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Life's a Beach Then You Die

(Max Fried Mystery #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  648 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Max Fried is a former computer forensic examiner who devotes his time to swimming, drinking and bathing in the hot Florida sun, but today… it’s a real killer. A murderer is coming his way. When a smooth-talking lawyer persuades Max to find a deceased client’s estate assets, Max takes the job, thinking it will be a snooze. Instead, an old killer with a new identity breaks i ...more
Kindle Edition, 182 pages
Published April 20th 2013 by Amazon Digital Services
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  648 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very good private detective novel. Max and Ed are a private detective and a lawyer who end up involved in a series of burglaries and deaths that seem to be related. Max and his wife have retired to Florida where Max got his PI licence to keep his 'hand' in while retired. I enjoyed the complexities of the crimes and the relationships between the characters. The story moves fairly quickly with a good amount of action. The puzzle is interesting and the humor is witty. I eventually found the descrip ...more
Thibaldo Manrique
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A good light story

Straight forward and simple, but thoroughly enjoyable. A good amateur detective story, the lead character is likable and feels real.

Well developed story that would have benefited from a little more editing. A couple of minor editing errors, that in no way take from the story, could have been easily solved.

Other than that, a good, enjoyable read. Great for afternoon pool side reading and relaxing.
Oct 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Pleasantly surprised by this book, I had downloaded free copy not sure what to expect. The characters were well written, building the mystery. I liked the story and the mystery as it unraveled. I really enjoyed this authors voice in this book.
Nancy Cholewczynski pitts
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed every page. Just when I thought I figured out the character something interesting would come out about them. Great read!
Ted Tayler
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
"More than a beach"

Where Max Fried lives in supposed retirement is incidental to this story in some ways. What it turns out to be is an honest-to-goodness authentic murder mystery. Bags of intrigue, characters that come and go in such a fashion that you can't decide whether they're guilty or innocent and a story line that keeps you interested throughout. I could get to like reading Max Fried stories.
Brick ONeil
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Cute, punchy with acerbic wit thrown in to make the story wiz on by

Retired Investigator from 'up north' turned private PI 'down south' sounds like an old dried up, tried-and-true detective novel. But turn the old PI from a trench coat wearing, cigar smoking wiseacre into a savvy, athletic and sexy 60-something curious husband with a wife for an equal, and you have a great premise for a new type of detective. This reminds me of another older detective from another book I reviewed earlier, however
Oct 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
First let me say I know this author from an online group. I wanted to give it three and a half stars but rounded up to four.

When Max retires to Florida with his wife, he plans to spend his time swimming, sunning, and drinking.

Then a lawyer talks him into checking out the computer of a deceased client, looking for hidden financial assets. That was Max's specialty, you see. Doing forensic analyzing of computers. Max agrees. To his regret.

Almost as soon as he takes the computer home, bad things sta
Jen Lynn
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
For being a free kindle book, I wasn't expecting much from this. However, I actually really enjoyed it. It was light reading, enjoyable, reasonably suspenseful, and overall a good story. I enjoyed the private investigator viewpoint of the story since I haven't really seen that before. The only downfall was the editing. The writing was good, but the punctuation and grammar errors were too abundant. If it wasn't for the editing, I would have given this five stars. Overall it was well worth the rea ...more
May 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
I got this book because I liked the title. I'm really glad I did because I liked the book even more. If you are just looking for a straight forward mystery, this is it. There were no sex scenes and complicated romances. There were no over the top heroes. The main character is just a computer forensic investigator that went private when he retired and doesn't even carry a gun.

At the end of the book, one or two events in the story were not explained as to why they occurred, but it did not take awa
Terry McCall
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it

The plot was good, as were the characters. 5 stars for this. There were some odd examples of grammar use and typos, which can distract. Also, the book's cover is cute but juvenile. I almost didn't read it because of that. So I gave 2 stars for these issues. But ... the author is talented and with better proofing and editing, I think he has a shot at developing a successful series. I recommend that he clean up the errors, develop a more appealing cover, and keep promoting the book. I
LLona Cunningham
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
A little overdone in some of the details that didn't feel necessary to keep the story going, but I have enough background in computers and cleaning up other people's bookkeeping problems to actually relate to the protagonist. Not sure a 'normal' reader would find it so interesting, even for less than 200 pages. Fortunately I was listening via text-to-speech, so I didn't even notice most of what others found as typos and formatting errors. It needs some work, but it is fixable. ...more
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Liked the book because I could relate to the area and was easy to visualize where the story takes place. A few parts dragged and I found myself skimming every now and again but in general, this was an easy to read, easy to follow story. Would read something else by this author if the opportunity presented itself.
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A predictable, light-weight cozy mystery. I found this to be a quick read with no real surprises but pleasant none the less. The story moved and the characters did not act stupidly. This is not a book for someone looking for a "can't put down" hard core mystery but if you are in the mood for a cozy mystery, this one will be entertaining. ...more
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I didn't expect much from a Kindle freebie, but Jones can write. Good plot surrounding a married detective who's overall happy in life, and hits the bottle moderately. No horrible scenes to avoid, no awful dark alleyway scenes of grime and decay - just a good mystery. Happy to read it again, and I think that Jones should confidently charge more for her work. ...more
Suzanne Walker
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Volusia County Florida

I used to like in the area and could imagine this really going on there..Also the more I read the more I couldn't put it down. I stayed up all night just to see what would finally happen.
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a really fine detective story and would make a good tv show.
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very good book set in New Smyrna Beach FL. Looking forward to reading Payback's a beach. ...more
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it

this murder mystery had many different avenues of theft and different murders.the lawyer and private investigator were very involved with the investigation.
A.J. Attard
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
A fun, entertaining read. Enjoyed it immensely!
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Loved the book and it kept you guessing. It was extremely descriptive and detailed which made you want to skip the details to get to the mystery itself. I would read the 2nd one though.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good characters, fast paced, kept me guessing... I really liked it! Can't wait to read the next book!! ...more
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Retirement Excitement

Another fun beach read - newly retired couple have their idyllic life disturbed when he takes a job as a PI.
Lisa Neal
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
3 1/2 stars
Fun, light trading with enjoyable characters.
Susan Clark
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was ok

Unfortunately, I had a great deal of trouble getting into the book or caring about the characters or the events. Too much of the book was spent on characters getting dressed or using cigarettes. All i can say is i'm glad i finished it. However, i truly enjoyed the many ways main character's name was mangled by others.
Donna Crabbe
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well this was a book I was unsure off, But then I was like ok who names a kid Max Fried, I was ok so he gets robbed, then he goes all out and brings the trouble to his home, Ok this is a good start, I was really enjoying it, was good the way the cops has issues with the way a PI works, almost better as Mr Fried pushed, and wanted answers, I enjoyed this book, well written so I rated it 5 stars.
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This one is a great read. Entertaining and funny! Can't wait to read the next one in the series.

This one is a good read. Entertaining and funny! Can't wait to read the next one in the series called Life's a Beach!
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good read

Very interesting story from beginning to end. Was a little confusing to keep up with all the different characters names. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a fast moving, good PI story!
Mary Lou Graff
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good reading!

Author ' s delivery of the story is interesting. Once you've read it and your mind goes back to analyzing it, the entertainment dose not hold up. Police procedure any one?
Crystal Fall
44% through, didn't finish. ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Exceptional author, love the premise of the plots in series. Will continue to read and review. Clean, enjoyable and a pleasant afternoon read. Highly recommended.
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