New Beginnings is the sort of book that makes good light holiday reading. There is nothing that will tax you in Deb McEwan’s cozy murder mystery novella but the island setting and the likeable characters combine to provide an easy read that a reader can fly through and easily put down and pick up again without losing the thread.
Matt is a retired police officer, who finds himself falling in love and having a serious relationship with Elena, a hotel owner from the fictional island of Souvia. On a visit to see her to gauge what life would be like for him on the island, and play a bit of golf with some old colleagues and friends, a man dies in suspicious circumstances and Matt becomes involved in the local investigation.
McEwan guides you through the discovery of who is responsible for the murder and also gives you an insight into some of the island’s occupants. The plot has some twists and turns, but nothing too complicated and there is a variety of characters who are credible and brought alive through some well-written dialogue. I raced through it.
As the opening book in a series, it is quite a strong beginning and I would definitely read more of The Island Expats.