Thursday, August 15, 2019

Review: Sunset Beach

Summary: Pull up a lounge chair and have a cocktail at Sunset Beach – it comes with a twist.

Drue Campbell’s life is adrift. Out of a job and down on her luck, life doesn’t seem to be getting any better when her estranged father, Brice Campbell, a flamboyant personal injury attorney, shows up at her mother’s funeral after a twenty-year absence. Worse, he’s remarried – to Drue’s eighth grade frenemy, Wendy, now his office manager. And they’re offering her a job.

It seems like the job from hell, but the offer is sweetened by the news of her inheritance – her grandparents’ beach bungalow in the sleepy town of Sunset Beach, a charming but storm-damaged eyesore now surrounded by waterfront McMansions.

With no other prospects, Drue begrudgingly joins the firm, spending her days screening out the grifters whose phone calls flood the law office. Working with Wendy is no picnic either. But when a suspicious death at an exclusive beach resort nearby exposes possible corruption at her father’s firm, she goes from unwilling cubicle rat to unwitting investigator, and is drawn into a case that may – or may not – involve her father. With an office romance building, a decades-old missing persons case re-opened, and a cottage in rehab, one thing is for sure at Sunset Beach: there’s a storm on the horizon.

Sunset Beach is a compelling ride, full of Mary Kay Andrews' signature wit, heart, and charm. -- St. Martin's Press

I always look forward to reading a novel by Mary Kay Andrews every summer. This year was no exception. Her latest book is titled SUNSET BEACH, and it is perfect for beach or pool reading. This book is a terrific mix of mystery, family dynamics, and romance. What more could you ask for in a summer book?

SUNSET BEACH tells the story of Drue Campbell, a woman who is in a bit of bind. She's out of work and recovering from an injury that keeps her living life to the fullest, and then her mother dies. Things really take a turn when her estranged father shows up at the funeral, and he's married to a former friend of Drue's! She's not exactly in a good place if you know what I mean.

So when her father, who also happens to be a personal injury lawyer, offers her a job, Drue isn't sure she wants the help. However when she learns that she inherited a beach bungalow, she decides to stay in Sunset Beach and make some money to help her fix up the house she always loved. She hates working with her father and his wife (her ex-friend!), but she finds herself intrigued in a case after a suspicious death occurs with ties to her father's firm.

Drue decides to dig in and she what she can uncover about this case, and in the process also discovers a few secrets about her parents' past. With a mix of sleuthing, romance, and home improvement, Drue finds herself with more than enough on her plate to keep busy... and maybe even in a little trouble!

I thoroughly enjoyed SUNSET BEACH. The novel is a pageturner with quite a few surprises, and it also showcases what I've come to know and love about a Mary Kay Andrews' story -- charm and wit with memorable characters. At first, I wasn't too sure about Drue; however, I came to understand her rough-around-the-edges exterior and even grew to like her a lot! She was a fantastic main character who not only was determined enough to dig into these mysteries, but she also had a personal back-story that made her interesting.

I also appreciated the mysteries in SUNSET BEACH. There were a few story lines about mysteries that Drue was pursuing. It was interesting to see how everything came together at the end of the novel, and I have to say that I didn't see much of it coming. Ms. Andrews got her start in writing mysteries as Kathy Hogan Trocheck (whose books I also loved!), and her skills as a mystery writer were apparent in this novel.

SUNSET BEACH really is an ideal summer read. I realize that there isn't much time left in the summer, but if you're going to pick up one last summer book, then I highly recommend SUNSET BEACH. It's got a little something for everyone -- mystery, romance, friendship, beach setting, and charm!

Thanks to Tandem Literary and the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I like the way Andrews is bringing some of her roots back by adding a hint of mystery in her new books. This sounds like another winner.