An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena is a cozy murder mystery that centers around an interesting cast, all of whom have brought more than just their overnight packs of baggage with them!
This was the perfect read for a cold January day! I could not put it down.
My Thoughts on An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
Can you imagine being snowed in at an inn with a bunch of strangers out in the middle of nowhere? That alone sounds like a nightmare to me! But add in a murderer that is on the loose and a power outage?! No thank you!
But that is exactly the situation that this cast of characters finds themselves in when they have traveled to an inn for a nice weekend away. This tale beings on a very snowy and windy Friday afternoon, and ends on a Sunday evening. But not everyone who arrived at the inn walks out of there alive.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the characters and some initial notes about them:
- Gwen Delaney is taking Riley Shuter for a weekend getaway to help Riley relax after being in a war-zone as a reporter.
- David Paley, a criminal attorney, is determined not to think of work for the weekend as he spends time away from the city.
- Lauren Day and Ian Beeton are a couple that want a naughty weekend away. They come across Gwen and Riley who’s car had gone off the road, and drive them to the inn.
- Beverly and Henry Sullivan are in a rough spot in their marriage. Beverly is hoping to fix the rift between them while they are away for the weekend.
- Dana Hart and Matthew Hutchinson are engaged and want a relaxing weekend away from wedding planning before the big day arrives.
- Candice White is there for the weekend working on a book and trying not to worry about family.
- James and Bradley are a father and son duo who own/run the inn.
Very early on, I realized that I disliked many of the characters. This usually kills a story for me, but in this case it just worked. Each of the characters was just so interesting to me! I loved learning more about each of them and seeing just how much personal baggage they all brought with them.
I won’t talk too much about the actual story-line, as this is definitely one you want to read on your own! I will say two quick notes about the ending in the two paragraphs below, so feel free to skip those!
Try as I might, near the end of the book, I could not even wager a bet on who the killer was. When it was revealed, it was so wonderfully done. I immediately wanted to start reading again to see if I could pick up on it the second time around!
And then… this book had my all time favorite elements… There was a very last bit that made me close the book and immediately stare into space thinking, “Woah, what?!”
Beware, the slight negatives:
My only slight irk is simply that there was a lot of repetition.
Many of the characters, especially Gwen and Riley, thought the same things over and over and over again. Some of this repetition made sense based on the situation that they were in, but other times it was just a little irritating.
Also, where the book jumped perspectives quite a bit, there was a lot of recaps that kept occurring that I didn’t love simply because repetition is my major reading irk. If I hadn’t read this book in two sittings, I don’t think I would have picked up on the repetition as much… but I still had to note it. That all being said, that actually didn’t affect my overall rating in the slightest!
My Favorite Passages from An Unwanted Guest
Her thoughts are speeding away with her like a runaway train headed for catastrophe.
How dangerous people can become when they’re scared…
My Final Thoughts on An Unwanted Guest
Overall, I really enjoyed this read! I loved how I was totally sucked into the story, even though I didn’t love all of the characters. I was so antsy to see what would happen next! And that ENDING!
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Thanks for reading!
If you enjoy cozy murder mysteries, I would love some recommendations! Feel free to give a shout to your favorite book from this genre in the comments below.