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Death by Bikini (The Death by ... Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – May 15, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
It isn't long before an aging rocker's girlfriend is found strangled on the beach (by her bikini ties, natch). Aphra is already trying to find out Adam's true identity and why he's in hiding with his parents. Now she must also figure out who killed the blonde in the bikini. Another mystery, why Aphra's mother has vanished from her life without an explanation, turns out to be related to the first two puzzles.
Aphra is a curious and likable teen. She's far from perfect, yet she basically has her feet on the ground. She's more of a Mandy Moore type than one of those Paris Hilton clones who have been popping up in a lot of YA fiction lately to bicker about shoes with their best friends. The last decade or two has yet to produce a really good contemporary replacement for Nancy Drew, but Aphra Connolly is definitely in the running. According to a note at the back of the book, Aphra will be back soon in her next adventure, Death by Latte. I look forward to catching up with Gerber's heroine in Seattle!
Aphra Connolly isn't exposed to cute boys that often. As the youngest employee and resident of a fancy tropical resort, Aphra simply knows how to keep the visitors happy, and stay out of their business. But that doesn't mean that she doesn't know a cute boy when she sees one. And Seth Mulo is one cute boy. Unfortunately, he's accompanied by a suspicious man and woman who give Aphra "imposter" vibes. Apparently these are his parents. Aphra can see the resemblance, but it doesn't keep her from being suspicious. But Aphra is willing to toss her suspicions to the wayside to stay friendly with Seth - the first guy she has ever found herself completely drawn to. When one of the other visitors - a female - however, turns up dead, strangled by her bikini, Aphra knows that something sinister is at work. For four years this island has Aphra's home, and it has been anything but dangerous.Read more ›
So when the Smiths arrive with their teenage son, she's ecstatic. Maybe she can actually make a friend. But the circumstances surrounding the Smiths' arrival don't add up. Why did her dad put them in the villa under renovation? Why didn't he check them in? And how did they even get on the island? And when another guest washes up from the ocean dead, strangled by her bikini strings, Aphra is convinced that no one will be safe until the Smiths are off her island.
This suspenseful novel moves at lightening fast speed. Gerber cunningly draws readers into Aphra's paradise-esque life that anyone would envy. Her character is made intriguing by dropping sly hints about her past periodically throughout the book. But Gerber's delivery ensures that's not the only thing to keep readers going as the strange mystery unravels into something big that can't be resolved easily. Pay close attention, because this is one novel that doesn't slow down a bit, and will assuredly be the start of a fresh, fun, and exhilarating new mystery series for teens.
The plot boils down to basically this: A girl is found dead on the beach of a private island resort owned by Aphra's father, seemingly choked by her bikini straps. Everyone believes the straps simply got tangled and that it was an accident. Aphra, however, gets the tingling sensation that there was some foul play. And so she turns to the rest of the guests on the resort, all of whom look like they have something to hide, and embarks on an investigative endeavor to find the dead girl's killer.
My thoughts in a nutshell:
Not so much a mystery. Despite how marketing worked it, I had the culprit figured out ten pages after the crime took place. I suspect any reader will too (especially rabid whudunnit fans like myself). The other components of the story, such as Aphra's relationship with Seth, her mother's enigmatic background and whereabouts, and the island life in general were much more compelling.
Snappy characters. This novel relies on its plot more than its cast to move forward, which reflects in sometimes more told-than-shown character interaction and development. I would've enjoyed seeing more of the Aphra/father dynamics or a bigger revelation out of Seth about his family. Exploring those characters would've made for a more rounded book, in my opinion. I'm not saying the characters were underdeveloped, because I could get a definite sense of personality from all of them, but I think a bit more of their lives could've been touched here and there.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I borrowed this book from the Library a few months ago, only because of the enticing cover. I read it. I liked it. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Brooke
Plot: This book had mystery, suspense, some espionage, and even a little romance, but as mystery novels go, this one was pretty predictable. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Joana (The Boundless Booklist)
If you know what's good for you, you'll snap up all three of these books and read them during one long weekend or during your Summer vacation. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Amazonbooks4me
This book definitely keeps you on your toes. It's also a nice change in a book for rainy days.
Aphra Connolly isn't around many boys on her tropical island, so when Seth, a mysterious boy who shows up out of no where. you immediately fall in love with there little romance. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Emma D
This book was a great and easy read. I couldn't put it down and actually began to feel the pain of the main c character. I recommend it!Published 22 months ago by Collin
My friend had done a book report on this book but i never imagined i would get caught up in the book like i did.Published on July 16, 2013 by Puffy12468
Best book ever read it or die by bikini
I love it so super duper much