ARC Review: The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews

Title: The Newcomer

Author: Mary Kay Andrews

Page Length: 448

Publication Date: May 4, 2021

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press


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.” So Letty grabs her sister’s Mercedes and hits the road . . .


. . . and 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.


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 and right the wrongs of the past.

LINKS:     Goodreads     |      Amazon    |      Book Depository

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My Review:

An intriguing novel with great characters and a daunting mystery, The Newcomer follows Letty and her four-year-old niece Maya, who have fled to Florida after the brutal murder of Maya’s mother, Tanya. Tanya warned Letty that if something happened to her, Letty should hide Maya from Tanya’s dangerous ex.

So, when Letty finds her murdered sister and her traumatized and frightened niece, she knows she must keep the promise she made to her sister and protect Maya. Letty flees to a motel in Florida where, with clues from her deceased sister, she feels she can hide. However, Letty and Maya can’t stay hidden forever, and the past resurfaces, and their lives become endangered.

Typical of Mary Kay Andrews books, The Newcomer has a wonderful and unique cast of characters. Letty and Maya are embraced by the motel community, which consists of retired snowbirds, a wonderful motel owner, and a hunky police officer that want to protect Letty and Maya no matter the cost. Letty develops a strong bond with this new group, and it’s clear that this motel has very special guests who almost feel like a family. Maya is also sweet and delightful, and Letty is a fabulous protagonist.

Starting over with her niece, Letty leaves everything behind for her family. She is determined and loving, and she will do whatever it takes to protect those she loves. Thrust into a dangerous situation, Letty shows strength, resilience, and a fierce protective instinct. Above all, she loves Maya and will do anything to give her a safe and nurturing place in the world.

The setting is wonderful and makes me want to go to Florida and experience the beauty of this seaside town. Andrews has such a knack for creating immersive stories with amazing characters and settings, and I easily found myself transported to the sunny Floridian coast. If The Murmuring Surf were a real motel, I’d totally book a reservation!

The mystery surrounding Tanya’s murder and the suspense that ensues is gripping and kept me guessing for the majority of the story. I enjoyed how the story unfolded and how reflections of the past twine with the present, as Letty tries to figure out what happened to her sister.

This is a great story for readers who like a murder mystery, intrigue, an interesting cast of characters, and a bunch of twists and turns. Secrets, lies, suspicion, and a deep love of family permeate the story, and I found myself unable to put the book down. Thanks so much to St. Martin’s Press, Mary Kay Andrews, and NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The characters.
  • The mystery. What really happened to Tanya? How will Letty and Maya stay safe?
  • The setting. Can I live at The Murmuring Surf Motel, please? lol


Want to read more books by Mary Kay Andrews? Check out my review for Hello, Summer, another great beach read!

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