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Rum Luck

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Sand. Monkeys. Murder.

Ben Cooper was supposed to be on his Pacific honeymoon. Not waking up in a Costa Rican prison cell with no memory of the night before.

Then again, Ben never thought he would catch his fiancée with some clown — literally. Or that his friend Miguel would drag him to the surf paradise of Tamarindo before Aunt Mildred could ask why they cancelled the open
Hardcover, 258 pages
Published June 22nd 2016 by Five Star Publishing
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  58 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, 2016-shelf
Honestly, I can't quite decide if this is was more of a wonderful flight of a daydream about owning a beach-bar in Costa Rica or whether it was a murder mystery.

Who says you can't have both, or even have it all? Of course, it requires a bit of really bad luck, some worse luck, a drunken attempted sombrero pilferage, and some great friends to make it all turn out all right,... but that's fine.

It's the ride that counts. Um. Even when the ride can't go above 20 miles an hour and has a huge spray-pa
RUM LUCK: A Bar on the Beach Mystery is the debut novel of Ryan Aldred. It is an accomplished effort, promising more to come from this Canadian native.

Ben Cooper’s wedding goes bust after he discovers his ex-fiance is obsessed with clowns, and not in a good way. Ben takes advantage of their pre-paid honeymoon arrangements in Costa Rica, taking along his buddy, Miguel.

He arrives in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, gets rum drunk, buys a bar on the beach using funds from a shared account with his ex-fiance
Babus Ahmed
Dec 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Ben wakes to find himself in a police cell, assuming he's just been put in the drunk tank to sleep off the night before, he is shocked to find he's looking at a murder charge and his attorney friend, Victoria has flown into Costa Rica to help him. With no memory of what happened the night before and his part in it, things get even more complicated when Ben finds he has purchased a beach bar and the murder victim was the man he bought the bar from. The only way out of this mess seems to be to pie ...more
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Many thanks to Five Star Publishing and net galley for allowing me to review this book. I enjoyed this book. I think it was the first book for this author.It was a really nice mystery book. A good read and one to read anytime, especially on a cold winter day when it will take u away to Costa Rica. I found it had alot of suspense, humor, and mystery to it.Not going to spoil the book and go on about what it was all about as I find the descriptions do that well. But the characters in this book are ...more
Schuyler Wallace
Mar 23, 2017 rated it liked it

There’s a lot of action in “Rum Luck,” Ryan Aldred’s novel of a Costa Rican misadventure featuring murder, mayhem, and booze. Some of it’s good, some is over the top, and all is frenetic.

Ben Cooper wakes up in a jail cell with no memory of the previous night. And why, he wonders, did his lawyer friend Victoria suddenly fly down from Toronto? As soon as he sobers up and pays his fine he’ll be out, right? Wrong. He’s being accused of murdering someone. After Victoria arranges his release, the real
John Christmas
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
'Rum Luck' is the first in a planned series 'Bar on a Beach Mysteries' by Canadian author Ryan Aldred.

The setting is Costa Rica. Canadian friends are in trouble with local authorities over a business deal with a beach bar and the unsolved murder of the bar's previous owner. The characters come to life with the author's enjoyable, witty, and sometimes humorous writing style. The storytelling pace is good, keeping the reader engaged as the adventure unfolds.

I read this mystery surrounded by palm t
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This could be the start of a new series "A Bar on a Beach Mystery". Ben Cooper decides to go on his honeymoon trip with his best man after he and his fiancee break up. There, they inadvertently get caught up in a murder (in fact, Ben is accused of it). The characters are engaging and there are a few interesting twists and turns. But although it's set in Costa Rica, I didn't get much sense of the country. It could be any tropical beach bar. ...more
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is an easy beach type read - basically the type of story you would expect to happen on a beach in a vacation locale. The characters are all flat and somewhat immature with gung ho tendencies.
And it's a decent length so that it can be read quickly.


The story kicks off with Ben waking up in a prison cell in Costa Rica, with the worst headache of his life. Good thing his friend Miguel called Victoria ( a Lawyer and also a close friend of Ben and Miguel) she flew from Toronto to Costa Rica to handle Ben’s Case. Ben thought that he was imprison
Jun 10, 2016 rated it liked it
3 Stars

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the chance to read this book in advance.

Ben Cooper wakes up in a Costa Rica jail. He was supposed to be on his honeymoon, not waking up in a cell. His honeymoon turned into a bachelor’s getaway after his fiancée breaks his heart. So he takes the tickets and hotel reservations and uses them to drink away the pain with his friend Miguel in the surf town of Tamarindo. He wakes to see his lawyer friend, Victoria standing in front of him. Just how
Sep 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Review based on ARC received from NetGalley:

Rum Luck is a book with a number of coincidental tropes in which 3 so-called best friends who apparently don't know anything about each other join together to solve the murder that occurs in the bar that one of them has drunkenly purchased in Costa Rica. The bar purchaser is running from a fiancee with a clown fetish, his best male friend is apparently a former operative for a South American army unit, and his best female friend is a lawyer/private eye
5 out of 5 stars

Rum Luck is the first in the Bar on the Beach mystery series by Ryan Aldred and it does not disappoint in the slightest!

I started reading this yesterday on my day off and I could not put it down at all. In fact, half of the things I planned to do yesterday didn’t get done because I could not put the book down.

The characters are wonderful. I fell in love with all of them almost immediately. Victoria’s no-nonsense demeanor and knowledge of the law helps when dealing with the police
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I think I can say that the cover (and the blurb) of this book gave me exactly the right idea about what I was going to find through its pages. Who never dreamed of owning a bar in front of the sea in a remote place where winter never comes? Well, I was not so many pages into the book and I was already doubting if I would ever think again about having such an experience! Because we dream of it as a way to escape the stress of our lives..but murderers and drug cartels are really stressfull to me, ...more
Teena in Toronto
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian
Ben was supposed to be on his honeymoon in Costa Rican but when he found out his fiancée was cheating on him, he broke up with her and took Miguel, his best friend, on the trip instead. Then he wakes up in a Costa Rican jail with a massive hangover. Miguel had called Ben's friend, Victoria, who is a lawyer, to fly down to help him out. It seems that Ben had gotten drunk and had bought the bar he was drinking at (with the funds he and his fiancée were going to use as a down payment on a house) .. ...more
Jo Dervan
Sep 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Ben Cooper broke his engagement when he discovered his fiancé was cheating on him- with a clown. So he and his pal Miguel used the tickets for the honeymoon to fly from Toronto to Costa Rica. After a night of wild partying, Ben woke up in a local jail to discover himself the owner of a popular local bar and a suspect in the death of the longtime owner of that bar hours after he bought the bar.

So he called his pal, Victoria, a friend who was also a Toronto lawyer, to get him out of the jail. Vic
Sara G
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads, 2016
Doesn't everyone dream of running away and owning a bar on a tropical beach? Sounds idyllic until there is a murder, drugs, corruption and gangs. First time author Ryan Aldred has created a great setup for his "bar on a beach" mystery series.

The characters are all really well developed with backgrounds that we will hopefully learn more about as the series goes on; although my only criticism is that Victoria may be a bit too perfect with all her different skills that she has going on.

The story i
Scott Bailey
Apr 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Regaining consciousness in a Central American prison wouldn’t be an obvious first choice for kick-starting a life change, but somehow Aldred makes this ridiculous situation an enviable event. Laced with a beachworth of desiccated humour, the exhausted characters stagger from table to table of the bar that they have somehow inherited, with the delusional idea that the only way to survive corrupt cops and assassination attempts is to serve a boatload of booze. A great read for lying in the sun and ...more
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fun read, perfect for the beach or holidays.

The story centres around a murder in a beach-side bar in Costa Rica, with the main trio of characters trying to unpick the mystery while figuring out how to keep the bar in business. The real joy of this book isn't so much in the plot, fun as it is, as the characters, who manage to be eccentric but still feel like real people.

Plus it's actually funny -- not just bringing a smile to your face, but genuinely laugh out loud. Definitely worth adding to y
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a fun, fast paced, funny book. Great mystery! I mean, who wouldnt want to be visiting gorgeous Costa Rica with friends and end up (in a drunken haze) buying a bar. This brings in a rollercoaster ride of stalkers, not so straight and narrow constabulary, stalkers... Who to trust? Which way to turn?

I loved this and can't wait to read more by the author! Definitely pick up a copy today!

*I'd like to thank the author/publisher/Netgalley for the opportunity to read the book in exchange for a fair
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-read
Thanks to net for the copy of this book.
What a great mystery book. This is a curl up on the sofa and read all weekend type of book. The cast of characters is great in this book and don't we all dream at one point to own a bar on a tropical island and just relax. However thing have gone south and fast for this people. It is so good to have friends you can count on and trust and this book shows just how important friends really are. I loved that Victoria is now DJ School Mistress that
Louise McFaul
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
A great read by a first time author. It was easy to become involved in their tropical world with fun storyline twists, well-developed characters, a couple of laugh-out-loud moments.
I found myself thinking about the characters when I wasn't reading, often wanting to rush back to the book to see what would happen next. Now that I've finished the book, I wonder if the main trio will continue crime-fighting from their tropical bar.
Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
For my full review, check out my blog:

This book is the perfect beach read. It's light and fun and very funny, but there is some depth and great writing there as well. Definitely recommended.

Best enjoyed while lying out in the sun, with a pitcher of sangria or an ice-cold rum punch nearby. Consume tequila at your own risk.
Sheri Robinson
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ryan Aldred is a master of action, mystery and intrigue. You need to read this book. His writing and technique is amazing and I'm sure that this young writer will be entertaining us for years to come. I'm not in the least surprised that it was "An Arthur Ellis Award Finalist". I'm looking forward to his next book. Congratulations Ryan on a job well done! ...more
Linda George
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was all kinds of fun. It might even be the perfect vacation novel when you are lucky enough to go to places like Jamaica, Costa Rica, Belize...any place hot where you can get a fruity drink while on the sand! It's an adventure and a murder mystery but with the nicest characters. I really enjoyed it.
Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced copy.
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Rum Luck by Ryan Aldred was a fun and fast read, with a laugh out loud plot and characters you couldn't help but like. And, to top it off, the book was set on the beach in Costa Rica. It is the perfect beach read or "wish you were on the beach" read. I look forward to the next book!

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Allison Mclean
Sep 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Oakville ma, Ben, runs to Costa Rica when he breaks up with his fiancee. Uses the money that was supposed to be for a house and purchases a bar. But he cannot remember what happened the night he bought the bar. The previous bar owner ends up murdered. And Ben looks like he is the next one. They want something that is hidden at the bar. But he does not know what or who is looking for it.
Kathleen Gray
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
light funny quick read with a quirky cast of characters and a decent mystery. The setup is a little out there but hey, it's a lot of peoples' dream life switch. Thanks to netgalley for the ARC- I'd like to see more from Aldred. You'll like this if you enjoy mysteries that don't want to be called cozies but don't take themselves seriously. ...more
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Rum Luck is a fast-paced, witty murder mystery with engaging characters, a fabulous tropical setting and enough twists to keep you guessing until the end.

Highly recommended and very much looking forward to the next in this new series.
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Aldred pulls you in with his quirky characters and descriptive settings. Time disappears as you join his characters in their fantastical Costa Rican adventures! You will let the dishes pile up and the children run rampant as you immerse yourself in the beautiful island adventure!
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Rum Luck is a fun murder mystery with a wacky cast of characters. Thanks to NetGalley and Five Star Publishing for the advance copy.
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When not writing, Ryan Aldred runs a small Canadian charity that supports education in Afghanistan, Tanzania, Uganda, and other at-risk regions.

Ryan previously worked as a defense analyst and continues to serve as a Sergeant in the Canadian Forces Reserve. Ryan and his family live in beautiful Prince Edward County. He’s never met a beach he doesn’t like.

To learn more visit

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