From the publisher:
New York Times bestselling author and Queen of the Beach Reads Mary Kay Andrews delivers her next blockbuster, Hello Summer.
It’s a new season…
Conley Hawkins left her family’s small town newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon, in the rearview mirror years ago. Now a star reporter for a big-city paper, Conley is exactly where she wants to be and is about to take a fancy new position in Washington, D.C. Or so she thinks.
For small town scandals…
When the new job goes up in smoke, Conley finds herself right back where she started, working for her sister, who is trying to keep The Silver Bay Beacon afloat―and she doesn’t exactly have warm feelings for Conley. Soon she is given the unenviable task of overseeing the local gossip column, “Hello, Summer.”
And big-time secrets.
Then Conley witnesses an accident that ends in the death of a local congressman―a beloved war hero with a shady past. The more she digs into the story, the more dangerous it gets. As an old heartbreaker causes trouble and a new flame ignites, it soon looks like their sleepy beach town is the most scandalous hotspot of the summer.
Mary Kay Andrews has been my first “beach read” every summer for years now. I love her books, especially her writing style and her sense of humor. This book is more of a mystery and a family story, but it still has a touch of romance that I’ve come to expect. And yes, there is a happy ending, and best of all, I was thoroughly entertained.
I have been having a hard time reading since this pandemic has changed our world. I can’t concentrate as well as I normally do, and I find my mind wandering. I’m reading maybe 3-4 books a week instead of my usual 5-7, and I tend to put down a book fairly quickly if it is not holding my attention. I am happy to report that was not the case here. I would have read this in one night except I started it too late, so it was a two day read for me. I am working from home so I am still setting my alarm and rising early. So no reading late into the night for me!
As always, the characters are brought to life on the page, as is the setting. This time it is set on the Gulf Coast of Florida, in a small beach town. There may or may not be a Silver Bay (I didn’t look) but there are a number of small towns just like it. After an online publisher goes under just as Conley was supposed to start her new job there, she goes home to her family, where her grandmother orders her to go work for the family newspaper, at least until she finds another job. Unfortunately, Conley’s sister is the managing editor and she is quite resentful that Conley took off and left her chained to the family business. The town gossip is still writing a column for the paper called “Hello, Summer” and Conley is tasked with taking her ridiculous prose and turning it into something readable and accurately spelled.
An old friend of Conely’s is running his family business, a pharmacy, and taking care of his mother who is suffering from dementia. They hang out together, and slowly their relationship deepens, all against the backdrop of a suspicious car accident that took the life of the area’s favorite politician. There is intrigue and humor galore, making this a terrific escape. Another winner from one of my favorite authors (and favorite people!)
5/2020 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
HELLO, SUMMER by Mary Kay Andrews. St. Martin’s Press (May 5, 2020). ISBN 978-1250256928. 480p.