Cover Image: Drowning Lessons

Drowning Lessons

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Lots of Fun… and an Endearing Heroine

What a fun and funny cozy mystery! Our heroine is an endearingly awkward young woman, best friend to the bridezilla of the destination wedding at the heart of the story. I adore cozy mysteries, but I've rarely found one so laugh-out-loud funny in places. The place, too, sounds like a great one to visit. All in all, this was a fantastic and very humorous read.
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I really enjoyed this book! Contemporary literature really isn't my genre but I must say this was a great read. Rachel Neuburger is a new author for me and I dare say this won't be the last book of hers I read. 
If books made me cry, this one would have done the trick. There was humor alongside sadness! It was a great debut book!
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When you read a ton of books a year (a fact for which I will remain eternally grateful) there will always be cases of books both pleasantly and unpleasantly surprising you. When the former happens, it makes your day. This is one such case.

I have had this book with me for a while, and I somehow never got to it. I corrected that error recently and sat down with it. It was a very different version of cozy mystery/chicklit/drama than I am in the habit of reading. It is multi-layered and has interesting characters and even more interesting relationships. This last fact is analyzed to a very high degree and I am sure all of you reading would find something to commiserate with. I have had my share of great friendships (most of which still exist) and a couple of ones which border on toxic. I unknowingly might have been the aggressor in a few and I tried my best to learn from those mistakes but the others left a mark. This is one such story. 

Lexie is not in a happy place but has to participate in her childhood best friend's wedding. She has been roped in to bend to the bridezilla's every whim and things start to get crazy. Nothing about the setup feels right and one of them turns up dead. This, as it turns out is another thing the bride needs her help keeping away from her party because she needs the show to go on. There are multiple suspects, a lot of crazy activities being organized and slip-shod detecting done by Lexie. Every person in the party is a suspect and while being surrounded by water-Lexie does not know how to swim. She learns through the book to not only not-drown in the water but to stay afloat in her normal life.

I highly recommend this book, I would have given it a full five stars if it was a tiny bit shorter. I was restless to see where the story was headed. The writing was great and the narration flowed otherwise.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is completely based on my own reading experience.
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“There are so many fine things about this novel that it’s difficult to enumerate them all. The characters are beautifully drawn; the dialogue sparkles; the setting is vividly rendered…This is sure to delight followers and fans of mystery novels !!
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A destination wedding to die for....

I liked this cozy mystery book, fantastic easy beach read. However, although it was a good start in the series, I think there is some improvement room ready for the next book. It was a little slow paced at times and I found myself getting a little bit bored at times. 

The main friendship between Olivia and Lexie was really good and in fact Lexie's whole dynamic was enjoyable to read. She was very easy to read and likable as well. This is a good book for anyone looking for a lighthearted mystery. 

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Didn't get to this book before it was archived, so I couldn't download it after it was approved. Sorry
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I enjoyed this read! It was less cozy of a mystery than I thought. It contained more scandalous elements than most cozy mysteries ever do and that worked for me. The book was a mystery but also held drama elements as well.  Lexie was a likable character and deserves the reward of the year for being an awesome friend. She is put in situations that I would have lost my mind over and/or told off my friend ten times over. She is not an investigator by any means but somehow ends up pulling off what she needs to after the death of a groomsman during a pre-wedding snorkel activity. I also enjoy how funny Lexie can be and enjoyed many of the humorous scenarios that occur during the read.

My issue with the book was that it could be slow-paced at times. As the first book of the series, there could be more work to be done for readers to discover our character and I do hope that this is why we learned so much about Lexie. I hope that the author continues to use Lexie in this series or it wouldn't make much sense for some of the background character driven knowledge we gained during the book.

Overall, there is some need for improvement in the series but it was a light-hearted mystery that still reads more than a cozy mystery. I do look forward to more of the series
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Definitely a wonderful vacation/beach read.  I found myself getting "out of my book slump" with this book, laughing and just refreshed. It is a cozy mystery which is not my typical read, but freeing enough.  It is book 1 in a series and definitely a great lead in
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Do not read this thinking you are reading a book you can take seriously. Sure, people die, but that barely puts a dent into the plans Olivia has for her wedding. She just adds "find the killer" and "don't let the guests know" to her maid of honor's huge to-do list. Why? Because this week-long lead-up to her nuptials will not be ruined by someone getting murdered! That pretty much sets the mood for a campy romp of a cozy. Lexie, the maid of honor, quickly finds out that a beautiful secluded island is not a magnet for the best police detectives and starts to investigate on her own. She manages to do this between other bridesmaid duties like zip lining and themed cocktail parties. Like I said, it is a campy romp. A great read when you don't really want something serious.
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A great beach novel. I thought that the main character’s awkward and quirky personality really brought out the story and heightened its interest. A fun and light read that is sure to entertain.
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Lexie is the maid of honor at her best friend Olivia’s extravagant wedding at the remote chain of islands of Panama. The story is told by her, when she has to guide the guests through the week, by smiling and being nice to everyone, even if anything happens.

The beginning of the book is a little slow: there’s a long background story for every step, where all the guys are introduced by detail. At last after the snorkeling one of the guys remains dead in the water, so the real story begins. There are many turns and twists in the plot, and some of them are confusingly unrealistic.

First, everybody here is an adult, so I would expect a minimal amount of responsibility. There’s a dead man, their friend, who will be missing from the wedding. No, this fact couldn’t be concealed from everybody. In the book Lexie pretends that everything is OK – even when the police finds it was a murder.

The next unrealistic point is that the police is not really interested in the case. They arrest the groom and that’s it, no more investigation, no questioning around. The police does not need some kind of evidence over there? Lexie is the only one who is curious about the killer? So the best man is dead, the groom is arrested, and the police officers just went to sailing and the wedding goes on… really?

The third one is that even two different thirty-something, handsome, drunk, single boy accompanied the beautiful and also single Lexie to her room in two different nights, after the parties. And the boys does not have any other plan than… teaching Lexie to swim! They are patiently waiting until Lexie is floating on the water or crawling like a dog in the sea in the Caribbean night… OK.

But, if you can oversee these logical problems, the wedding guests and their relations are entertaining. It is more of a drama, than a mystery: the girls’ friendship and their boyfirends are interesting and funny, it’s OK to read on a hot summer day next to the sea.
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A beautifully writtwn domestic drama, sure to tug on your heartstrings and make you appreciate your relationships more . Will definitely read more book by this author.
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This not typically the kind of book I find myself reading, but I was drawn to the blurb and the cover! Surprisingly, I liked it!  Drowning Lessons by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds is book 1 in the A Red Frog Beach Mystery Book series. Its suspenseful, fun and a very enjoyable read. 
Alexandra 'Lexie' Martone is the maid of honor at her best friend Olivia Fowlers over-the-top extravagant destination wedding at Bocas del Toro, a remote chain of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama. Olivia and her gang of bridesmaid have kept a file, with snarky details of all her wedding guests. When one of the members of the bridal party has a snorkelling "accident" Lexie finds herself in the middle of a mystery, she must solve in order that her best friend Olivia gets the wedding of her dreams. Except that Olivia is not your typical bridezilla, she's much more 'extra' and it takes Lexie a great deal of patience and perseverance to see this to the end! When a second member at the wedding drops dead, Lexie knows she's dealing with someone sinister and must put a stop to the murders( with the help from the local police, offcourse) before the wedding celebrations end up as a colossal failure.
I liked mostly all the characters in this book, especially our protagonist Lexie. The monologues she has with herself are too funny and too good! This looks to be the start of a fresh new series I look forward to following! I'll be eagerly waiting to get my hands on the next in the series - The Wipe Out Affair.
Thank you Netgalley, Rachel Neuburger Reynolds & BooksGoSocial for an arc!
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Drowning Lessons by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds is the first book in the Red Fog Beach Mystery series, and my first book by this author.  I found this book to be fun with many twists and turns to keep me reading.  The plot and characters are well developed, and I enjoy the quirky characters in the book.  I recommend this book, and am looking forward to the next book in the series.

I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and the publisher.  Thank you.
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It took me a bit to get into this book but once i did i couldn't put it down. Lexie, a writer, arrives on a tiny island in the Carribean to help coordinate her best friend's lavish wedding.  As her friend is turning into Bridezilla and Leslie is having to deal with a number of wealthy unpleasant friends and family the best man is found floating face down during a snorkeling trip. Everyone is a suspect, Olivia, the bride, is determined to hide the murder and the groom finds himself behind the bars as the prime suspect. Lexie is tasked with covering up the homicide, getting the groom out in time for the wedding and helping the local police solve the crime.
As another murder takes place on the island she is forced to reassess her lifelong friendship with Olivia and her own life and beliefs. 
I did figure out the murderer relatively early in the book but the book was introspective, well written and captivating regardless of that.
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This was a crazy one that I am already obsessed with and making all of my friends read it as well! So definitely go out and read this one. The characters are amazing and I absolutely loved the way it read. A true must read!
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Drowning Lessons is the first novel in the Red Frog Beach Mystery Series by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds.

Welcome to Bocas del Toro, a remote chain of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama. Five days of glorious sun and lush rainforest await the forty guests celebrating Bridezilla Olivia’s dream wedding—but before anyone’s got time to start working on a tan, an unfortunate snorkeling accident eliminates a member of the wedding party. Maid of honour Lexie Marino smells trouble and takes it upon herself to investigate. Sneaking and Suspicions ensue in this debut Cozy Mystery.

This book was a good place to start,  but think there is room for improvement in the remainder of the series. The book was unfortunately too slow-paced for my liking, I felt myself feeling bored as no real progress was made in the mystery when we reach the novel's halfway point. 

The friendship between Olivia and Lexie, as well as Lexie's relationships with the other guests at Olivia's destination wedding, was far more compelling than the mystery itself. I enjoyed watching different dynamic's play out and the utter confusion that ensues when suddenly everyone seems like a suspect. 

The novel was an easy read, and still enjoyable despite some flaws, I enjoyed exploring Lexie's world and found her perspective really compelling and she seems like a fun character to follow. I feel the novel reads more like a drama than the mystery it advertises, that being said the drama is written very well and I can only hope the mystery is also elevated as the series goes on.

A great book for anyone who wants to cozy up with a more light-hearted mystery.
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Struggled to find any sympathy with the characters in this book. Like  murder mysteries to focus on the solving of the crime but this one seemed more about the romance and increasingly annoying behaviour of the characters - not for me, sorry!
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The story sounded fun although I felt that I would feel little sympathy for Olivia, the bride, even at this stage. By a couple of chapters in I accepted that I was wrong - I had totally no sympathy with her and little for the other characters, sadly. The venue sounds fantastic at one level with positive and friendly locals. Into this comes a wedding group. I thought that they must be in the early twenties by their general behaviours, although they were very rich for such an age, and that I was the wrong generation to 'get' their story. When I found that they were mid-thirties I knew that I was the wrong generation. Even the murder story failed me - I'm still not clear why the first one occurred and, I'm afraid, I really don't care. The Chief Bridesmaid, Lexie, turned into the amateur sleuth after a fashion but spent far too much time reminiscing about her childhood with the bride and about her various past, current and future boyfriends. The poisonous red frogs, should you lick them, were fun. The rest was not. I did not laugh at all, let alone out loud, hardly a cozy mystery more a non-mystery and I must have missed the Caribbean recipes, mouth watering or not. On the positive side, it was well written and I hope that the story appeals to others. It simply didn't for me. Sorry. Thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review.
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When I read a murder mystery, I want the book to basically be about murder and mystery. This book is mainly about 35 year olds behaving like teenagers in a childish drama.
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