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The Newcomer

de Mary Kay Andrews

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Thanks to Book Club Cookbook & MacMillan Publishing for a gifted copy. All comments and opinions are my own.

I really liked this book even though it was often nail-bitingly tense, and that's because I got so caught up in the well-developed story and I cared about the characters. Letty Carnahan finds herself making good on her promise to her sister that she'll take care of Tanya's young daughter if anything bad happens to her, as she's concerned about her threatening ex-boyfriend. When Letty discovers Tanya dead, she grabs four-year-old Maya and Tanya's Mercedes to get far away from New York and Tanya's ex, sleazy real estate entrepreneur Evan Wingfield.

Switching cars a few times to keep Evan and possibly the law off her trail, and driving for days with a sobbing child, Letty ends up at a ramshackle mom-and-pop motel in a small Florida beach town. Tanya had saved an old magazine article about the Murmuring Surf motel. So Letty, panicked and fearful, finds herself in the parking lot with a flashing No Vacancy sign. And that's just the first 35 pages of this 400+ page-turner of a book.

In addition to the clever plot, likeable characters, and evil bad guys, the small-town Florida motel location has all the details to make you check for sand between your toes.

Now that I've read two compelling Mary Kay Andrews novels (don't miss Hello, Summer) this is one author I have on my "must read" list. ( )
  PhyllisReads | Sep 14, 2021 |
Wondered if I would like this book since I don't remember reading this writer before but I did enjoy and would read more books by her. However, I'm not sure if I would seek them out because I have so many other books on my TBR. Fun characters, a strong heroine, and a an interesting plot -- what's not to like. Also, I really wanted to finish it -- didn't want to interrupt my reading it. ( )
  phyllis2779 | Aug 16, 2021 |
I had a fantastic time with this book! I have wanted to read Mary Kay Andrews’s work for a while and I am glad that I finally had the chance to do so with this book. I was hooked by this story right away and it held my interest until the very end. I am so glad that I was finally able to give this author a try.

Letty is on the run with her niece, Maya, after finding her sister dead. She ends up in Florida at The Murmuring Surf Motel. The motel is filled with senior citizens and they aren’t exactly welcoming to Letty and Maya at first. She knows that the police in New York are looking for her as they investigate her sister’s death but she just wants to lay low and keep her niece safe. She didn’t expect the complication of the owner’s son Joe, who happens to be a local police officer.

I really liked the characters in this book. Letty was such a good person. She took Maya as her sister asked her to do because she wanted to make sure that her niece was safe. Ava, the hotel owner, was incredibly kind to both Letty and Maya and I loved the relationship that developed between them. Joe was more cautious but quickly proved that he was a good guy that could be trusted. I liked the chemistry between Letty and Joe and appreciated the slower-burn romance between them. I thought that the other characters at the motel added a lot to the story as well.

The mystery in this book kept me guessing. I was really curious about what had happened to Letty’s sister, Tanya. There is another element to the story which explored how Tanya was tied to the motel and what happened in her past before joining her sister in New York. The story was rather exciting and there were times that I was really worried about Letty and Maya’s safety.

Kathleen McInerney did a fantastic job with this narration of this book. There was a pretty big cast of characters and she handled all of their voices with a lot of skill. I thought that she added a lot of excitement and emotion into her reading. She had a very pleasant voice and I believe that her narration added to my overall enjoyment of the book.

I would recommend this book to others. I had a great time with this book and found it to be filled with great characters, a wonderful plot, and just enough romance to keep things interesting. I will definitely be reading more of this author’s work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley and I borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library. ( )
  Carolesrandomlife | Jul 12, 2021 |
When Letty finds her sister Tanya dead in her home, she grabs her niece Maya, packs a quick bag, and runs. Tanya had lived a rough life that bordered on breaking the law, and even sometimes crossing that line. Wanting to protect her child, she had told Letty what to do if something ever happened to her, and Letty complied. Now they are living in a motel, hiding from Maya’s father, the man Letty suspects of killing her sister. This is a pretty fast-paced tale, with a bit of mystery and a sprinkling of romance. The characters are interesting and varied. The plot is complex, and just when it seems that things are about to be settled, the story takes another turn. It’s an intriguing story that will keep readers interested in the outcome. ( )
  Maydacat | Jul 1, 2021 |
I enjoyed this quick-paced beach book that is mostly set in the beach town of Treasure Island, Florida. Letty Carnahan and her four-year-old niece, Maya, have escaped from NYC to Florida and landed at The Murmuring Surf Motel in Treasure Island. They are fleeing from Evan Wingfield, a wealthy New Yorker who is the supposed murderer of Tanya, Letty’s sister and Maya’s mother.

The family that runs the Murmuring Surf becomes like family to Letty, the family she never had. Ava DeCurtis, the single mother who runs the vacation getaway, embraces Letty, lets her rent a room that has mostly been used for storage, and eventually hires her to assist with several tasks.

The Murmuring Surf is popular among snowbirds, and the same renters enjoy staying there over many years. As the murder mystery unravels, the regular guests provide as much support for Letty as the DeCurtis family, and of course, Letty falls in love with Joe, Ava’s son and a local police officer who becomes involved in the drama of the murder, the motel and Letty’s life.

Although the novel is fairly formulaic, it was fun to read about charming characters and aspects of the stereotypic Florida snowbird lifestyle:
Seasons of Snowbirds, Spring Break, and Shoulder
Expected schedules and routines--adult swim, ping-pong, bingo
Early bird specials
“Reserved” parking spaces
“Free” stuff
Scams preying on old people-selling silver, gold and jewelry at hotels
Hawaiian nights and other dress-up themes
Newfound Florida Friends
The fine line between strangers and friends--especially in Florida
Vagrants on beaches
Police protecting tourism and hiding crime
Feisty older adults use walkers as weapons
https://quipsandquotes.net/ ( )
  LindaLoretz | Jun 23, 2021 |
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