An Unwanted Guest

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

Thoughts Before Reading:

So when this book was published, I saw it constantly on Goodreads. They had a ton of book trailers, and every time I went on the site, the page would “load” and then play it.

So when I saw it at the Library, I was stoked to read it!

It sort of is a play on And Then There Were Nonestrangers all stuck, snowed in at a resort, and then they start dropping like flies. Which one is the killer-or is there a stranger in the resort?


Plot Synopsis:

Our mystery is set at the Catskills, a beautiful, remote resort.

Gwen Delaney is in Communications. She has never been able to move forward from witnessing a rape in college, and the guilt of doing nothing about it. She studied journalism, but as she could not tell truth, went a different route. Her idea was to bring her friend Riley, to the secluded resort, but now isn’t sure it is such a great idea. Could there be more to her than a sweet, innocent girl-could she have a dark side?


Riley Shuter was always the confident, brash, drop dead gorgeous girl who people loved/hated-but since she has been overseas in Iraq-she is not the same woman. She has severe PTSD, drinks far too much, and is acting strange. Could she have finally cracked?

David Paley is a defense attorney, who is taking a leave of absence. His wife was murdered, with many believing him to have done it. He was acquitted, but is he a murderer? Could someone have known something and he had to silence them?

Lauren Day and Ian Beeton are traveling for a romantic getaway. At first the two corroborate each other’s stories, but then it turns out that they aren’t each other’s perfect alibi. In fact, there are a lot that the two don’t know about each other-could one have a secret they’d kill for?

Beverly Sullivan had planned this romantic getaway for her and her husband Henry only to find out that he has a mistress. He wants the relationship to be over, but Beverly doesn’t. Could this have been a plot to stay together? To further separate? Or could this news have caused one to crack?

Dana Hart is from a poor family, but did all she could to catch a wealthy man. Matthew Hutchinson is that man, except he won’t marry her. The two have a fight-could it have been the last straw-could one have killed?

Candice White is a writer, escaping her duties of taking care of her elderly mother, to work on her book. She is very observant, watching everyone. Could she have seen something, or could there be more to her as well?


Which one, which one-or is there an unknown, “unwanted”, guest killing. Will they find out before they are all dead.

Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this was very well written. WE only know bits and pieces of each character-essentially having no clue as to who could possibly be the killer. It was so well written, but as we neared the end I began to get worried.

Everything was great up until the end. The characters, the tension, the buildup, the suspense-but then the cops finally come, are there for a little bit, and all is solved.

I know, right?

The only problem with giving us so little about the characters it felt as if in the end it was too quickly sewn up.

The last few pages she wrapped everything up very quickly which threw off the pacing and, in my opinion, weakened it.

Very distressing as the rest if the book was fantastic.

For more mysteries not in a series, go to Pieces of Her

For more romantic getaways that turn to murder, go to Murder on Ice


Murder on Ice

Murder on Ice (The Nancy Drew Files #3) by Carolyn Keene

Background Information:

It’s been a couple of months since we reviewed one of these mysteries, so let me do a bit of background information.

So this series began in the ’80s and have some updates from the original series. Nancy Drew originally was a 16 year-old, high school, amateur detective, but in this version she has been aged up to 18, and a high school graduate.

She still lives in River Heights, IL and is in a long distance relationship with Ned Nickerson, who is a student at Emerson College.

Her friends are still cousins Bess Marvin and George Fayne; Bess being the beautiful blonde shopaholic who is always eating and George the super athlete in every way. Instead of a blue roadster, in this book she gets a blue mustang convertible.

One of the best things I love in this series are the clothes, the author (as Carolyn Keene is a pseudonym), always gives great detail to what she wears. I’m totally going to add a special section at the end.

One other thing that this series does a little differently is that every book cover has a handsome guy on it, someone who appears in the book. Some people hate that, but I always think of it as a fun guessing game as we try and figure out which of the characters it is.

Another thing this book series does, is that since it is a “case file” there is a little information sheet at the very beginning. Sometimes the suspects mentioned turn out to be who did it, while other times the person whodoneit is someone Nancy never saw coming.

So enough review:

THE CASEFind the midnight prowler who’s causing a string of nasty “accidents” at Webb Cove Ski Lodge-even if it means ruining a romantic vacation with Ned

CONTACT: Liz Whitcomb, owner of the lodge. She wants Nancy’s help-but has she got something to hide?


  • Luke Ericsen, the lodge’s ski instructor. He’s a man with a mysterious-and maybe murderous-past.
  • Michael Price, a handsome, helpful stranger. He saved Nancy from a serious accident. Is he being a white knight? Or does he have a darker motive?
  • Gunther, a cheerful German student enjoying an American vacation. He came to the lodge for fun-or could he be there for revenge?

COMPLICATIONS: George Fayne has fallen for Luke Ericsen-with the blindness of first love. How can Nancy tell her Luke could be a killer? Then a blizzard cuts the lodge off from the rest of the world, and the prowler strikes again. Ned, George, and Nancy find their lives on the line!

So Nancy was supposed to have a vacation in Deadly Intent but that didn’t work out-so here they are again. This time Nancy, Bess, George, and Ned are heading to the Web Cove Ski Lodge for a relaxing ski vacation.

You really think it will be that easy?

Nancy needs this vacation as Ned is growing tired of all their time being devoted to mysteries instead of each other.

But the vacation doesn’t last long, as they are signing in Bess makes a joke about Nancy, Nancy Drew, Notorious Girl Detective. Liz, the owner of the ski lodge asks Nancy to help her by investigating the strange things that have been occurring.

On the case!

A man was seen peeking in the windows, the kitchen lock was messed with, angry violent calls asking for a John, and snow tracks around after 2:00 am. Liz has no clue why anyone would want to break in.

They meet the others staying there, Gunther-there with a group and latches onto beautiful Bess. Then there is Luke, a snob, the ski instructor. He is pretty good, but it looks like his injured leg kept him from the olympics.

The next day they are ready for skiing. Luke is a safety-nazi, he tells Nancy not to use the ski lift until he’s checked it. Before he does he goes to show Ned his skis, as Ned is interested in buying them. He and Ned go off, but Nancy doesn’t want to wait. She uses the the tow line, that only Luke uses, but the line has been cut and she falls.

She is saved by a blonde stranger and Luke. But after Luke denies seeing the other guy.

That’s not the only thing that goes strange-Luke’s skis that he plans on selling, end up being sabotaged while Ned was using them-Ned being injured.

Then Ned and Nancy use Luke’s car without his knowledge, but the lines are cut and they barely manage to get safely out when it blows up.

To make things worse a blizzard comes and they are trapped in a ski lodge with a murderer. Will they be able to figure it out and stop him, or will he claim another victim.

Thoughts After Reading:

This is one of my least favorite stories. Nancy is so convinced Luke is the killer when EVERYTHING points to someone being after him! It was not very good at all. But you know, every series has one bump in the road.

Nancy’s next case:

Another thing I loved about these mysteries is that they were designed like radio shows and TV episodes. They always made sure to leave you with a little preview of what will come next:

Nancy’s next case:

Working undercover for a hot new teen magazine, Nancy’s assignment is to protect the publisher…from murder.

She’s also trying to save her relationship with Ned. He’s tired of taking a backseat to every case that comes along, and he’s met a girl more interested in him than in mysteries.

Nancy must risk losing her love-and her life-in SMILE AND SAY MURDER–Case #4 in The Nancy Drew Files™.

For more on The Nancy Drew Files, go to Deadly Intent

For more Nancy Drew, go to The Demon of River Heights

For more Carolyn Keene, go to Secrets Can Kill