By: Mary Kay Andrews
Publisher: St Martins Press
Publication Date: 5/7/2019
My Rating: 5 Stars +
Top Books of 2019
The New York Times bestselling author and Queen of the Beach Reads delivers her next summer blockbuster.
Drue Campbell's life and career have recently been derailed. The only thing she has left is the house her mother left her: a ramshackle beach bungalow with a missing roof in the once-sleepy town of Sunset Beach, which is rapidly becoming a hot spot for the rich and well-heeled, who are none too pleased about the shabby eyesore in their perfect neighborhood.
When Drue's larger-than-life father unexpectedly turns up at her mother's funeral and offers her a job at his law firm, Drue doesn't know whether to be grateful or resentful that he has suddenly reappeared. She grudgingly accepts the job sifting through cold callers and shysters looking to get rich quick. But when her attention is caught by a suspicious murder case, Drue finds herself entangled in a decades-old mystery - one that may have dire consequences for Drue and the people she loves.
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I absolutely LOVE MKA and all her books!
SUNSET BEACH is a perfect beach read, mixed with thrilling suspense, humor, chick-lit, and a multi-generational mystery. (always love parent's dark secrets). Do we ever really know our parents?
Drue Campbell is down on her luck. (you are going to love her). Her mom died. She is suffering from a knee injury from kiteboarding, and just lost her waitressing job in Ft. Lauderdale. Her estranged father Brice Campbell, a flamboyant personal injury attorney (St. Petersburg, FL), shows up at the funeral and lets her know she has inherited her grandparent's cottage on Sunset Beach in Treasure Island, Florida's gulf coast.
She loved this cottage and it holds special memories for her. It is in shambles, the roof leaks and it is not liveable. However, her dad offers her a job at his law firm as a cube rate (answering phones). The last place she wants to work. But she swallows her pride and accepts in order to have the money to fix up her cottage. After all it is waterfront and a prime piece of real estate. However, little does she know her frenemy from middle school is now married to her dad and makes her life miserable at work.
Soon she discovers a case from a poor African American grandmother who lost her daughter when she was murdered at a nearby hotel resort and is raising her granddaughter. The law firm did not do the case justice and left the woman hanging. Drue has made it her mission to seek justice for this woman and granddaughter. (loved this relationship).
Drue is better at sleuthing with some mad detective skills, versus manning the phone. However, something is fishy and she is determined to get to the bottom of this (in secret). With a little help of the detective and some of her friends, she begins to unravel the coverup. In addition, she also uncovers another murder mystery and cold case in her mom's things stored in the cottage attic.
She doesn't know who she can trust. Even members of her own family and her co-workers. Things heat up in a race against time as she goes undercover to bring the truth to the surface.
WOW! what a great book. If you love historic beach cottages and much as I do and renovations (reno)— get in the spirit. A historic cottage handed down from generations past. Both damaged and shabby. A lifetime of childhood memories and unforgettable summers at a grandparent's cottage.
A worn-down woman from life's blows and plenty of bad luck. Metaphors for life. Lots of treasures and surprises await (personally and professionally) from the past within this old cottage. A strong empowered young woman starting over, as she breathes new life into the walls of this much-loved cottage as well as into her own life and future.
From mystery, intrigue, romance, suspense, humor, relatable characters, a strong love of family, nostalgia, heart, and plenty of home-reno! Second Chances. An avid fan of the author's Callahan Garrity Mysteries as well as her Southern contemporary beach fiction. The best of both worlds. Plus I love her kick-ass female characters.
This book resonates with me as a Floridian, and a lover of Indian Rock Beach (Colonial Court Inn), the entire Treasure Island, and Gulf Blvd on the Gulf Coast. (I have lived and worked all beach areas from the north, south (even the Florida Keys), east, and west; each coast has its own charm).
SUNSET BEACH makes you want to revisit all the many places. I spent many weekends riding bikes there, from Clearwater to St. Pete, St. Johns Pass - and have stayed at many of the colorful beach cottages on the beautiful Gulf Coast with its white beaches. I will have to say the Gulf coast has more charming cottages. (love Siesta Key as well).
Also as an added bonus, Mary Kay shares her secrets and love of vacation rentals, renovations, cottage buying and decorating tips. . . as well as some great recipes! I am always hungry when reading her books.
I adored this book and spent many years working with interior design, photography, and marketing for Florida vacation rental properties, cottages, renovations, and quaint inns as well as designing of their websites. They are charming and delightful with much history. Gosh, I miss St. Augustine and its great rare finds!
My recommendation would be to rent a quaint beach cottage and grab a copy of SUNSET BEACH. I suggest a hammock (there is one as well as Adirondack chairs at Colonial Court) or Morada Bay, Islamorada - and a cocktail on a summer breezy day or evening. It is heaven! I am going to buy a copy for my favorite B&B WPB vacation rental to add to their library.
I highly recommend all Mary Kay Andrews books (My #1 Southern Author) In addition to SUNSET BEACH, The High Tide Club, Top Books of 2018 as well as MKA's cookbook The Beach House Cookbook. I have the hardcover cookbook and have given it as gifts and everyone loves it - they still email me about recipes they have tried.
Fans of Wendy Wax's Ten Beach Road series (another favorite) will enjoy as well as Viola Shipman's The Summer Cottage ! I urge you to pre-order this top beach read. It is on my Top Books of 2019!
I was immersed from page one to the end, reading it in one weekend- finding it difficult to put down. Dying to see how it would turn out. Mary Kay is a wonderful Southern storyteller and her love and passion of the beach, renovations, cooking, and historic cottages are reflected and mixed with her great wit.
An ideal beach read and book club pick. Also, the cover is DAZZLING! No one can spin a story like MKA!
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press for a print copy and NetGalley for a digital early reading copy.
"Andrews's gift for drawing fascinating characters and her captivating dialogue will pull readers through to the end." ―Publishers Weekly
"The perfect blend of humor, intrigue, and just a touch of murder."
About the Author
Photo: Bill Miles
Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of 24 novels including THE WEEKENDERS, BEACH TOWN, LADIES’ NIGHT, SUMMER RENTAL, DEEP DISH and HISSY FIT.
A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, she received a B.A. in journalism from The University of Georgia and was a newspaper reporter for 14 years. The last ten years of her career were spent as a features reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
She is married to her high school sweetheart, Tom Trocheck, with whom she has a 40-year (and counting) collaboration yielding two grown children, two adorable grandchildren and countless memorable kitchen experiences.
After a 14-year career working as a reporter at newspapers including The Savannah Morning News, The Marietta Journal and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she spent the final ten years of her career, she left journalism in 1991 to write fiction.
Her first novel, EVERY CROOKED NANNY, was published in 1992 by HarperCollins Publishers. She went on to write ten critically acclaimed mysteries under her real name. In 2002, she assumed the pen name Mary Kay Andrews with the publication of SAVANNAH BLUES. In 2006, HISSY FIT became her first New York Times bestseller, followed by eleven more New York Times, USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestsellers. To date, her novels have been published in German, Italian, Polish, Slovenian, Hungarian, Dutch, Czech and Japanese.
Mary Kay Andrews’ first cookbook, THE BEACH HOUSE COOKBOOK, published by St. Martin’s Press, goes on sale May 2. She and her family divide their time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, where they cook up new recipes in two restored beach homes, The Breeze Inn and Ebbtide, both named after fictional places in Mary Kay’s novels. In between cooking and plotting her next novel, Mary Kay is an intrepid treasure hunter whose favorite pastime is junking and fixing up old houses. Read More