An Unwanted Guest

7 CDs. Books on Tape. Aug. 2018. 8:30 hrs. ISBN 9780525532255. $35. digital download. F
Put a handful of strangers into an isolated inn during a ferocious blizzard, capped off with an ice storm, and you have the perfect classic setting for a series of murders. The first victim seems to have had an accident, but the need to keep the corpse in the middle of things amps up the nerves. The body count rises quickly in the cold and dark. Lapena uses this familiar mystery setting to good effect with questionable histories, plausible suspicions, a power outage, and available liquor to keep readers guessing—it has to be one of the guests, or maybe not. The vacation weekend getaway is peopled with lovers and troubled marriages, jealousies, temptations, and tensions that keep the plot moving. There are no obvious outliers but reasons enough to think it could be any one of the stranded guests and minimal staff. Narrator Hillary Huber skillfully conveys the thrills and fears.
VERDICT Recommended for mystery fans, especially on a winter's night when the wind howls. ["A great whodunit, with a delicious Christie-like vibe. Fans of the author's first novel will want this, and anyone who savors a well-crafted murder mystery will gobble it up!": LJ 8/18 starred review of the Viking hc.]—Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo

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