Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing a suspense novel by Shari Lapena called An Unwanted Guest – without giving any spoilers away, of course. Before we begin, I will be placing a trigger warning on An Unwanted Guest for general violence. I devoured this book in less than a week and really enjoyed it so let’s get to it:
Mitchell’s Inn is a quaint mountain lodge that boasts beautiful scenery, lush furnishings, and the piece de resistance of no WiFi. It is the place to be for a romantic getaway or to unwind with friends for a long weekend. With attentive staff, gourmet meals, and an abundance of activities the guests arriving don’t think that anything could possibly go wrong. But, we all know in a thriller that that is never the case!
An Unwanted Guest features a wide array of players all at Mitchell’s for the weekend. However, thanks to a massive snow storm, the inn is fairly empty and devoid of staff other than the owner and his son who live on site. We have Lauren and Ian, Dana and Matthew, best friends Gwen and Riley, Beverly and Henry, Candice, and David. Despite the snow, all of the guests are trying to make the most of their visit. But, things take a dark turn both literally and metaphorically when the power goes out, plunging them into bitter cold and darkness.
The guests wake the following morning disappointed that the power is still out but their troubles are just beginning as Dana’s body is discovered at the foot of the stairs with a nasty head wound. The suspicions point to her fiance, Matthew, as the culprit but the murderer could be any one of them. And, as more bodies are discovered throughout the weekend, it turns into the ultimate whodoneit.
Tensions are high and dark secrets come to light as each guest tries to plead their case of not guilty. But is it one of them or is someone lurking about Mitchell’s Inn who most definitely isn’t on the guest list? Who is the murderer and who will be left standing? Read An Unwanted Guest to find out!
Upon starting this book, I wasn’t so sure about it. But I am genuinely unsure why because I was hooked about thirty pages in. An Unwanted Guest is a fast paced murder mystery and goes back and forth between each guest every page or so. What would be a somewhat tired plot felt brand new with the addition of the power outage. It added such a spooky vibe to this read because the killer could be right behind any of the guests at any time and they would be none the wiser.
I was very impressed with An Unwanted Guest because, given the amount of people that were narrating, there was bound to be a dud in there somewhere. However, all of the characters added their own unique touches and stories to the mix and I was excited to read each of their takes on the events. The grand reveal was also nothing to sneeze at, either. Although I did figure it out prior to, my jaw still dropped as to the reason why and I think yours will too.
I am going to award An Unwanted Guest with a nine out of ten stars. This is a book that I highly recommend and I plan on reading more from Shari Lapena in the future. If you are a fan of a good old fashioned whodoneit, then this is the book for you.
What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah