An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
A cozy hotel in the Catskills is the perfect retreat for the guests fleeing Manhattan and their busy lives for the weekend. Many guests have cancelled before the snowstorm hits but ten guests manage to arrive before the storm becomes a blizzard and makes the roads impassable. The remaining staff are a father and son team who live in an apartment on site but with the small number of guests they are sure they will be able to handle anything that happens. Or so they think. Saturday morning one of the guests is found dead at the bottom of the stairs. Was it an accident? Or was it murder at one of the other guests suggests? Waiting for the storm to end, the phone lines to be restored, the power to come back on, and the plows to start clearing the roads the guests keep themselves occupied but when the second body is found they all realize that one of the ten remaining people in the hotel is a murderer.
I love a good closed room mystery and this is even better since it is an entire building with a cast of characters who are closed in. It’s the modern day but with no cell phone service; characters who think another one is familiar need to rely on their memories instead of Google. The elimination of the Internet made this feel like a mystery set in Christie’s era and I really liked the feel of it. The story is told from different perspectives so you learn the secrets of some characters and are guessing about the others. If you pay very close attention I think you can guess whodunnit because you can figure out who has the opportunity but the motive is only hinted at but that didn’t bother me in the least.
Fans of a good old fashioned mystery will find a lot to love in these pages but do not read this while on vacation in a nice bed and breakfast. Trust me on this one.