The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews, Kathleen McInerney (Narrator)

Published May 4th 2021 by Macmillan Audio, St. Martin’s Press

Running Time: 16 hrs.

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I was expecting a beach read and The Newcomer was that, but it was a lot more. This was a bit Contemporary Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, and Women’s Fiction. “If anything bad happens to me—it’s Evan. Promise me you’ll take Maya and run. Promise me.” Tanya tells her sister. When Letty Carnahan finds her sister dead on her living room floor, she grabs Tanya’s daughter along with her go bag and runs. What she wasn’t expecting was to be the main suspect in Tanya’s death. She finds a flyer in Tanya’s bag advertising a small mom & pop motel in Treasure Island, Florida so that is where they head. They find a refuge there among the regulars and the owner who gives Lettie a job as well as helping out with childcare for Maya. The only catch is the owner’s son is not only a handsome man, but her is a cop. Will she have to run again?

This book is not a fast moving action story, but a relatively slow moving story that allows us to get to know the characters and the motel which is a character in itself. I really liked the mixed of characters in this book. There were the regular residents of the motel who were a hoot. They bickered like family, yet supported one another when needed. Lettie was a very relatable and inspirational character. She left everything behind to support her sister and keep her niece safe. She has some baggage to get over if she and Joe are going to have any kind of a relationship. I liked learning her story through flashbacks and things she finally shares with Joe. Maya was adorable. I loved her personality and gumption. Did she see her mom get killed? That is a question that was in the back of my mind throughout this story. Eventually, there is some law enforcement involved in a case against Evan Wingfield, trying to gather information. Secrets about Tanya come out at the motel and give Joe and Letty some important information they need. Overall, this story had everything I was looking for, some romance, a fun setting, great characters, some suspense a bit of a mystery and a Happily Ever After. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Kathleen McInerney. This is a narrator that I do not hesitate to listen to. She has a great voice with expression, inflection and is able to do voices to give characters a distinct personality. The audiobook definitely enhanced my enjoyment of this story. I received a copy of this book from the author upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

The Newcomer

About the Book: Letty Carnahan is in trouble. She’s on the run from New York City; she has her four-year-old niece, Maya in tow, and her sister was found dead in the entry hall of her glamorous town-home. Letty believes she knows who did it: her sister’s awful, money-grubbing ex-husband, Eli Wingfield.

Letty can’t forget her sister Tara’s insistence: “if anything bad ever happens to me – It’s Eli. Promise me you’ll take Maya and run. Promise me.”

But run where? The only clue Tara has left behind is a faded magazine story about a sleepy mom-and-pop motel on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Certain that the police and Tara’s ex are hot on her trail, Letty leaves her own life behind without a backwards glance, knowing she will somehow get justice for Tara, and sets out for her destination – The Murmuring Surf.

The Surf, as regulars call it, is the winter home of a close-knit but quarrelsome group of retirees and snowbirds who regard this newcomer and her adorable niece with suspicion and more than a little curiosity. There’s a No Vacancy sign swinging from the neon motel marquee, but the motel’s longtime owner Ava DeCurtis takes Letty in, offers her a room and eventually a job, much to the disapproval of Ava’s cynical son Joe, a local police detective whose every instinct tells him that Letty is a dangerous fugitive, possibly even a kidnapper and murderer.

As Letty tries to settle into her new life and help heal Maya’s trauma, she’s preoccupied as her late sister’s troubled past and connection to the motel are revealed, all while trying to deal with the attractive detective’s unwelcome advances. Is Joe a would-be suitor? Or a cop determined to betray her confidence and put her behind bars?