I've been looking forward to Amy Garvey's debut novel ever since I read her short story in the Wicked Women Whodunit anthology back in March. Murder In The Hamptons doesn't disappoint - it's a fast, fun read. Just the ticket after finishing the dreadful Windwalker.
As a favor to her publicist best friend, Maggie Harding is attending a house party in posh East Hampton. While Lucy is easing her former heartthrob Hollywood client back into the social scene after a rehab stint, Maggie plans to drool all over his fiancee's swank estate. An interior designer, she wants to soak up the antiques, art work and carefully placed furnishings.
However when she arrives at the house, it all goes to Hell. Tyler Brody is standing in the ballroom. The same Tyler Brody she had a one-night stand with five years ago while she was vacationing in the Florida Keys. Oh alright - so it was more like three nights and they spent the whole time sweaty and naked in a cheap motel room. How come my vacations never turn out like that? But that's neither here nor there. Carefully organized, never impulsive Maggie ended up panicking and sneaking out. Since they didn't share last names, Tyler was never able to track her down.
Maggie's first instinct is to run away - again. But she's nothing but loyal to Lucy, and even she can't deny that Tyler is a stone cold hottie. Tyler has plans to woo Maggie into bed once again - because not only is she fine, he'd like to soothe his bruised male ego a bit. Then a dead body turns up, and the whole thing gets really complicated.
Half the fun here is that readers don't know who the victim is until the dead body is discovered. I wouldn't classify the mystery as a brain-bender, as Garvey keeps it all really light and laces her tale with plenty of hot sex. Dang if this isn't the perfect vacation book. It's not high art - but who wants to ponder deep philosphical themes all the time? Murder In The Hamptons certainly didn't change my life, and it's not the sort of book I'll think about endlessly - but I had a great time reading it, and sometimes that's all a girl really needs.