Tuesday 7 May 2024

Book ~ "Summers at the Saint" (2024) Mary Kay Andrews

From Goodreads ~ 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.

The St. Cecelia (aka the Saint) is a lovely resort where only the wealthy are members or guests. Growing up, Traci was neither but she did work there as a lifeguard, along with her best friend, Shannon, when they were in their late teens. Traci caught the eye of Hoke, a son of the owner, and they ended up falling in love and getting married.

It's now 20 years later and Traci is owner of the hotel since Hoke was killed in a crash four years ago. Hoke's older brother, Ric, resents everything Traci does and doesn't consider her family. Since the pandemic, the Saint has been struggling and Traci is doing all she can to bring it back it to its former glory. Luckily she has staff, new and old. she can depend on.

Twenty years ago an eight-year-old boy drowned while Traci and Shannon were working and they haven't spoken since. Whelan, the boy's older half-brother, arrives in town asking questions. Then there is a sudden death of one of their employees which the police suspect is murder. More stress and pressure for Traci.

I've read many books by this author and liked this one. Judging by the cover, I expected more of a summer beach read so was surprised when the story took a turn and became a murder mystery (but I was okay with that). It is written in third person perspective depending on where the action was. As a head's up, there is swearing, violence and some adult activity.

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