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Vacations Gone Awry

A vacation may be the perfect time to kick back, relax, and unwind. In literature, it’s often the time for murder, mayhem, and life-changing family drama. Here are six great reads where a getaway doesn’t go quite as planned. Maybe it's time for a staycation?

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

One of the great masterpieces of psychological suspense. Struggling nobody Tom Ripley cons wealthy shipping magnate Herbert Greenleaf into sending him to the beautiful Italian Riviera to convince Greenleaf’s wastrel son Dickie to return home.

The Vactioners by Emma Straub

An irresistible, deftly observed novel about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that rise to the surface over the course of an American family's two-week stay in Mallorca.

A travel writer’s dream assignment of a week on a luxury cruise turns into a nightmare when she witnesses a woman being thrown overboard. Who among her fellow passengers is guilty – or has she imagined the whole thing? An Agatha Christie-like mystery, creepy and delightful.

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Set in the south of France in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night is the tragic tale of a young actress, Rosemary Hoyt, and her complicated relationship with the alluring American couple Dick and Nicole Diver.

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

The summer after a wealthy young summer guest dies under suspicious circumstances, her best friend lives under a cloud of grief and suspicion in this “clever, stylish mystery that will seize readers like a riptide” (Publishers Weekly).

The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews is the queen of the beach read for good reason. Set on a beautiful barrier island in the low country, this tale of a long-unsolved murder is the perfect combination of suspense, setting and romance.

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