Beach reads: Late summer scorchers, thrillers and mysteries

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Summer isn't over, at least not on the pages of these late season beach reads. Dive in!

beach-reads-late-summer-scorchers-thrillers-and-mysteries photo 1Riley Sager's "Final Girls" is a bloody thriller. 

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Summer isn't over, at least not on the pages of these late season beach reads. Dive in!

Final Girls
Riley Sager
Dutton, 342 pp., $26

No less than Stephen King calls "Final Girls" "the first great thriller of 2017." He may be right. This wickedly entertaining horror-thriller-mystery is an up-all-night page turner, maybe because you're too afraid to turns off the lights. The knowing, pop-culturally aware tale is about three, well, final girls - you now the last girls standing in a cliched horror movie massacre. When one of the final girls kills herself a decade later, her sister survivors are shocked. And, they soon, find out, perhaps still targets of a cunning killer.

Grade: A

The Essence of Malice

Ashley Weaver
Minotaur Books, 304 pp., $24.99

If you like love, romance, entertaining displays of wit, Paris, war stories, mysteries or perfume, this delightful trifle is for you. The latest in author Ashley Weaver's Milo and Amory Ames - the "new Nick and Nora" - series finds the upper crust English couple in the City of Lights, c. 1930. Amory thinks they're vacationing, but Milo has other ideas. He's there at the behest of his former nanny, who has noticed strange happenings in the house of current employer, perfume magnate Helios Belanger. Soon, Amory's shopping plans turn to investigating murder. Can she solve the crime while still looking fabulous? Weaver's tale is a wonderful romp with a truly tricky crime at its heart.
Grade: A

A Casualty of War

Charles Todd
William Morrow, 384 pp., $26.99

The Great War is over but the danger continues in the last World War I mystery featuring sleuthing nurse Bess Crawford. As the war winds down, former soldiers and nurses attempt to re-acclimate to their changed homeland. But Bess is haunted by the case of a soldier she once treated, now being held in mental hospital. Everyone else thinks he is shell-shocked when he accuses a dead man of shooting him, but Bess is not so sure. She thinks there's more to his story, and the intrepid helper takes on last case before returning home in this somber, intriguing tale.

Grade: A

Beach, Breeze, Bloodshed
John Keyse-Walker  
Minotaur, 304 pp., $25.99

Avon Lake writer John Keyse-Walker is back with book two in his series featuring Special Constable Teddy Creque in the steamy, sun-drenched British Virgin Islands. This time, the suspect is a shark. But Creque doesn't think the death of a visiting researcher is as simple as shark attack. Smugglers, drug runners, mute kids and an exotic setting make this beach read a real page-turner.

Grade: B

A Nest of Vipers
Andrea Camilleri
Penguin Original, 216 pp., $16

Rugged, isolated Sicily is setting of Andrea Camilleri's enthralling tales of Inspector Montalbano.   But these are no mere mysteries, they're fascinating travelogues about the little known island, and its food, people, landscape and cities - so different from the Italian mainland. In his latest case, the philosophical Montalbano is investigating the death of a wealthy businessman with some terrible secrets. It's a case so dark it makes Montalbano ask, what is justice after all?

Grade: A

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