Sunny Side Up by Maureen K. Howard is a story of friendship, a story of mystery, a story that will make you wonder what in the world these two ladies are thinking. Francie and June are a modern day Lucy and Ethel on vacation together where everything goes wrong (dead body anyone?) as they face obstacles together that show how deep and how fun friendship can be.
Hammond Egge is Francie’s husband who constantly shakes his head at the over the top antics of the best friend and free-lance writer, June. When the couple of empty nesters meet up with the best friend at Beacon Pointe Resort, things start turning stranger than usual. A shopping trip and interview for June’s article turn into a murder investigation; one they didn’t see coming. They meet a mermaid, an ex-husband, a mysteries man with his over-protective dog and a handsome detective on their wild adventure of amateur sleuthing while trying to get to the bottom of the cause of a mysterious fire in their favorite shopping boutique where a body is found and Hammond is the prime suspect. As the story unfolds, people aren’t who they seem and the situations the women find themselves in gets sticky, making the reader shake their head and wonder how in the world the ladies will get out of this one. You go arm in arm with Francie and June as they trespass, escape showers of bullets and become Facebook celebrities from “borrowing” items around the island and snapping smiling pics of themselves. In the end, the mystery is solved and drinks are served.
Sunny Side Up was a fun read. The story was slow to start on the action due to needing to get to know the characters, but once it starts, is fantastic. Hang in there because it is worth it. There were so many times I burst out laughing at the crazy situations that June and Francie had gotten themselves in to. These ladies are such great characters and remind me of what good girlfriends should be. They drink together, they laugh together, they get in trouble with the law together. I loved how developed each of the characters were. I really felt like I knew them so well. As a mother myself, I could totally see being Francie after my kids are grown, hanging out with my best friend on vacation. It sounds just like us.
Maureen K. Howard did a fantastic job of character development. I do wish there had been “mystery” action closer to the beginning in the first few chapters. This might lose some readers who are looking for a quick start to action after the initial mention of a charred body in chapter one. Honestly though, the characters need to be explained because their personalities are so quirky and three dimensional. I can’t wait for Francie and June’s next adventure. Those ladies are crazy-fun.