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An Unwanted Guest

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A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away It's winter in the Catskills and Mitchell's Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing--maybe even romantic--weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away It's winter in the Catskills and Mitchell's Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing--maybe even romantic--weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery. 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. Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead--it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic. Within the snowed-in paradise, something--or someone--is picking off the guests one by one. And there's nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm.


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A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away It's winter in the Catskills and Mitchell's Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing--maybe even romantic--weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away It's winter in the Catskills and Mitchell's Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing--maybe even romantic--weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery. 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. Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead--it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic. Within the snowed-in paradise, something--or someone--is picking off the guests one by one. And there's nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm.

30 review for An Unwanted Guest

  1. 4 out of 5

    Miriam Smith

    I loved Shari Lapena's previous books "The Couple Next Door" and "A Stranger In The House" and couldn't wait to start reading this, her latest thriller "An Unwanted Guest". It didn't disappoint and I have to admit that this one is actually my favourite of the three and in my opinion her best yet. The intriguing plot echoes an Agatha Christie style murder mystery and is set during a freezing cold and violent ice storm that leaves the guests at an isolated hotel stranded without power. As the guest I loved Shari Lapena's previous books "The Couple Next Door" and "A Stranger In The House" and couldn't wait to start reading this, her latest thriller "An Unwanted Guest". It didn't disappoint and I have to admit that this one is actually my favourite of the three and in my opinion her best yet. The intriguing plot echoes an Agatha Christie style murder mystery and is set during a freezing cold and violent ice storm that leaves the guests at an isolated hotel stranded without power. As the guests (each with their own story or deep buried secret) start to die in mysterious circumstances, the terrifying suspense is instantly ratcheted up, therefore making the book impossible to put down. I really did find it gripping and since we are currently experiencing an uncomfortable heatwave this book certainly cools you down. The descriptions of the ice and snow and freezing conditions in the hotel made me feel as if I was there with the guests and since the author brings her brilliant characters to life each one felt exceedingly real. I like plots where you can try to guess the murderer in a realistic scenario and I have to admit I did get the killer wrong. The ending was very well plotted and thought out and from start to finish I thoroughly enjoyed reading this compelling and suspenseful book. I very much look forward to more by Lapena in the future, I like her writing style, plot lines and her ability to engage the reader and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this page turner of a book to thriller readers young and old and especially those that love a good old fashioned whodunnit murder mystery! 5 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    A quiet weekend in the country, far away from the stress of the outside world sounds like a dream getaway! Mitchell Inn is a warm and inviting Inn which is nestled deep in the forest. Snow is covering the ground adding to the Inn's beauty and charm. It's a place for lovers to enjoy time together, a place where an Author can work on her book, a man can enjoy some alone time, friends can re-connect, and for a couple in an unhappy marriage can take a look at their marriage in a beautiful setting. B A quiet weekend in the country, far away from the stress of the outside world sounds like a dream getaway! Mitchell Inn is a warm and inviting Inn which is nestled deep in the forest. Snow is covering the ground adding to the Inn's beauty and charm. It's a place for lovers to enjoy time together, a place where an Author can work on her book, a man can enjoy some alone time, friends can re-connect, and for a couple in an unhappy marriage can take a look at their marriage in a beautiful setting. But the storm is unrelenting - the snow has not stopped falling and soon the roads are not drive-able. The guests and the owner and his son are trapped at the Inn for the weekend! Everyone remains in good spirits. They will make the most of it! They enjoy some drinks and make small talk in the lobby. Everyone goes to bed with hopes of still enjoying their weekend until the next morning when a body is found! It appears their relaxing weekend will not be so relaxing after all. This was a really fun book! Not fun in the funny-I-laughed-out-loud-way but it was a fun and devilishly clever whodunit. This book is an example of a whodunit done right! Shari Lapena has created the perfect setting for this book- a beautiful inn in the middle of the woods. Such atmosphere! This book consists of interesting characters with even more interesting back stories. This is a book I want to tell everyone about but at the same time I also want to tell people to go in knowing as little as possible. I loved watching the characters try and figure out what was happening. They are trapped (by the storm), frightened and tensions are rising. There is obviously a killer in their midst, but who???? I thought every single page in this book was wonderful. I have read this Author before and enjoyed her work, but this book knocks it out of the ball park! This is a very clever and well thought out mystery. Women's fiction my foot - this is a mystery book at its best! There is nothing graphic or gory in this book. It won’t scare or titillate but it will keep the reader guessing. Those that follow my reviews, know I like to put on my super sleuth hat and try to figure out whodunit. I did not figure it out, in case you were wondering. If there were clues, I did not see any! I couldn't help but think of Agatha Christie while reading this book. I almost feel as if this book were an homage to Christie - that's my thought- the Author does not say. Nevertheless, I was glued to my seat, turning the pages, and wondering what would happen next. The sheer genius of this book is that not a lot of action takes place, the characters are trapped in the Inn, no one can get to them and they cannot get out. So, the strength of this book lies not only in the carefully thought out plot but in the characters themselves, in their dialogue, their inner thoughts and interactions with others. Each time I had to put this book down, I was disappointed. If I could have sat and read this book in one sitting, I would have. The pacing in this book was spot on! Nothing in this book is rushed, nor is it slow. I was captivated from page one and highly recommend this book! Thank you to Penguin Publishing Group and Edelweiss who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    An Unwanted Guest gave me all the Agatha Christie feels! It's been so long since I've read a locked room (err... hotel) mystery, and while I had my doubts going in, I found this book clever and witty. The character development was pretty darn good for a book that rolled in at less than 300 pages; in fact, this is mostly a character driven thriller, using the tension between the cast to ratchet up the suspense for those brief moments of action. I'll definitely need to check out Lapena's backlist An Unwanted Guest gave me all the Agatha Christie feels! It's been so long since I've read a locked room (err... hotel) mystery, and while I had my doubts going in, I found this book clever and witty. The character development was pretty darn good for a book that rolled in at less than 300 pages; in fact, this is mostly a character driven thriller, using the tension between the cast to ratchet up the suspense for those brief moments of action. I'll definitely need to check out Lapena's backlist of books; if you're new to them as I was, I found this to be a great place to start! Book #2 for my #25infive read-a-thon. Buddy reading with Dennis @scaredstraightreads!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Shari Lapena writes a crime fiction mystery in the style of the classic golden age of crime. In the beautiful snowy Catskill mountains and forests, beside the Hudson River, is the location of Mitchell's Inn. The snow has brought its problems as many of the staff at the Inn have been unable to get to work, leaving owner and chef, James Harwood, with only his son, Bradley, to help look after the guests who have managed to arrive. However, the weather deteriorates even further as the place is gripp Shari Lapena writes a crime fiction mystery in the style of the classic golden age of crime. In the beautiful snowy Catskill mountains and forests, beside the Hudson River, is the location of Mitchell's Inn. The snow has brought its problems as many of the staff at the Inn have been unable to get to work, leaving owner and chef, James Harwood, with only his son, Bradley, to help look after the guests who have managed to arrive. However, the weather deteriorates even further as the place is gripped by an all encompassing ice storm, leaving the Inn with no power or telephone line. Wi-fi is not available, so guests are offered a secluded relaxing break, away from the frenetic pace of their everyday lives. Matthew Hutchinson, a wealthy New Yorker, has arrived with his breathtakingly beautiful bride to be, Dana, looking to escape the chaotic planning of their wedding. Ian Beeton and Lauren Day are a couple who have come away for a naughty weekend. Beverly Sullivan hopes to reignite some passion into her marriage with husband, Henry, getting away from their boisterous teenage children. Beverly and Henry's relationship had dwindled to the point that they were purely functioning as parents with no sexual content in their marriage for a considerable length of time. Candice White is a writer who has plans to write her latest book away from the drudge and energy sapping role of being a carer for her mother. David Paley, a criminal defense attorney, is taking a break from his highly stressful and pressurising job. Gwen Delaney has persuaded her best friend, Riley Shuter, that her shattered nerves and anxiety will benefit from staying in a rural and peaceful haven and give them the time for Gwen to help her. Riley is a journalist suffering from PTSD after the horrors she has witnessed and experienced in Afghanistan, she is prone to panic attacks and plagued by flashbacks. At first, the strangers mix well on arrival, but fear and menace creep in when one of the guests is discovered dead at the bottom of the staircase, and evidence suggests that it might not be an accident. As unease increases, there is no doubt that a killer is amongst them when another guest is strangled. More murder follows, and no help is at hand, with the police completely uncontactable. Tempers fray, as no-one is above suspicion and the guests harbour thoughts as to who is the murderer. Secrets emerge and feeling desperately unsafe, unable to sleep or trust anyone, will they survive until the police arrive? Lapena writes a great story that made me nervous and unsettled as I tried to work out the real killer. If you like Agatha Christie and writers of that ilk, I think you will like this too. Many thanks to Random House Transworld for an ARC.

  5. 3 out of 5

    Norma * Traveling Sister

    4.5 Stars! A weekend getaway at a cozy mountain lodge I would say is my ideal getaway but if I’m snowed in with no power and a murderer amongst the midst with no way out…...I’d be totally scared right out of my wits! AN UNWANTED GUEST by SHARI LAPENA is a fast-paced, tension-filled, compelling, suspenseful, and a chilling read that immediately grabbed my attention and kept me pretty much guessing right to the very end. Although, there are a few clues that I did pick up on, it did not spoil the a 4.5 Stars! A weekend getaway at a cozy mountain lodge I would say is my ideal getaway but if I’m snowed in with no power and a murderer amongst the midst with no way out…...I’d be totally scared right out of my wits! AN UNWANTED GUEST by SHARI LAPENA is a fast-paced, tension-filled, compelling, suspenseful, and a chilling read that immediately grabbed my attention and kept me pretty much guessing right to the very end. Although, there are a few clues that I did pick up on, it did not spoil the actual reveal for me at all. Oh, and that final twist in the end…..total shocker and I absolutely loved it! SHARI LAPENA delivers an atmospheric, appealing and cleverly written read here that has an old-fashioned whodunit storyline, a huge cast of characters and an extremely eerie and haunting setting. Even though this book has several characters in it I was never confused in who was who or had any trouble in keeping them all straight. The setting, characters, and vintage feel to this story is what I found the most entertaining and enjoyable. Would highly recommend! * Traveling Sisters Group Read Thank you so much to Edelweiss, Penguin Publishing Group and Shari Lapena for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review! Review written and posted on our themed book blog: Two Sisters Lost In A Coulee Reading https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rose (Traveling Sister)

    WELL, I DID IT. I willed myself through another Lapena novel despite being completely underwhelmed by The Couple Next Door. This one is a bit more interesting, but it definitely didn’t blow my mind. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. Considering An Unwanted Guest is set at a secluded hotel with many key players who receive equal emphasis, it's reminiscent of a Christie or Jackson mystery. There are three couples, the father and son who run the inn, two lady friends, a solo writer, and a solo attor WELL, I DID IT. I willed myself through another Lapena novel despite being completely underwhelmed by The Couple Next Door. This one is a bit more interesting, but it definitely didn’t blow my mind. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. Considering An Unwanted Guest is set at a secluded hotel with many key players who receive equal emphasis, it's reminiscent of a Christie or Jackson mystery. There are three couples, the father and son who run the inn, two lady friends, a solo writer, and a solo attorney. Is that all? Yeah, I think that’s all. But when people start dropping like proverbial flies, tensions rise, and they all realize that the murderer is either one of their own or *dun dun* an unwanted guest of whom none of them are aware (yet). They're completely snowed in, and there's no electricity, so the only things they can do to pass the time are drink themselves silly and cower in fear. No judgments though - that's like an average Wednesday for me. Jokes aside, An Unwanted Guest struggled in a lot of the same ways as the last Lapena novel I read. She writes chapters from different characters' POVs, but it’s in a bizarrely removed way, like this weirdly omniscient narrator is just kind of telling us what each person is thinking. I guess that’s not uncommon, but I didn’t feel like their voices were varied enough: "She would like to know who David thinks the killer is." "Gwen desperately wants to know who the killer is." "Henry would like to figure out who is responsible for these murders." Why do we need to be told so many times that each character wants to figure out who is ON A MURDEROUS RAMPAGE WHERE THEY ARE STAYING? Like…obviously. I’ve said it before, but I prefer it when details are interspersed throughout suspense novels rather than being dropped like a ton of bricks in the final chapters. I feel like the milling about and repetitive inner monologues were a stalling tactic. It was like 20% suspense and 80% Let’s-Get-This-Show-On-The-Roaddddd. The nature of a locked-doors mystery with so many characters is that each one of them is equally likely to be the suspect. This is a theme that has a lot of potential, but I found myself concocting several different endings in my brain that (to me) would’ve been more interesting than the actual finale. The last few sentences definitely pack an unexpected punch, but I was a little let down by the main perpetrator(s) and his/her/their motives. Lapena paid more attention to character development and atmospheric details in Guest than in The Couple, so if you’re trying to decide which to read first, I’d go with this one and avoid the other altogether. While this didn’t knock my socks off, I think it was worthwhile overall, and I’m glad I gave Lapena another chance!

  7. 3 out of 5

    Holly B

    Mitchell's Inn is a quiet resort, tucked away in the Catskill Mountains. Guests are checking in, but will they all check out? The hotel is three stories with a grand staircase, reminiscent of Gone with the Wind.  A forest surrounds the hotel and it has a grand lawn which is all covered in pure white snow. This should be the perfect setting for a quiet, relaxing weekend, but it will not be . The hotel isn't full. Six rooms will be occupied out of the twelve available. Some folks seem to have can Mitchell's Inn is a quiet resort, tucked away in the Catskill Mountains. Guests are checking in, but will they all check out? The hotel is three stories with a grand staircase, reminiscent of Gone with the Wind.  A forest surrounds the hotel and it has a grand lawn which is all covered in pure white snow. This should be the perfect setting for a quiet, relaxing weekend, but it will not be . The hotel isn't full. Six rooms will be occupied out of the twelve available. Some folks seem to have cancelled due to the snow storm approaching. We begin to meet some of the guests as they are checking in and learn why they wanted to book the weekend.  There are quite a few characters and I had to "get to know" before I was able to keep everyone straight.  Once I sorted them out, I had no problem following the story line and I sure had some strong opinions about a few of them. One I would liked to have smacked. The storm is getting worse, everything is icing over, there is no wi-fi , no electricity and the wind is howling like someone is trying to get in  (I was starting to wonder if someone was). After a body is discovered the next morning, people are quick to start pointing fingers.  Everyone's secrets start coming out, and suspicions are spreading like fire. A couple of "gaspy" moments and much guessing made this one a quick read.  Some parts became a bit repetitive with the mystery circling around a few times, but the ending put a smile on my face. :). Recommend to readers who enjoy who-dunnits with atmospheric settings.  Thanks to the publisher and EW for my copy to review and give my honest opinion.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brenda - Traveling Sister

    Norma and I were lost in a Coulee reading An Unwanted Guest with seven of our Traveling Sisters and overall we all had very similar thoughts on this one. A few twists here with this story and one especially that left us with something to talk about and left us completely satisfied in the end. Right from the start, Shari Lapena pulled us into this story with a very chilling setting here with a hotel snowed in. We all loved the feeling we got from the storm and the spooky feeling of being trapped Norma and I were lost in a Coulee reading An Unwanted Guest with seven of our Traveling Sisters and overall we all had very similar thoughts on this one. A few twists here with this story and one especially that left us with something to talk about and left us completely satisfied in the end. Right from the start, Shari Lapena pulled us into this story with a very chilling setting here with a hotel snowed in. We all loved the feeling we got from the storm and the spooky feeling of being trapped with people you don’t know, with nowhere to go and no one can come to help. The suspense and tension rises when bodies start to drop like flies and we started questioning just who was the unwanted guest. An Unwanted Guest is an easy, fast-paced, fun and entertaining read and safe from any disturbing darkness. Not much complexity here but it is not needed. The story is cleverly plotted for a fun and entertaining read. As one sister said (Debra) in our discussion the strength is in the characters and their inner thoughts and their interactions with other characters. I highly recommend and can see this story appealing to a wide audience. Thank you to Edelweiss, Penguin/ Pamela Dorman Books and Shari Lapena for my copy to read and review. This is Traveling Sisters GR Reading Group Review and it can be found posted on our themed book blog Two Sisters Lost In A Coulee Reading. https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com Coulee: a term applied rather loosely to different landforms, all of which refer to a kind of valley. Coulee references are symbolic to our reading experience

  9. 4 out of 5

    Melisa

    A very entertaining whodunnit! This murder mystery gave me all the CLUE vibes and I loved it so much! A large cast of characters trapped in a remote hotel during a snowstorm with no electricity or cell service? Yeah, sign me up. This one has a large cast of characters - it definitely also reminded me of an Agatha Christie novel, some reviewers have compared it to And Then There Were None which I can totally se as well. I generally get lost when a bunch of characters are introduced all at once, bu A very entertaining whodunnit! This murder mystery gave me all the CLUE vibes and I loved it so much! A large cast of characters trapped in a remote hotel during a snowstorm with no electricity or cell service? Yeah, sign me up. This one has a large cast of characters - it definitely also reminded me of an Agatha Christie novel, some reviewers have compared it to And Then There Were None which I can totally se as well. I generally get lost when a bunch of characters are introduced all at once, but the characters were so distinct that I was able to easily keep track. Super proud to say that I’ve gotten my detective shoes back - I actually figured this one out after a drought. Look for the hidden clues and you might figure it out too!🕵🏻‍♀️ After reading two books by this author, I can say the writing style isn’t really my jam, just a personal preference. But overall a very enjoyable story! 3.5 stars Thank you to the other Traveling Sisters for an interesting group read! Advance copy provided by Penguin/Pamela Dorman Books - thank you!

  10. 3 out of 5

    Lindsay - Traveling Sister

    4 stars! Eerie. Suspenseful. Haunting. Mysterious. Captivating. This was a gripping, addictive and highly atmospheric thriller that had me flying through the pages! The setting is a remote, old fashioned luxury hotel where guests arrive to spend a relaxing weekend in vintage lavishness. They arrive just as a brutal winter storm hits, cutting off electricity to the hotel along with any possible contact with the outside world. The plot unfolds as a whodunit murder mystery – is the killer among the 4 stars! Eerie. Suspenseful. Haunting. Mysterious. Captivating. This was a gripping, addictive and highly atmospheric thriller that had me flying through the pages! The setting is a remote, old fashioned luxury hotel where guests arrive to spend a relaxing weekend in vintage lavishness. They arrive just as a brutal winter storm hits, cutting off electricity to the hotel along with any possible contact with the outside world. The plot unfolds as a whodunit murder mystery – is the killer among the guests or is there someone lurking in the shadows of the hotel? The characters were great! Though there are several characters and relationships to keep track of, Shari Lapena does such a wonderful job developing them that I could follow the storyline effortlessly. I loved what each character brought to the mystery. My mind was spinning trying to piece together this intricate and twisty tale. This was a Traveling Sister read. As always, it was pleasure discussing and theorizing the possible motivations and conclusions. To find this review, along with the other Traveling Sister reviews, please visit Brenda and Norma’s fabulous blog at: https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com/2... A big thank you to Edelweiss, Penguin Publishing Group and Shari Lapena for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review! An Unwanted Guest is available now!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    Two years ago, I read Shari Lapena’s debut – The Couple Next Door – and although I thought it was somewhat thrilling, it didn’t make enough sense to me to consider it a realistic mystery novel. I passed on her 2017 book – A Stranger in the House – just because it seemed like the sort of story that’s been written a hundred times in the past. But I couldn’t skip An Unwanted Guest too. No, I couldn’t. Because if there’s one thing I love, it’s mystery combined with survival, and this one sure deliver Two years ago, I read Shari Lapena’s debut – The Couple Next Door – and although I thought it was somewhat thrilling, it didn’t make enough sense to me to consider it a realistic mystery novel. I passed on her 2017 book – A Stranger in the House – just because it seemed like the sort of story that’s been written a hundred times in the past. But I couldn’t skip An Unwanted Guest too. No, I couldn’t. Because if there’s one thing I love, it’s mystery combined with survival, and this one sure delivers. I also couldn’t because this sounded like a contemporary version of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (which the author is entirely aware of) and Agatha is a badass writer. The premise: Strangers arrive at an inn. They all expect different experiences and outcomes from this vacation, but unfortunately the weather has other plans for them. They are all snowed/stormed in. No one can leave, and to top it all off, there is no power. But wait, that’s not it. One by one, the people inside the inn die and no one knows who the killer is. They each suspect one another, but the authorities can’t come due to the weather, so they’ll have to sleep next to a murderer for who knows how long. This was such an exciting story and read so well. Having read this author’s debut, as mentioned above, I can tell you that Ms. Lapena has improved her skills. Not only is her writing better – a bit more professional and mature – she has also improved her denouements, making them more believable and thus more satisfying in a way. Read it, read it, read it. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  12. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3.5 Atmospheric and entertaining. A diverse group of people arrive at a small in, just in time to find themselves snowed in, and with no electricity to boot. In short order, they find themselves in danger as the bodies begin to mount. But which one of them is the killer? Or is it someone hiding in one of the empty rooms. Thematically similar to Christie's, And then there were none, it was interesting to try to figure out who was the killer. I had in mind one of three, and it turned out to be one 3.5 Atmospheric and entertaining. A diverse group of people arrive at a small in, just in time to find themselves snowed in, and with no electricity to boot. In short order, they find themselves in danger as the bodies begin to mount. But which one of them is the killer? Or is it someone hiding in one of the empty rooms. Thematically similar to Christie's, And then there were none, it was interesting to try to figure out who was the killer. I had in mind one of three, and it turned out to be one of the ones I thought. Had no reason though, just something seemed a little off, and well mostly it was a lucky guess. At times this was repetitive, and some of the scenarios, motives, were a stretch, but the entertainment factor won out. Would be a brilliant read in Winter, after a snowstorm. A sisters read, and though we all found it entertaining, our ratings varied. ARC from Netgalley.

  13. 3 out of 5

    Mackenzie - Traveling Sister

    An instant classic! Lapena has completely stolen my focus—I loved this book!! There is something magical about this book that is hard to describe without having read it. An Unwanted Guest has a vintage feel, like watching a film noir mystery late on a cozy evening in. The kind of film where you’re so engrossed, you lose track of everything happening around you, only to jump at the clanging of the gate outdoors in a gust of wind. I absolutely loved this book, and most of my Traveling Sisters agree An instant classic! Lapena has completely stolen my focus—I loved this book!! There is something magical about this book that is hard to describe without having read it. An Unwanted Guest has a vintage feel, like watching a film noir mystery late on a cozy evening in. The kind of film where you’re so engrossed, you lose track of everything happening around you, only to jump at the clanging of the gate outdoors in a gust of wind. I absolutely loved this book, and most of my Traveling Sisters agreed! A spell was cast over the Traveling Sisters, and every time I checked our discussion, another sister was glowing with the pleasure of this story! Everything from the quaint, cozy lodge, to the vintage-chic murders, to the characters was perfection. I can’t wait for readers to share this experience with us! About the Book In a cozy, old-fashioned, opulent lodge filled with antique furniture, crackling fireplaces, and a vintage bar cart, a group of strangers arrive for a weekend away. The snow is billowing outside, and the lodge is far from town, but the fires are warm, the bar is stocked, and the owner is gracious and welcoming. It’s the perfect getaway, right? Each of the guests has a need for this weekend retreat. A romantic getaway for young lovers, a pre-wedding relaxation retreat, a last-ditch effort to save a marriage, a friendship struggling to survive the demons in their past, a writer looking for solitude to create, and someone looking to escape a secret. And then the electricity goes out. Cut off from the outside world, the guests are thankful to have such cozy accommodations. But then one of the guests turns up dead. With access to the lodge unpassable, the guests must face the fact that there are only two options: one of them is a murderer, or there is an unknown, extra guest at the lodge… Reflection This book feels like old classic mysteries. Like Murder on the Orient Express, where the characters all have a mysterious past to hide, and one of them may be a murderer. Where, cut off from the outside world, they’ll have nothing but their powers of deduction to find the culprit before they are picked off one by one. This book is entirely different—but no less engrossing—than the work I’ve read previously by Lapena. I can see her breadth as a writer showing. This almost feels like a different genre than she usually writes, but she executed it flawlessly. It feels like a book that was always meant to be written. It feels like a book I must have read before, but also like nothing I’ve ever read. I felt an instant familiarity and comfort when I started this book. By the second page, it already felt perfectly suited to me. It was as though I was reading an old favorite for the 100th time. But I don’t want that to sound like this story has been told before. Every twist and turn was a delight! I could acutely envision the settings and characters. Though there are many characters and no primary narrator, I was able to tell each apart because they had such distinct personalities and back stories. The way the back stories of each unfolded was captivating. I wanted to know more. I thought any of them and none of them could be the murderer. And without spoiling, I have to say the very last chapter left me with a grin of pleasure on my face. It was perfect! The last little twist left me giddy with excitement. I can’t wait for readers to discover this book! See my blog post here: https://phdiva.blog/2018/08/03/book-r... Thank you to Penguin and Pamela Dorman Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Carol (Bookaria)

    This was an excellent thriller, one of those where I enjoyed every minute of it. The story takes place at Mitchell’s Inn in upstate New York. It’s the weekend and guests start arriving at the lodge for a short getaway. They are looking forward to spending a wonderful time in this charming and cozy inn. What the guests don’t expect is a blizzard that leaves them with no power or outside communication, no way to leave the hotel, and with a murderer among them. This novel was great, it had a classic f This was an excellent thriller, one of those where I enjoyed every minute of it. The story takes place at Mitchell’s Inn in upstate New York. It’s the weekend and guests start arriving at the lodge for a short getaway. They are looking forward to spending a wonderful time in this charming and cozy inn. What the guests don’t expect is a blizzard that leaves them with no power or outside communication, no way to leave the hotel, and with a murderer among them. This novel was great, it had a classic feel to it. The author did an excellent job with the imagery and the descriptions, I felt I was staying in with the guests during the devastating snow storm. The characters where interesting and compelling and the story maintained a suspenseful grip. Overall, I loved this chilling murder-mystery. So far it’s my favorite book from this author and I recommend it to everyone. Received ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss *I read this book with the Traveling Sisters. Our discussions made my experience more enriching and interesting*

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Well that was underwhelming. An odd ball cast of characters decide to spend the weekend at Mitchell's Inn. This decision they will all soon regret when the guests start dropping like flies. Reminiscent of Agatha Christie but not nearly as impressive we've got a whodunnit where every one becomes a suspect. Something about Lapena's writing style just didn't work for me here. It's safe to say that it is ME and not the BOOK this time around. This should have been so up my ally but I just felt it lac Well that was underwhelming. An odd ball cast of characters decide to spend the weekend at Mitchell's Inn. This decision they will all soon regret when the guests start dropping like flies. Reminiscent of Agatha Christie but not nearly as impressive we've got a whodunnit where every one becomes a suspect. Something about Lapena's writing style just didn't work for me here. It's safe to say that it is ME and not the BOOK this time around. This should have been so up my ally but I just felt it lacking. I will say that it's a quick read and I didn't guess who the killer was. Though as I reflect back I do see the clues I missed along the way so kudo's for that. I just wished I cared when the reveal came and I didn't. I am happy to see that so many others appreciate and love this novel. I'm sure I'll still be all grabby hands for her next one whenever it comes out. Thank you to Edelweiss and Pamela Dorman Books for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    As the guests arrive at the beautiful, remote Mitchell's Inn, they're looming forward to a relaxing weekend in the forest miles from anywhere. Its a mixed bunch of people who have booked into Mitchell's Inn for the weekend. It's miles from anywhere and set deep into the woods. There are ten guests plus the owner, James, and his son, Bradley. The guests arrive during a snow storm and it's not long before they are snowed in. The guests enjoy their first evening, but by the morning, one of them is As the guests arrive at the beautiful, remote Mitchell's Inn, they're looming forward to a relaxing weekend in the forest miles from anywhere. Its a mixed bunch of people who have booked into Mitchell's Inn for the weekend. It's miles from anywhere and set deep into the woods. There are ten guests plus the owner, James, and his son, Bradley. The guests arrive during a snow storm and it's not long before they are snowed in. The guests enjoy their first evening, but by the morning, one of them is dead. The nightmare for the surviving guests is just beginning. This book is written style if Agatha Christie's And Then There We're None. Most of the characters have dark secrets, which are slowly revealed to us. Although it's a bit far fetched at times, it won't effect your judgement of this quick read. They have the expected power cut, and of course there is no back up generator and of course there aren't any lamps and or enough candles. The phone lines are also down. There is plenty of red herrings. I had no idea who the murderer was. I would like to thank NetGalley, Random House UK, Transworld Publishers and the author Shari Lapena for my ARC in exchange for an honest 'review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pauline

    An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena reminded me of an Agatha Christie thriller. A group of guests in a remote hotel stranded in a snowstorm. No phones, Internet or electricity and no way of getting help. The guests are being murdered one by one. Is it one of them or an intruder hiding in the hotel? I read this book in a day and it kept me guessing until the end. I would like to thank NetGalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nazanin

    4.25 Stars Gwen & Riley are friends and went to the Mitchelle’s Inn so Riley can relax a little and take her mind off things! David is a criminal attorney and he went there to recharge! Lauren & Ian are friends and they went there to have a good time with each other at this remote hotel! Dana & Matthew are engaged and they went there to have fun and plan their marriage! Henry & Beverly are married, they have marital problems and they went there to save their marriage! Candice is a writ 4.25 Stars Gwen & Riley are friends and went to the Mitchelle’s Inn so Riley can relax a little and take her mind off things! David is a criminal attorney and he went there to recharge! Lauren & Ian are friends and they went there to have a good time with each other at this remote hotel! Dana & Matthew are engaged and they went there to have fun and plan their marriage! Henry & Beverly are married, they have marital problems and they went there to save their marriage! Candice is a writer and went there to write her new novel in peace! James is Bradley’s father and they own the Mitchell’s Inn and happy to have some guess for the weekend! Sorensen is the sergeant who tries to find the killer who killed four of these travelers! Well as you see, there is so many characters and all of them has their own POV! I love multiple POVs but in this one, it was a bit too many and at first, it was a bit difficult for me to keep up with all of them and at some point, I had to think who was who! But then after reading 30% I got used to them and actually enjoyed it! It was really good to know what's going on their minds! It was my third read by this author and honestly, I enjoyed it a bit more than the other two! It was more suspenseful! Overall, really liked it and hope you enjoy it as well!

  19. 3 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Despite The Couple Next Door only being an average read for me, I immediately clicked the request (which is still pending so go ahead and decline that one, NetGalley) button for Lapena’s new novel. Thanks to friends’ mediocre ratings I lowered my expectations accordingly. But I didn’t realize that An Unwanted Guest was pretty much going to be . . . . . I am a SUCKER for retellings of And Then There Were None. Up to and including an a Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Despite The Couple Next Door only being an average read for me, I immediately clicked the request (which is still pending so go ahead and decline that one, NetGalley) button for Lapena’s new novel. Thanks to friends’ mediocre ratings I lowered my expectations accordingly. But I didn’t realize that An Unwanted Guest was pretty much going to be . . . . . I am a SUCKER for retellings of And Then There Were None. Up to and including an annual viewing of the ever-so-underrated . . . . And this one took place in the Catskills which instantly had me thinking of . . . . Sing along, everyone . . . . *In case you haven’t figured it out yet, you should probably adjust your own expectations accordingly, because this most likely wasn’t nearly as good as I thought it was. But I did think it was good and read half of it without even realizing it the other evening. Call me a sucker for a group of strangers holed up in a hotel during a snowstorm when a superbadawful takes place . . . . . You know what happens next, right???? AND MORE DEAD BODIES. Yipeeeeeeeee!!!! The only thing that would have been better is if it weren’t 95 degrees outside on the day I read it – but there was zero chance I was going to be able to wait until winter as I am most assuredly an instant gratification type of gal.

  20. 3 out of 5

    Carrie

    While the story within the pages of An Unwanted Guest isn't exactly a new one it is an addictive read. I've seen this plot several times over the years with strangers coming together and the murders begin but it never really gets old.  Mitchell's Inn is located deep within the woods in the Catskills making a wonderful getaway destination. This particular weekend several guests are scheduled to arrive just as a snow storm is taking place.  After everyone is settled in they find themselves truly cut While the story within the pages of An Unwanted Guest isn't exactly a new one it is an addictive read. I've seen this plot several times over the years with strangers coming together and the murders begin but it never really gets old.  Mitchell's Inn is located deep within the woods in the Catskills making a wonderful getaway destination. This particular weekend several guests are scheduled to arrive just as a snow storm is taking place.  After everyone is settled in they find themselves truly cut off from the rest of the world due to the weather but a few could definitely use the cozy time. No one ever thought the weekend would turn into the devastation that it did all beginning with the first body found at the stairs in what looks like an accident at first glance.  The beginning of this one is a bit jumbled as introductions are made to the various players in the deadly game of chance. However, once getting to know everyone and the action truly begins the fear and paranoia sets in and just oozes off the pages of the story. Any one of the guests or staff could be a killer so the reader needs to sort through the twists and turns to get to the satisfying conclusion.  I received an advance copy from the publisher via Edelweiss. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  21. 3 out of 5

    Mackey

    An Unwanted Guest is an old school thriller with a very fresh, exciting vibe. I admit that I have a rocky relationship with Lapena's books. I adored A Stranger in the House but thought The Couple Next Door was only so-so. I wasn't sure what to expect from An Unwanted Guest and was thrilled by how much I liked it! "We can't choose the strangers that we meet." Lapena has written a thriller in the style of the old school authors from the Golden Age of Mysteries. In fact, from beginning to end, An An Unwanted Guest is an old school thriller with a very fresh, exciting vibe. I admit that I have a rocky relationship with Lapena's books. I adored A Stranger in the House but thought The Couple Next Door was only so-so. I wasn't sure what to expect from An Unwanted Guest and was thrilled by how much I liked it! "We can't choose the strangers that we meet." Lapena has written a thriller in the style of the old school authors from the Golden Age of Mysteries. In fact, from beginning to end, An Unwanted Guest is reminiscent of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None or The Mousetrap, but fresher and updated for today. In An Unwanted Guest, we find guests arriving at the stately Mitchell Inn, nestled in the Catskills with snow gently falling. However, as the guests make their way to the Inn, the snow begins to fall harder and the wind picks up furiously. Soon, the Inn is without power and the guests are trapped until help arrives. Each of the guests also brings with them baggage of the emotional kind. There is the wealthy attorney once accused of murder; the beautiful, wealthy couple hiding secrets from their past. Gwen and Riley are college friends - Gwen with a dark secret that only Riley knows and Riley who has a severe case of PTSD. There also are two lovers hoping to make things more permanent and a married couple, one of whom wants to make things less permanent. And then there is the writer who just wants to escape from it all. When the first victim is found, these secrets begin to unravel until the terror becomes so real it is palpable even to you, the reader. Lapena does a stellar job developing each of the characters. They are fully fleshed out and become very real. We know their secrets, their hopes, their hates and their desires. It is far easier to believe that there must be a mad-man on the loose than it is to believe that one of these guests could be responsible for the mayhem that has ensued. Well, with the exception of one of the guests, a man, for whom I had a particular dislike. Sadly, he has an alibi throughout. There are times when An Unwanted Guest comes dangerously close to becoming "campy" and too "old school;" but, fortunately, Lapena handles those situations beautifully and the book stays well on track racing toward a thrilling conclusion. In fact, I liked this book so much that I would read it all over again just to have the pleasure of re-reading the last page which was both surprising and enormously satisfying! If you have read Lapena in the past then this is a must-read for you. If you love Golden Era mysteries then you will find joy in An Unwanted Guest. If thrillers are your thing then this is a fast paced read that will leave you wanting more from this author. It's a marvelous read from the start to the very last line! I'm extremely appreciative for the opportunity to read and review this advance copy of An Unwanted Guest. My thanks to @ShariLapena, #Edelweiss and #PamelaDormanBooks.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    The snow storm is raging, the cold wind is howling and the roads are icy slick and dangerous as guests arrive at Mitchell's Inn. While a remote location in the mountain's of the Catskills, the inn is inviting with its old world charm; a picture perfect weekend getaway from everyday pressures of city life.....or so one would think. The ominous weather forecast results in only 10 guests and 2 staff.....but the presence of the unwanted "1" leads to an intense and deadly weekend for all. How many wi The snow storm is raging, the cold wind is howling and the roads are icy slick and dangerous as guests arrive at Mitchell's Inn. While a remote location in the mountain's of the Catskills, the inn is inviting with its old world charm; a picture perfect weekend getaway from everyday pressures of city life.....or so one would think. The ominous weather forecast results in only 10 guests and 2 staff.....but the presence of the unwanted "1" leads to an intense and deadly weekend for all. How many will survive? AN UNWANTED GUEST introduces the characters, save one, during Friday evening cocktail hour and the murder-mystery is underway. As the hours tick by, relationships are developed, secrets are exposed and accusations made leading to unsettling confrontations; and as suspicions mount, guests fear who will be the next victim. THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR....a 5 Star read for me....is still my favorite Shari Lapena read, but certainly enjoyed trying to figure out the identity of AN UNWANTED GUEST as the storyline led me in numerous directions. Great atmospheric read! Really enjoy this author's work! (Request still pending at NetGalley....)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce

    3.5 quick reading stars What is better than a weekend getaway, traveling to a quaint remote hotel that promises the very best in accommodations? People are looking forward to wonderful food and beverages, beautiful settings, an aura of romance perhaps, and never thinking at all that a murderer would also be one of the residents for the weekend. This is the premise of the book An Unwanted Guest. It is winter time and the weather, as it often is in the Catskill's, is becoming treacherous. The guests 3.5 quick reading stars What is better than a weekend getaway, traveling to a quaint remote hotel that promises the very best in accommodations? People are looking forward to wonderful food and beverages, beautiful settings, an aura of romance perhaps, and never thinking at all that a murderer would also be one of the residents for the weekend. This is the premise of the book An Unwanted Guest. It is winter time and the weather, as it often is in the Catskill's, is becoming treacherous. The guests become snowed in and as conditions worsen, the electricity goes out and what seems to have been an idyllic weekend becomes one where a murder is committed and all are considered suspects. The game, kind of like the game of Clue, is on as all the residents slowly reveal their secrets. Presently, another body is found dead and the feeling is that a psychopath is systematically killing them off. There is no help coming, they are on their own, and now two people are dead and one is missing. Will anyone survive this encounter with death? This was a very quick read, short chapters and an interesting premise kept one going. There were some quirks in the story line, but overlooking those, it was an enjoyable foray into the mind of a killer or could it be killers? Thank you to Shari Lapena, Pamela Dorman Books, and Edelweiss for a copy of this keen tale. Thanks also go to The Traveling Sisters Reading Group on Goodreads that I have been lucky to be a part of. The discussions we generate make reading even more of a pleasure. My reviews can be found here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    I read The Couple Next Door by the author some years ago and I loved the book. Also, this book's blurb about strangers being trapped in an inn without having a chance to get from the place, with a murderer? I was sold! My only regret with this book is that I wanted to read the book in the middle of the winter, hopefully with a blizzard outside. Instead, I I read it in the middle of one of the hottest summer ever. Not that the outside climate affects the story of the book. It was just that I wa I read The Couple Next Door by the author some years ago and I loved the book. Also, this book's blurb about strangers being trapped in an inn without having a chance to get from the place, with a murderer? I was sold! My only regret with this book is that I wanted to read the book in the middle of the winter, hopefully with a blizzard outside. Instead, I I read it in the middle of one of the hottest summer ever. Not that the outside climate affects the story of the book. It was just that I wanted to get in the mood...;) My favorite kind of stories crime stories are where there are plenty of suspects and you try to figure out who's the killer. And, in An Unwanted Guest have we plenty of suspects to choose from. All of them seem to have secrets they try to keep hidden. I have not read Agatha Christie's books, but I have set plenty of the movies and TV series and this book felt like one of her stories. We even had our own "Poirot" trying to figure out who the killer is. Although we couldn't be sure that he was not the guilty one. Shari Lapena has become a favorite author of mine. I have yet to read A Stranger in the House by her, but it's high on my list of books to read. An Unwanted Guest is an excellent whodunnit book that will keep you guessing right until the end!

  25. 3 out of 5

    Jill Croce-McGill

    An excellent whodunit murder mystery that has the vibe of an Agatha Christie novel. The story takes place in the snowy winter up in the Catskills at Mitchell's Inn set deep in the woods. Only six out of the twelve rooms are occupied for this weekend due to the blizzard that is rapidly on its way. As the blizzard approaches and the weather takes a turn for the worse the electricity goes out and the guests settle in for a very long night. Soon one of the 6 guests mysteriously turns up dead - is it An excellent whodunit murder mystery that has the vibe of an Agatha Christie novel. The story takes place in the snowy winter up in the Catskills at Mitchell's Inn set deep in the woods. Only six out of the twelve rooms are occupied for this weekend due to the blizzard that is rapidly on its way. As the blizzard approaches and the weather takes a turn for the worse the electricity goes out and the guests settle in for a very long night. Soon one of the 6 guests mysteriously turns up dead - is it an accident? The guests start going into panic mode when a second guest suddenly dies - what is going on? All they can do with no power and no contact with the outside world is pray they can survive through the night. Shari Lapena delivers with this one - well-written, fast-paced, chilling, and suspenseful. Highly recommend to all that enjoy the classic murder mystery novels. *Many thanks to Edelweiss and Penguin Publishing Group for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marc Bougharios

    This is by far one of my favourite books by Shari Lapena. Everything I’ve wanted in a book, I got from this one. The suspense, the mystery and the secrets. It had it all. The plot is so simple. People gathered in a hotel while a murdered is killing them one by one but you really don’t know who it is. If you figured it out early then good job, but I did not. I was trying to figure out who it was but I kept alternating within characters and I just gave up and flew through the pages to discover who This is by far one of my favourite books by Shari Lapena. Everything I’ve wanted in a book, I got from this one. The suspense, the mystery and the secrets. It had it all. The plot is so simple. People gathered in a hotel while a murdered is killing them one by one but you really don’t know who it is. If you figured it out early then good job, but I did not. I was trying to figure out who it was but I kept alternating within characters and I just gave up and flew through the pages to discover who it was. I’m proud to say that I was shocked! Very shocked. I did not expect it all and Lapena did a great job with this one keeping the mystery alive. I felt like I was reading an Agatha Christie novel, but with Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple. That’s another thing about this book that I enjoyed. There is no police officer or detective solving the crimes. You have to figure out for yourself and frankly, it kept the suspense alive, for me at least. I couldn’t find one bad thing about this book and I stayed up very late reading it. I really wanted to figure out who the killer was. Everything about this book was perfect. The setting, the atmosphere, it definitely cools you down in the summer! But what I liked most about this book were the characters. Everyone had their own little secret and their own little backstory. While reading every character’s point of view, you get killer vibes from every character and that’s a good thing because you don’t know who you to suspect. The ending was very well wrapped. The killer is revealed but it does not end there. We get a few more pages of another secret revealed and it’s just so great! I thought the story flew very well and it’s not a book that you can just read a few chapters and put down. You’ll want to finish it the same day you got it. So get a lot of coffee ready because I guarantee you’ll want to read this book in one sitting! I recommend this book to any Agatha Christie fans, it’s an enjoyable read for sure!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    The setting for this story is just perfect. A small hotel out in the wilderness, miles from anywhere. It is also one of the coldest times of the year and weather conditions are getting worse. The story reminded me very much of Agatha Christie's 'And Then There Were None'. The hotel being run only by the father and son as the staff haven't been able to make it in and a select number of guests who we get to know in the build up to the first murder. There is something intriguing to each character an The setting for this story is just perfect. A small hotel out in the wilderness, miles from anywhere. It is also one of the coldest times of the year and weather conditions are getting worse. The story reminded me very much of Agatha Christie's 'And Then There Were None'. The hotel being run only by the father and son as the staff haven't been able to make it in and a select number of guests who we get to know in the build up to the first murder. There is something intriguing to each character and you are left wanting to know more so you have to keep turning those pages. I did worry slightly that with there being so many characters it might get confusing but the author writes with such skill that it was easy to keep up with who is who and what was going on. The story gently draws you in, then before you know it you are well and truly hooked. An Unwanted Guest isn't a fast paced thriller by any means, of which I was glad. It doesn't need to be. There is more than enough suspense and intrigue to have you turning those pages and I enjoyed taking my time and getting to know the characters better. It's like a really good 'who dunnit'. As usual, I had absolutely no clue and would never have guessed until all is revealed. The author does well to keep you off track as well as throwing in some surprises. Will certainly be reading more by the author. My thanks to Anne Cater and Penguin Random House for an advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    Excellent. Loved this twisty "locked room" Christie type thriller with a remote hotel, a killer on the loose and a storm raging outside so there IS NO ESCAPE. I didn't call the killer either which I LOVE when that happens. Full review for the blog tour in July.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Couldn’t wait to start this book after loving her other two books as I knew I would be in for a treat and yes the world could have ended whilst reading this and I wouldn’t have noticed!! The story is about people staying in a country inn they are snowed in without phone coverage and Wi-fi, it is disturbing and thrilling at the same time, lots of secrets to be revealed, kept me guessing who the perpetrator was until the end. Have a feeling I will read this book again to look for the hidden clues Couldn’t wait to start this book after loving her other two books as I knew I would be in for a treat and yes the world could have ended whilst reading this and I wouldn’t have noticed!! The story is about people staying in a country inn they are snowed in without phone coverage and Wi-fi, it is disturbing and thrilling at the same time, lots of secrets to be revealed, kept me guessing who the perpetrator was until the end. Have a feeling I will read this book again to look for the hidden clues I missed. Definitely my favourite author of 2018 so far , thank you to netgalley for my copy in exchange for my review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    "An Unwanted Guest" had an old school crime fiction feel to it which was complemented by the dark and oppressive atmospherics. Definitely a little of Agatha Christie in this story which was amazing, it reminded me especially of "And Then There Were None". There aren't many contemporary crime writers who can create this type of atmosphere. Ms Lapena pulls it off with aplomb, everything seems to align to create a story I truly loved. The book is set in the beautiful, if isolated, Catskill mountains "An Unwanted Guest" had an old school crime fiction feel to it which was complemented by the dark and oppressive atmospherics. Definitely a little of Agatha Christie in this story which was amazing, it reminded me especially of "And Then There Were None". There aren't many contemporary crime writers who can create this type of atmosphere. Ms Lapena pulls it off with aplomb, everything seems to align to create a story I truly loved. The book is set in the beautiful, if isolated, Catskill mountains close to the Hudson river at a snow-covered Mitchell's Inn - a local hotel run by James Harwood and his family. All guests have arrived but the weather further deteriorates meaning that there is no longer access to a telephone and the Inn has lost power. Luckily, most of the guests take this in their stride and can see that taking a break from the wider world could be a positive thing. However, when one of them is found dead at the bottom of the stairs, a feeling of fear and mistrust emerges and everyone is on their guard. Some guests have their suspicions but could the victim not simply have fallen? The reply soon comes when another guest is found strangled and the killing doesn't end there. With no way of contacting the police they can only wait until contact can be made - until then suspicion is rife and nobody knows who they can trust. Will they live to tell the tale? Lapena has once again created a readable narrative that effortlessly drew me in. It was an unsettling and uncomfortable story and as the tension builds you are constantly wondering what will happen next. You have no idea who can be trusted and you carry on reading in order to establish who the actual killer is. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my time snowed-in alongside the Mitchell's Inn guests - Lapena did a sound job of ratcheting up the suspense right through to the conclusion. Many thanks to Random House UK -Transworld/Bantam Press for an ARC. I was not required to post a review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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