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Drowning Lessons

(Red Frog Beach Mystery #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  36 reviews
You are cordially invited to a destination wedding to die for... Welcome to Bocas del Toro, a remote chain of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama. Five days of glorious sun and lush rainforest await the forty guests celebrating Bridezilla Olivia’s dream wedding—but will a grisly murder sink the catered affair? Before anyone’s got time to start working on a tan, an un ...more
Kindle Edition, 347 pages
Published May 21st 2019 (first published March 20th 2019)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive on Bocas del Toro, a remote chain of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama for the destination wedding of Olivia Fowlers. Alexandra ‘Lexie’ Martone is her maid of honor and is at the bride’s beck and call, as are all of the bridesmaids. Each one has received a binder/dossier with details about all 40 guests and all the activities the bride has planned for the week. Each bridesmaid has been assigned a group of people to watch over and certain events they are each
Samantha Gonsalves
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This not typically the kind of book I find myself reading, but I was drawn to the blurb and the cover! Surprisingly, I liked it! Drowning Lessons by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds is book 1 in the A Red Frog Beach Mystery Book series. Its suspenseful, fun and a very enjoyable read.
Alexandra 'Lexie' Martone is the maid of honor at her best friend Olivia Fowlers over-the-top extravagant destination wedding at Bocas del Toro, a remote chain of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama. Olivia and her g
Grace ☾
Apr 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This book was given t me in exchange for an honest review by

Drowning Lessons is the first novel in the Red Frog Beach Mystery Series by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds.

Welcome to Bocas del Toro, a remote chain of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama. Five days of glorious sun and lush rainforest await the forty guests celebrating Bridezilla Olivia’s dream wedding—but before anyone’s got time to start working on a tan, an unfortunate snorkeling accident eliminates a member of the wed
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.

You are cordially invited to a destination wedding to die for...

Welcome to Bocas del Toro, a remote chain of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama. Five days of glorious sun and lush rainforest await the forty guests celebrating Bridezilla Olivia’s dream wedding—but will a murder sink t
Karen (BaronessBookTrove)
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy from the Great Escapes Book Tours. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Can they keep this death a secret or will it ruin the wedding?
Drowning Lessons by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds is an adventure filled murder mystery, with plenty of suspects trapped on an island paradise.

The way the author breaks up the story into the days that the wedding party are on the island works so well.
Olivia, the bride, ha
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When you read a ton of books a year (a fact for which I will remain eternally grateful) there will always be cases of books both pleasantly and unpleasantly surprising you. When the former happens, it makes your day. This is one such case.

I have had this book with me for a while, and I somehow never got to it. I corrected that error recently and sat down with it. It was a very different version of cozy mystery/chicklit/drama than I am in the habit of reading. It is multi-layered and has interest
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lexie Marino has her work cut out for her. She’s the Maid of Honor at her friend Olivia’s destination wedding. It sounds like fun as all their friends gather on an island in the Caribbean called Bocas del Toro. Fun turns to horror when one of the groom’s close friends is found murdered.

Olivia is the definition of Bridezilla and she’s not going to let a little murder get in the way of her big day. Lexie decides to do her own investigation and try to figure out who could have done this horrible th
Marie McNary
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
The perfect beach read. This book is a great escape to a tropical location sure to leave you caught up in the story’s twists and turns. It was an enjoyable start to the series with entertaining characters that infused humor into the story. I can’t wait to see where the author takes Lexie and her adventures next!
Aileen  (Ailz) Grist
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Bridezilla's wedding on a tropical island, should be peaceful, except that she's given each of her four bridesmaids a file with details on the guests, the activities and what they will be in charge of and when. Oh and the bridesmaids have been given all red clothes for the five days. Everything is organised - even down to the guests having to hand over their phones, cameras and any other technology before leaving the boat to land on the island for the first of many parties.

It takes a couple of
Jul 13, 2019 added it
So cool to read something written by someone I know! Entertaining summer read with a surprising end.
Ruth Parker
Jun 06, 2019 rated it liked it
A destination wedding to die for....

I liked this cozy mystery book, fantastic easy beach read. However, although it was a good start in the series, I think there is some improvement room ready for the next book. It was a little slow paced at times and I found myself getting a little bit bored at times.

The main friendship between Olivia and Lexie was really good and in fact Lexie's whole dynamic was enjoyable to read. She was very easy to read and likable as well. This is a good book for anyone
May 02, 2019 added it
Struggled to find any sympathy with the characters in this book. Like murder mysteries to focus on the solving of the crime but this one seemed more about the romance and increasingly annoying behaviour of the characters - not for me, sorry!

** Recieved a free Digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
T Olsen
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
When I read a murder mystery, I want the book to basically be about murder and mystery. This book is mainly about 35 year olds behaving like teenagers in a childish drama.
Sarah Knapp
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
I debated giving it two or three stars, but in the end, two felt right as I just got a bit bored and lost a lot of interest in reading it.

Some positives (there are some I swear!) It is a cozy mystery set against an amazing backdrop of sunsets, beaches and crystal clear waters. The cast of characters are fun and quirky, which is what you want in a who-done-it 'locked room' style of mystery. And if you are looking for a quick and easy beach read (whether you or on the beach or you want a beach se
Brandy Mulder
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I will admit that I don’t read many mystery novels. The ones I do read though, usually end up being interesting and this one is no exception. What’s more interesting than a bunch of strangers shoved together for a destination wedding that has a giant bridezilla? Ones that have skeletons and secrets in their closets that they are trying to hide when the best man gets murdered.
Poor Lexi is the maid of honor for her best friend Olivia’s wedding. Olivia is taking bridezilla to the next level with he
Ruth Hill
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

First of all, this is a cozy mystery. There are no scenes with graphic violence or sex. There is some sex implied. There are also very few instances of profanity in this book. The harshest language would be considered PG in nature. Most lovers of cozy mysteries will find this book includes everything they have come to expect as far as the content is concerned.
Shahna Seal
I enjoyed this read! It was less cozy of a mystery than I thought. It contained more scandalous elements than most cozy mysteries ever do and that worked for me. The book was a mystery but also held drama elements as well.  Lexie was a likable character and deserves the reward of the year for being an awesome friend. She is put in situations that I would have lost my mind over and/or told off my friend ten times over. She is not an investigator by any means but somehow ends up pulling off what s ...more
Carol Bisig
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dark Comedy Mystery!

Whoa! What a story! Rachel is a new Author for me; I didn't know what to make of this book! It was sad, lost long term friendship over, a death of a friend funding an expensive wedding, kind of makes for a strange wedding party! The bride turns into a bridezilla, monster is a better description for " beautiful Olivia", her handsome groom, one has to wonder, after all, beauty is skin deep! Nico, the rich, as in filthy, dies while snorkeling, his best friend Max is arrested. Le
Oct 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
I enjoyed "Drowning Lessons" by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds, though I must admit that I found the first half a bit slow-paced for my tastes. Fortunately, the story picked up in the second half, and I read most of the book in one sitting.

I found the characters to be enjoyably quirky, especially Lloyd, a.k.a "the Dissector," the accused (but never proven) serial killer; flighty bridezilla Olivia; flirty Migs the photographer; and surfer detectives LaGuardia and McDonough. I wasn't crazy about Josh,
May 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Do not read this thinking you are reading a book you can take seriously. Sure, people die, but that barely puts a dent into the plans Olivia has for her wedding. She just adds "find the killer" and "don't let the guests know" to her maid of honor's huge to-do list. Why? Because this week-long lead-up to her nuptials will not be ruined by someone getting murdered! That pretty much sets the mood for a campy romp of a cozy. Lexie, the maid of honor, quickly finds out that a beautiful secluded islan ...more
Apr 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Lexie and Olivia have been friends since the age of 5, and now Lexie is intent on making sure her friend's island wedding goes off without a hitch. When the bodies start dropping, Lexie jumps in to solve the mystery and keep the wedding on track.
The story is a pretty easy read, and i think the unraveling of Olivia and Lexi's friendship was the most engaging part of the story. Lexi is a bit annoying in regards to her relationships, but has other qualities. that are more endearing. Overall, the a
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Olivia and Lexie are childhood friends, now in their thirties. Olivia devolves into a total bridzilla prior to her destination wedding in Boca Del Torres Panama. It is all fun and games until the best man is murdered during a snorkeling trip. Lexi being the good friend and maid of honor, does as Olivia and her fiancé request and tries to keep the murder secret and the wedding on track while searching for the killer.
While I really enjoyed some aspects of this Drowning Lessons I had a hard time
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great debut for this new series: a compelling plot, a spectacular setting and bizarre characters, nothing is missing.

Lexi is the bridesmaid at the wedding of her friend Olivia but the party is in danger of jumping when a guest is found dead and the main suspect is the future groom. Olivia tries to hide the murder and Lexi will have to do everything possible to help her and solve the case

The characters are very realistic, Lexi is a great woman, she has infinite patience with Olivia, a crazy contr
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am always a fan of mystery ... I've never read this author before, such a new fan. great interesting characters. love a read with a "bridezilla" ... personally I've never met one .. or maybe i should say THANKFULLY. but i guess we all were a bride once and we want, what we want. Only once you go through it do u change your thoughts. I know i did. I wish i had gone way smaller. set on a tropical island, now we are talking, I so hope to travel to one, one day??! what a great setting!!I think rig ...more
Book Him Danno
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Drowning Lessons us a fun, cozy mystery series that will have reader falling in love with one very awkward Lexie who is trying to survive a broken heart is determined to give her Bridezilla the wedding of her dreams.
This story will have readers laughing so hard and dying to visit the wedding destination point in this Cozy Mystery.
The book also has wonderful recipes readers will be able to recreate in their home if they have the ability to cook.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the De
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a treat. Such a fantastic debut by the author that will sure to become one of my favorites.
Where do I start?
The main character made me cry and laugh, and really wish the book would never end. The situations were believably hilarious, chapters flew, I had a dozen murder theories—all of them false!
This is the type of novel you want to read with a glass of wine next to you and no distractions. What a fun way to unwind from the stress of the days.
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Drowning Lessons was the kind of book that you know it’s going to be mysterious but you never expected what you read! I loved the cozy style and the whole beach scenario but honestly I await for killers, betrayal… a mystery focus but I was more romantic yet I enjoyed it and I’m happy I read it.

The friendship between Olivia and Lexi was special and flawless. Their interaction were delightful and easy to read. I’m ready for book #2 and see how things will continue.”
Jamie Jack
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2020
Lots of Fun… and an Endearing Heroine

What a fun and funny cozy mystery! Our heroine is an endearingly awkward young woman, best friend to the bridezilla of the destination wedding at the heart of the story. I adore cozy mysteries, but I've rarely found one so laugh-out-loud funny in places. The place, too, sounds like a great one to visit. All in all, this was a fantastic and very humorous read.

I received a free copy of this book, but that did not affect my review.
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book! Contemporary literature really isn't my genre but I must say this was a great read. Rachel Neuburger is a new author for me and I dare say this won't be the last book of hers I read.
If books made me cry, this one would have done the trick. There was humor alongside sadness! It was a great debut book!
Feb 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Murder mystery in Bocas del Toro

Living in Bocas, I really enjoyed reading about places I know. The premise of the story is good but I did not connect with any of the characters. The games they play of tearing each other down - wore me down. I am hoping future books will have characters more emotionally developed and sure of themselves.
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