☆☆➹⁀☆2.5 -3 stars☆➹⁀☆☆
What it’s about:
Some people stay all summer long on the idyllic island of Belle Isle, North Carolina. Some people come only for the weekends-and it’s something they look forward to all week long. When Riley Griggs is waiting for her husband to arrive at the ferry one Friday afternoon, she is instead served with papers informing her that her island home is being foreclosed. To make matters worse, her husband is nowhere to be found. She turns to her island friends for help and support, but each of them has their own secrets and the clock is ticking as the mystery deepens. Cocktail parties and crab boil aside, Riley must find a way to investigate the secrets of Belle Island, the husband she might not really know, and the summer that could change everything.
I loved the first Mary Kay Andrews book I listened to (Save the Date), and I anticipated feeling the same about all of her books. However, The Weekenders just didn’t grab me. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty that I loved about the story, it just wasn’t as tight of a plot. The chick-lit aspect of the story was fun and engaging, however, the mystery aspect fell flat for me.
Life on a small island inhabited mostly by wealthy families can be stifling. Ms. Andrews paints a clear picture of just how elitist her well-to-do southerners can be: full of “bless your hearts” while stabbing you in the back. The most unlikable characters are the narrator’s disrespectful, petulant 12-year-old daughter and her smarmy, soon-to-be ex-husband, Wendell. The townies are all good-hearted and hard working. They’re taken advantage of by the murdered real estate developer, Wendell Griggs. The locals’ may have the more obvious motive, but there is no shortage of “weekenders” who would want to see Wendell out of the picture.
The plot danced around all the people who might have had a motive for killing Wendell, but there is no real progress by the police or amateur sleuth and one-time reporter, Riley. The murderer and his/her confession, comes out of left field. There is really nothing in the plot that would lead to that ending. Additionally, a hurricane and forced evacuation conveniently wrap up what could be an unpleasant and inconvenient situation. Again, as a mystery, it was unsatisfying. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy the character and relationship development.
The Weekenders was an okay read. Good characters, great setting, and many plausible plot points. As a mystery, it was a bit weak; the author spent too much of the story developing possible reasons for almost everyone to want kill Wendell…except for the actual murderer. As with many cozy mysteries, the murderer and motive seem to appear out of thin air in the final chapters of the book.
Superb narration by Kathleen Mcinnerney.