The Newcomer

Summer Begins with Mary Kay Andrews ☀️

Genre: Fiction
Sub-Genre: Beach Read, Mystery, Romance
Format: 🎧
Pub Date: 5.4.2021
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆


In trouble and on the run…

After she discovers her sister Tanya dead on the floor of her fashionable New York City townhouse, Letty Carnahan is certain she knows who did it: Tanya’s ex; sleazy real estate entrepreneur Evan Wingfield. Even in the grip of grief and panic Letty heeds her late sister’s warnings: “If anything bad happens to me—it’s Evan. Promise me you’ll take Maya and run. Promise me.”

With a trunkful of emotional baggage…

So Letty grabs her sister’s Mercedes and hits the road with her wailing four-year-old niece Maya. Letty is determined to out-run Evan and the law, but run to where? Tanya, a woman with a past shrouded in secrets, left behind a “go-bag” of cash and a big honking diamond ring—but only one clue: a faded magazine story about a sleepy mom-and-pop motel in a Florida beach town with the improbable name of Treasure Island. She sheds her old life and checks into an uncertain future at The Murmuring Surf Motel.

The No Vacancy sign is flashing & the sharks are circling…

And that’s the good news. Because The Surf, as the regulars call it, is the winter home of a close-knit flock of retirees and snowbirds who regard this odd-duck newcomer with suspicion and down-right hostility. As Letty settles into the motel’s former storage room, she tries to heal Maya’s heartache and unravel the key to her sister’s shady past, all while dodging the attention of the owner’s dangerously attractive son Joe, who just happens to be a local police detective. Can Letty find romance as well as a room at the inn—or will Joe betray her secrets and put her behind bars? With danger closing in, it’s a race to find the truth and right the wrongs of the past.”


I know I can’t be alone when I say that I definitely thought this would be a fluffy beach read. I did not expect it to take a turn and turn into more of a murder mystery! Are all of MKA stories his way? If so, I need to read more of her books asap.

I chose to listen to The Newcomer on audio as I had lots of plans for working in the yard all weekend and wanted something to listen to. I swear this story kept me motivated and moving as I didn’t want to stop listening. I may have flown through the audio in 48 hours (which is relatively quick). The only negative is I did not care for the voice used during the child’s narration 🙉 But I think kids’ voices are challenging to replicate and not sound whiney.

I enjoyed the book’s mystery aspect. I also loved the sprinkle of romance between Letty and the cute police detective, Joe; it was an excellent way to bring some light into the story.

There is one point to the story that I think MKA could’ve conveniently taken a different route with, and I applaud her for not doing what other authors likely would’ve done to add drama to the story.

🕵🏽‍♀️ A murder mystery in a beach read
👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨 A sprinkle of romance
🌊 Small seaside community (Treasure Island)
🎧 Good on audiobook
🥰 Unique characters that you can’t help but love

I recommend reading The Newcomer if you enjoyed reading Big Summer or Two Truths and a Lie.

What do you think makes the perfect beach read?

Book Information:
Format: 448 pages, Hardcover
Published: May 4, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN9781250256966 (ISBN10: 1250256968)
Free review copy provided by publisher, St Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.

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