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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Summers At The Saint

Narrator: Kathleen McInerney

Macmillan Audio

ISBN: 978-1250278388

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 05/07/2024

Format: Paperback, e-book, and audio

My Rating: 5 Stars + (ALC) ARC)


Welcome to the St. Cecelia, a landmark hotel on the coast of Georgia, where traditions run deep and scandals run even deeper. . . .

Everyone refers to the St. Cecelia as “the Saint.” If you grew up coming here, you were “a Saint.” If you came from the wrong side of the river, you were “an Ain’t.”

Traci Eddings was one of those outsiders whose family wasn’t rich enough or connected enough to vacation here. But she could work here.

One fateful summer she did, and married the boss’s son. Now, she’s the widowed owner of the hotel, determined to see it return to its glory days, even as staff shortages and financial troubles threaten to ruin it. Plus, her greedy and unscrupulous brother-in-law wants to make sure she fails.

Enlisting a motley crew of recently hired summer help—including the daughter of her estranged best friend—Traci has one summer season to turn it around. But new information about a long-ago drowning at the hotel threatens to come to light, and the tragic death of one of their own brings Traci to the brink of despair.

Traci Eddings has her back against the pink-painted wall of this beloved institution. And it will take all the wits and guts she has to see wrongs put to right, to see guilty parties put in their place, and maybe even to find a new romance along the way. Told with Mary Kay Andrew’s warmth, humor, knack for twists, and eye for delicious detail about human nature, Summers at the Saint is a beach read with depth and heart.

My Review

Mary Kay Andrews, the queen of beach reads, returns following Bright Lights Big Christmas with her annual captivating beach read, SUMMERS AT THE SAINT —a distinguished coastal resort with dark secrets of the past collide with the present in this cozy murder mystery and more!

Welcome to the Saint Cecelia, a stunning landmark hotel on the coast of Georgia.

Traci Eddings grew up admiring the grand hotel since she was a child, thinking of it as a fairy castle called The Saint. The first time she stepped on the property was when she was thirteen, when Meredith, a new girl from school, invited her to a birthday party held there.

The rich kids were called Saints. Those not were just Ain'ts. Her family was an outsider, neither wealthy nor connected enough to vacation at the resort. But she had always wanted to work there. She did so and wound up marrying the owner's son, Hoke.

Now Traci is widowed and has inherited the resort. She has a grand vision to return it to its early glory days, but she has been thrown into financial woes, staff shortages, and family drama.

Is there more than meets the eye at this coastal island resort?

However, she must contend with her greedy brother-in-law, who would love to see her fail. She has one summer to turn it around.

Traci hires a crew for the summer, including the daughter of her estranged best friend. She also recruits her niece Parrish and a number of new employees to live in a newly renovated dorm since housing is so expensive on the island and while keeping the hotel afloat. Plus it makes them more attractive to provide housing. (Old Edwards Inn properties offer this in Highlands, NC, which makes sense since there is no affordable housing there.)

Then, a strange death occurs during a party which raises eyebrows and other suspicions at The Saint, and it all falls back on Traci since it was her idea for the dorm. Is there a murderer among them or someone from the outside?

We learn more about Traci and her estranged friend, Shannon (there is background history here), who despises the Saint and does not want her daughter working there. We meet five employees who all live together at the dorm and are all witnesses to the death.

Then, the girls do a little sleuthing to try and discover the web of deceit that may lead to the murder.

A mystery of the past meets the present regarding a tragic drowning of one of their own at the hotel. What other secrets has The Saint been hiding or covering over the years? Will the hotel survive with all the bad press and media?

Told from POVs: Traci, Olivia (Livvy), Parrish, Shannon, Felice, KJ, Garrett, and Whelan. (2002/past and present)

CAPTIVATING! When you start reading a MKA book, you need to set aside the time and prepare for an adventure. Her books are always fresh and clever, well-written with vivid settings, well-developed characters, a heartwarming story, a great mystery, and a takeaway message. SUMMERS AT THE SAINT draws you in and hooks you from the first page to the last.

A mix of historical, murder mystery, coming of age, mothers and children, women's fiction, contemporary, nostalgia, humor, suspense, romance, literary, and a must-read beach read, all in one!

From dark secrets of the past and scandals to those who want to keep them buried. The novel will take you back to those summer days at hotels, motels, and when you were a teen.

I am a huge fan of Mary Kay and have read all her books. Whether for summer or holiday, they are always entertaining and full of heart with her signature style and wit.

From the stunning front cover to the cast of characters, SUMMERS AT THE SAINT reminded me a bit of Red Oaks (TV series), which is hilarious set in the 80s—(fav) a coming-of-age set at The Red Oaks Country Club with all the teens with their last summer before college; employees, parents, summer flings, scandal, and more (not a hotel), but with the same drama.

AUDIOBOOK: I read the book and listened to the spectacular audiobook! As always, MKA and Kathleen McInerney (a favorite narrator) are a match made in heaven. I laughed so hard that I was glued to my iPhone for hours and could not put it down. Her distinct voice was perfect for all the multi-voices and highly impressive. I loved the audiobook and highly recommend it.

Thank you, partner #MacAudio2024

As a VP of Regional Sales, Marketing, and Design for large hotels and resorts for many years, and later a consultant for inns, cottages, resorts, and vacation rentals. I always enjoy reading stories about coastal historical hotels, resorts and the hospitality business.

A #1 Beach Read Pick from a master Southern storyteller! A summer favorite. Get SUMMERS AT THE SAINT on your TBR list. Beach bag ready! I loved the Epilogue, one year later. No one does summer like MKA! Always the best summer and holiday stories. Perfect for your upcoming Memorial Weekend getaway or at home in a comfy chair—allow the novel to transport you.

Thanks to St. Martins Press and NetGalley for a digital e-book reading copy, St. Martins Press for a stunning paperback copy, and Macmillan Audio #MacAudio2024 for an advanced listening audio copy. #SMPInfluencers

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars +

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

Praise for Mary Kay Andrews

"Andrews perfectly balances the second chance-romance with the twisty mystery against a beachy backdrop that will please any armchair traveler."

--Publishers Weekly

"A fun, heart-warming, and intriguing summer read. For readers who’d enjoy a blend of friendships (old and new), budding romance, and secrets held within the walls of a hotel that needs rescuing, as in Elin Hilderbrand’s The Hotel Nantucket."

-Library Journal

About the Author

Photo: Bill Miles

MARY KAY ANDREWS is the New York Times bestselling author of 30 novels (including The Homewreckers; The Santa Suit; The Newcomer; Hello, Summer; Sunset Beach; The High Tide Club; The Weekenders; Beach Town; Save the Date; Ladies’ Night; Christmas Bliss; Spring Fever; Summer Rental; The Fixer Upper; Deep Dish; Blue Christmas; Savannah Breeze; Hissy Fit; Little Bitty Lies; and Savannah Blues), and one cookbook, The Beach House Cookbook.

A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, she earned a B.A. in journalism from The University of Georgia. 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. She went on to write ten critically acclaimed mysteries under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. 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 fifteen 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.

She and her family divide their time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, GA, where they cook up new recipes in three restored beach homes, The Breeze Inn, Ebbtide, and Coquina Cottage—all named after fictional places in Mary Kay’s novels, and all available to rent through Tybee Vacation Rentals. In between cooking, spoiling her grandkids, and plotting her next novel, Mary Kay is an intrepid treasure hunter whose favorite pastime is junking and fixing up old houses. WEBSITE







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