Friday, August 11, 2023

Books To Read If You Enjoy Suspenseful Beach Reads

So oftentimes beach reads are light, fun, and fluffy, but in a good way. Sometimes I just want to sit by the beach or outside and get lost in a lighthearted read....nothing too serious. On the other hand, sometimes I get sick of all the overly saccharine reads and want something with a little more weight and a little more oomph. Maybe there's a murder? Or an unreliable narrator? 

Today I'm sharing beach reads that still have many of the characteristics of a light novel, while featuring enough suspense to keep me on the edge of my beach chair.

Cocoa Beach by Beatriz Williams - Williams always does a good job of weaving history, romance, and suspense into her historical beach reads. I found this one to be a bit more suspenseful than her others.

The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White - There's a good combination of romance, summer fluff, historical fiction through flashbacks, and also a serious murder mystery.

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews - A summer murder mystery set on a gorgeous North Carolina island.

A Single Breath - There's a ton of family secrets in this one and it kept me on my toes. Plus, look at that gorgeous setting!

The Blue by Lucy Clarke - This book features major drama and thrills aboard a yacht.

On the Island by Tracey Jarvis-Graves - The ultimate stranded on a tropical island survival story!

Under a Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa LaFaye - A hurricane is en route to the Florida Keys and of course it brings many dangers. Plus, it's based on the real-life hurricane that pounded the Keys in 1935.

With Malice by Eileen Cook - This is one of the best YA thrillers I've read in quite awhile. It's about a deadly accident set abroad in Italy and it involves amnesia, which definitely kept me guessing. 




Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman - A psyschological thriller that takes place during a honeymoon.  




The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand - This isn't Hilderbrand's usual beach read as it involves a murder! 




The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton - What seems like it should be a good time turns really stressful as the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 approaches.

Hello, Summer by Mary Kay Andrews - A major dose of a mystery with this beach read that follows a journalist's quest for the truth.

Summer Darlings by Brooke Lea Foster - The second half of this historical novel has some major film noir vibes to it, which kept me flipping the pages. 

You're Invited by Amanda Jayatissa - A summer wedding in Sri Lanka goes badly... an engaging summer thriller. 



The Siren by Katherine St. John - A juicy summertime escape with a lot of plot twists and mysteries that takes place on a film set in the Caribbean.


My Summer Darlings by May Cobb - This is a steamy romance that has some Desperate Housewives moments in it and even a murder!  

She Started It by Sian Gilbert - A bachelorette party on a beautiful private island in the Bahamas turns bad and I mean really bad! 

The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones - A destination wedding in Portugal that's filled with secrets and a whole lot of drama. 

In the comments below, let me know what you think about the books that made my list. Have you read any of them? Let me know if you have any recommendations, too! 


  1. What a great list! I think Beatriz Williams is perfect for summer reads that feature a little something extra.

    1. Yes! Her beach reads definitely have that added element of a mystery or some kind of really compelling setting. Thanks for dropping by, Angela!


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