Tuesday, August 7, 2018

An Unwanted Guest - Shari Lapena

I've really enjoyed Shari Lapena's first two books, but her latest, An Unwanted Guest, is now my favourite. I started reading with my tea one weekend morning and finished up that evening, with the to-do list still waiting.

Mitchell's Inn is one of those cozy little family run hotels, perfect for a quiet, relaxing getaway. But for the latest guests of Mitchell's Inn, that's not going to happen. A winter blizzard knocks out the power. No wi-fi, no phones. The ice and snow makes it impossible to leave. Now here's the kicker....one of the guests turns up dead. It looks like she just may have accidentally fallen down the stairs. But then a second guest dies and this time there's no mistake - it is most definitely murder.

What's not to love!? Isolated setting. No contact with the outside world. And lots of suspects - there's no way to know if the murderer is one of the guests or staff or if there's an unknown someone on the premises.

Lapena has done a great job creating her characters. We meet the ten guests and get a feel for who they are. As things progress, we are privy to their inner thoughts - and secrets. Many of them have something in their past that they want to keep there. As the storm continues, the civility of strangers deteriorates. Suspicions and accusations are openly thrown about. And the body count continues.

Delicious reading! An Unwanted Guest will bring to mind an Agatha Christie novel - And Then There Were None. Lapena has crafted her own take on the 'locked room' mystery. There are enough possibilities presented as to who the guilty party might be, that I really never guessed who it was before the final reveal. And then.....Lapena throws in a last minute gotcha - an absolutely perfect way to end the book.

An Unwanted Guest was such a great read - I loved it! Read an excerpt of An Unwanted Guest.


Kay said...

My thoughts are up today on this one, Luanne. I felt it was very good. It brought Agatha Christie to mind for me as well. Yes, And Then There Were None, but I also thought of The Mousetrap - her play that had the longest run ever in London. I think it was the snowstorm and being marooned that did it. Have you read that play? Anyway, I very much agree with all you said. Good job! ;-)

bermudaonion said...

I've read some mixed things about this one so I'm not sure if I'll read it. I did love one of the author's earlier books.

Luanne said...

Thanks Kay, and I think your Mousetrap observation is spot on as well.

Bermudaonion - add it to your list of future reads (mine is getting quite long!)

I found the best Aluminum Boats said...

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 in and hope they can survive the storm.

Dianna said...

I saw this today at Books A Million and almost bought it! My daughter's language arts class read And Then There Were None last year - she loved it. I think I'll grab a copy of this so we can share it.

Luanne said...

I found the best Aluminum boats - yup, that's it in a nutshell!

Dianna - I hope you both enjoy it!