NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Monday, August 6, 2018

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

What a fun "locked room" whodunit set within the confines of the cozy Mitchell Inn located in the Catskill Mountains of New York State.

The 10 guests make their way to the beautiful accommodations high into the mountains during a snowstorm. Away from civilization, without internet service, and with lovely vistas and well-appointed rooms -- this promises to be a weekend that none will forget. Unfortunately, all of the guests will not make it out alive. When the storm cuts the power, those at the Inn are without heat or light...and without help from the outside. Tensions and suspicions mount in the confinement and finger pointing becomes dangerous to those still alive.

The characters are quite the mix of personalities and, though there were quite a few, the author gives such great backstory that it is easy to remember who is who as each is introduced. Since the narrative flips between the point of view of the different people, the reader is aware of conflict beneath the surface of the initialally convivial gathering of strangers. When the first dead body is discovered on the morning after everyone's arrival, it's thought to be an accident at first glance. One of the guests, however, is convinced it is murder. I don't want to give any spoilers, so I won't go into describing each person staying at the hotel, nor the father and son who are left to run the place single-handedly due to the isolation caused by the storm. They are all quite interesting and I enjoyed trying to piece together the clues to see if I could guess the identity and the motivation of the perpetrator.

I loved the setting, the atmosphere and the story line. The writing drew me in and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough so stayed up late to finish all in one sitting. The conclusion was excellent, except I was left with one burning question! Definitely enjoyed this guessing game mystery and would recommend to fans of Agatha Christie. I've read both of this author's other books as well and this was a very satisfactory third outing!

Thank you to NetGalley and Pamela Dorman Books, Viking for the e-book ARC to read and review.

This is a standalone and is not part of a series. Great cover!

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