Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Book Review: Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews

Pages: 432
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date:  May 7, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin's
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: The Weekenders
and The High Tide Club
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars 

Goodreads says, "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."

Things haven't been going well for Drue Campbell.  Her mother has recently died, she has injured herself windsurfing, she has a car that won't start, and she finds herself without a job after an incident at work.  Her estranged father, Brice Campbell, shows up at her mother's funeral.  He is pretty much the opposite of Drue. He's is a successful injury lawyer and has recently remarried one of Drue's friends.  Yes, her former friend! While talking with her father, she finds out that she inherited her grandparents' beach cottage in Sunset Beach, Florida.  True has so many memories of visiting this cottage with her beloved grandparents and her mother; she is shocked and overjoyed that it is now hers despite the fact that it needs a lot of work. Brice also sees that Drue needs some help and offers her a job at his law firm.  Drue begrudgingly takes it and decides to move into the beach cottage, which isn't that far from the law office.  Between learning the ins and outs at work, dealing with her ex-friend Wendy who works there and getting the beach cottage in order, she is really busy.  But when a case comes across her desk involving a missing person from ten years ago, she is intrigued despite her father telling her to not look into it.  Drue begins digging and finds out this missing case might involve people she knows! Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews is a good combination of a relaxing beach read and a thrilling mystery.

Drue isn't someone I initially gravitated to in Sunset Beach, but I was rooting for her. How could I not? Her life isn't going so well, especially after her injury and botched surgery.  Her relationship with her father is a seriously challenging one that isn't made easier by the fact that he remarried, Wendy, her friend from childhood.  Wendy also works at the law office, so this complicated things tremendously as she is office manager and a general pain in the butt.  Once Drue starts to become interested in the missing person case, I found myself a bit more intrigued by the plot line, especially when it would flash back to the past.

Since I a big lover of beach reads, I really enjoyed the setting of Sunset Beach, on Florida's Gulf Coast, and the ramshackle cottage that has been in her family for years. I loved that Drue moved in and rehabbed it as well as her own life.

The missing person mystery in Sunset Beach, although interesting, sometimes got a little drawn out and I wish Andrews would have focused a bit more on the beach read side of the story and Drue's life.  I liked Drue as a make-shift detective, but at times it was a little unbelievable.

Nonetheless, you can always count on Mary Kay Andrews to give you a beach read that is laid back and fun.  So, if you like your beach reads with a side of an unsolved mystery, check out Sunset Beach this summer.


  1. I think I've only read one of her books, but they always look perfect to read at the beach!

    1. Yes! They really are perfect for the beach. I tend to like the ones that don't include mysteries a bit more than the ones that do. Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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