on the trashy mags at the beach (let’s add In Touch to our required reading list, too). I hate getting sand and sunscreen on my books or e-reader and I have the beach attention span of a sand fly. But give me an umbrella by the pool, and I’m engrossed in…well…usually the latest best-selling spy thriller (especially if I can mentally cast Matt Damon in the upcoming movie). The second I’m on the plane home, though, I’m back to my regularly scheduled mystery programming—which includes writing books set in FL!


So what Spring Break reads are going in your beach bag?

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