Continuing the adventure caper theme of the last ten days or so, for this week’s recommendsday I’ve got some books for you if you want some excitement that’s not necessarily murder mystery – although to be fair there are some deaths involved in most of these. And I’ve stuck fairly strictly to stuff sent in contemporary times – and without any fantasy or paranormal elements.
Something Wilder by Christina Lauren
This technically a romance but it’s also an adventure story so it totally belongs in this post. Lily’s father was a famous treasure hunter – always looking for a big find. But when he died he left her with nothing but debts and his own hand drawn treasure maps. She’s turned those maps into a business – taking tourists on fake treasure hunts through canyons in Utah as she tries to raise enough money to buy her family ranch back. Then one tour the man who broke her heart and his friends turn up and the tour goes horribly wrong and Lily starts to wonder if the treasure her dad was searching for was real after all. Lily and Leo will have to work together if they’re going to fix the wrongs of the past. I really enjoyed this – it’s quite different from Christina Lauren’s usual romances as it has Actual Life or Death Peril, and in some ways I was more interested in the treasure hunt side of it than the romance!
Skin Tight by Carl Hiaasen
Hiaasen writes darkly humorous adventure romps – I’ve read a few and every time I read one I think I should read more of them. Skinny Dip is the first in a series, and sees a former State investigator trying to work out who is trying to kill him after an intruder breaks into his house with a gun. His former career means he has a long list of enemies to narrow down as he tries to stay alive to enjoy his retirement. If you want to get a flavour of the sort of black comedy we’re dealing with: he kills the burglar using a stuffed fish. I saw someone describe his work as “if Florida man was a book” which is sort of fair, but sort of not. This was actually a Book of the Week back in 2018 – so i’m allowed to recommend it again now – and another of Hiaasen’s books, Basket Case, was a BotW last year too.
If you haven’t read the Da Vinci Code, that definitely counts as an adventure more than anything else I think – it feels very chase-y. I read the Da Vinci Code not long after it first came out and then read another non-Robert Langdon Dan Brown before reading Angels and Demons – and with Angels and Demons I was able to pick out the culprit straight away and I’m not sure I’ve finished another one since, although I have tried – so your mileage may vary but I do know people who have loved them all.
And of course there are a couple series that I’ve written about that fit into this too: Vicky Bliss (and Amelia Peabody although obviously that’s historical adventure and so doesn’t belong here!) and the Vinyl Detective probably counts too.