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Killer Summer Paperback – June 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: Red Dress Ink Novels
  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Red Dress Ink; First Edition edition (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373895224
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373895229
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,088,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Curnyn (Bombshell, etc.) cranks up the heat with a seaside murder and some sexy sleuthing in this lively caper. On New York's Fire Island, three 30-something pals—Nick, an impulsive, charming pipe-dreamer; Sage, a flirty go-getter; and Zoe, a sensitive filmmaker—partake in a tony summer share at the sprawling house of Sage's debonair boss, Tom, and his wife, Maggie. Maggie used to love rock and roll, but now sings in the key of Martha, enlisting her tenants to fetch coriander and "a crisp, citrusy white." That is, until she's found floating in the ocean. Multiple narrators provide diverse perspectives on the matter (Maggie's wry, beyond-the-grave musings seem ripped from the Desperate Housewives handbook). Sage had certainly hated Maggie, and Tom takes the tragedy a little too in stride, in Zoe's humble opinion; also, it seems that Nick and Maggie had some unfinished business of a highly classified nature. No one's off the hook—unless, by some chance, there's a far more insidious avenger afoot. Whodunit? And who cares? Curnyn's writing is light and zingy, but she expends too much energy on labored plot twists to wring the fun out of this zany crew.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Zoe, Sage, and Nick have been best friends since high school, and 15 years later, their bond remains strong. The three are going to be sharing a summerhouse on Fire Island with Sage's boss, Tom Landon, and his wife, Maggie. Zoe is reeling from the shock of being dumped by her boyfriend, Myles, while Sage is just looking for a fun romp with a cute local boy or two. Nick is hoping to start his own record label with Maggie's help. Their plans for a fun summer are dashed when Zoe discovers Maggie's lifeless body on the beach. The police rule her death an accident, but Zoe can't escape the nagging suspicion that there's more to it. She starts to conduct her own investigation, not knowing she is endangering one of the people she cares about. Narrated in turns by Zoe, Sage, Nick, and the deceased Maggie, Curnyn's snazzy mystery will appeal to chick-lit fans who like a little suspense in their beach reads. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bearette24 VINE VOICE on January 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
In this novel, Lynda Curnyn takes us to Fire Island, where three friends named Zoe, Sage, and Nick are sharing a beach house with clothing magnate Tom. Early in the story, Zoe finds the mistress of the house dead in the water. The police department doesn't expend too much energy on her death, so kind-hearted Zoe, haunted by the incident, decides to explore it further.

I agree with the other customer reviewers who said that Sage and Nick were selfish and unlikable. Zoe is the only character who cares about anyone other than herself. Nick is particularly oafish and annoying, although he redeems himself a little by the end, and I'm not sure why his point of view was included.

The shifts in point of view - among Zoe, Nick, Sage, and the dead woman, Maggie - are confusing, although including a dead woman's voice is a neat trick. I would have eliminated a good 50-75 pages (including all the parts narrated by Nick) for a trimmer, leaner mystery, but the writing itself was light and enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Angy on December 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is one of those books which I found hard to get involved in the book simply because the way the story was written. Each chapter is written from a different character's (first person) point of view, which gets confusing and impedes the flow of the storyline. Like other readers, I often would have to flip back to the beginning of the chapter to see which character was talking. Very confusing!

Other than Zoe, who is still has a personality of a wet noodle, none of the other characters are likeable (Sage is a trampy, self-centered character with no positive personality traits). How these three individuals became close friends is a mystery in itself, because of their own selfishness they make terrible friends.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on May 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
Zoe, Sage and Nick look forward to sharing the beach house for the entire summer on Fire Island, New York as guests of documentary filmmaker Maggie Landon. However, even before they can use their first drops of suntan lotion, Maggie's naked corpse is found on the beach.

Maggie's spirit watches her friends and her spouse go on as if nothing happened to her. Her spouse Tom even has the audacity of throwing summer parties. No one mourns for her and in fact everyone seems happier without her. However, Zoe feels guilty about not seeming to care and wonders how Maggie's husband keeps partying when he should be grieving and wondering who killed his wife unless he knows. She also observes that Nick is not himself as if he struggles with secrets perhaps dealing with Maggie. Finally Sage acts as if Maggie possessed her soul trying to score as because any moment she might go to the great beyond. Zoe needs to learn the truth even if it means putting a damper on the summer including breaking her heart.

Ironically the unpopular Maggie in the afterlife is the best character of this chick lit amateur sleuth tale as her commentaries on the reactions to her murder are amusing and fun. Zoe runs a fine second as her conscience guides her and she could have carried the tale. Instead the alternating chapters between the cast jars the reader though providing differing perspective especially explicit descriptive that is not always needed. Still Zoe's investigation into her friends and Maggie's lament make for an overall humorous fun tale.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Book Fiend on December 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
I picked this up because I liked Curnyn's earlier books and I was not disappointed. This novel is more than a whodunit--it's an examination of the relationships of three lifelong friends. The book is written from the points of view of all three friends, as well as the dead woman. Though the characters are not always likeable, they are always engaging and I found myself laughing out loud in some places. Don't miss this one--if the intriquing murder doesn't hook you, the characters will.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Vest VINE VOICE on August 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
Lifelong pals Zoe, Sage, and Nick buy into a Fire Island share with Sage's boss Tom and his wife Maggie. On a particularly grueling weekend for Zoe, she arrives late at the beach house only to stumble upon Maggie's nude and lifeless body washed ashore.

The police write it up as a suicide/accident, but Zoe is convinced there is foul play, and attempts to play amateur sleuth, particularly since husband Tom does not seem to be mourning her all that much in between his many beach parties and board meetings. She need look no further than her own backyard when she discovers that Nick is holding something back, and might have been involved with Maggie, and Sage had a lot to gain by Maggie's demise.

As she quizzes everyone on their whereabouts, she manages to alienate Nick because of his new relationship with Tom's daughter, and Sage because of her affair with a sexy older colleague. When more bodies and corporate intrigue surface, Zoe discovers that she just might be on to something.

Although I liked Killer Summer, I found the multiple points of view confusing. Occasionally, I had to back track to find out who was the narrator in the chapter I was reading (particularly as it popped between Sage and Zoe). Though I really liked the idea of letting Maggie have a say, even after she was murdered.
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