An Unwanted Guest

An Unwanted Guest

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 w...

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Title:An Unwanted Guest
Author:Shari Lapena
Rating:
Edition Language:English

An Unwanted Guest Reviews

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Holly  B

    The hotel is three stories with a grand staircase, reminiscent of 

    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

    .

    The hotel isn't full. Six rooms will be occupied out of the twelve available. Some folks seem to have can

    The hotel is three stories with a grand staircase, reminiscent of 

    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

    .

    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

    (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

    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.

  • 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!

  • Kaceey - Traveling Sister

    A group of unsuspecting guests arrive to a snowy, mountain inn for a weekend away from everyone and everything. Each has their own personal reasons for being there. Re-kindle a faltering romance, repair a once close friendship. Maybe even a working weekend. Whatever the reason, it was going to be a pleasant getaway.

    But by early the next morning, things take a drastic turn. A body has been found at the bottom of the staircase at the Inn. And that's only the begin

    A group of unsuspecting guests arrive to a snowy, mountain inn for a weekend away from everyone and everything. Each has their own personal reasons for being there. Re-kindle a faltering romance, repair a once close friendship. Maybe even a working weekend. Whatever the reason, it was going to be a pleasant getaway.

    But by early the next morning, things take a drastic turn. A body has been found at the bottom of the staircase at the Inn. And that's only the beginning...

    Told from the POV of every guest there! I was concerned I might struggle keeping the large cast of characters and their POV’s straight. Happy to report, that was never an issue!

    This was a light, thrilling joy-ride of a read! Kind of a refreshing palate-cleanser between the darker thrillers I usually read! Kept me in the dark and guessing right to the end! And no... I didn’t guess correctly! Maybe you’ll have better luck than I did!

    If you’re looking for something on the lighter side then this is the perfect read for you! Enjoy!

    A buddy read with Susanne!🌸

    Thank you to Edelweiss Penguin Publishing Group and Shari Lapena for an ARC to read and review.

  • 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.

  • Chelsea Humphrey

    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

    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!

  • Rose (Traveling Sister)

    WELL, I DID IT. I willed myself through another Lapena novel despite being completely underwhelmed by

    This one is a bit more interesting, but it definitely didn’t blow my mind. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC.

    Considering

    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

    This one is a bit more interesting, but it definitely didn’t blow my mind. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC.

    Considering

    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.

    Jokes aside,

    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:

    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

    than in

    , 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!

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