AN UNWANTED GUEST, Shari Lapena, Random House/PenguinRandomHouse


A remote lodge in upstate New York is the perfect getaway. . . until the bodies start piling up.It’s winter in the Catskills and the weather outside is frightful. But Mitchell’s Inn is so delightful! The cozy lodge nestled deep in the woods is perfect for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. The Inn boasts spacious old rooms with huge wood-burning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a book and someone you love. So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in for the long haul. The power’s down but they’ve got candles, blankets, and wood–a genuine rustic experience! Soon, though, a body turns up–surely an accident. When a second body appears, they start to panic. Then they find a third body. Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. They can’t leave, and with no cell service, there’s no prospect of getting the police in until the weather loosens its icy grip. The weekend getaway has turned deadly. For some couples, it’s their first time away. For others, it will be their last. And there’s nothing they can do about it but huddle down and hope they can survive the storm.

Out August, 2018


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Okay, if you love Agatha Christie’s style of writing, you’ll like this one.  The whole success of this story lies in the development and revelations of inner thinking by the characters.  Lapena is a skillful mystery writer, capable of laying out a strong plot, sticking to it and adding necessary twists and turns that will keep you guessing to the end.

Murder is the theme, but there’s not a huge amount of blood and gore.  It reminds me of the old black and white mystery movies I used to watch with my parents. Lapena’s new book is the best of her recent three: Stranger In The House, Couple Next Door and Unwanted Guest.  I enjoyed the others, but this one was fast-paced and thrilling right from the start.

The story grabs you and pulls you in until the very end.

I gave the story:


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