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Shari Lapena

  • Original Title: AN UNWANTED GUEST
  • Publication date: July 2018
  • Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
  • Country: CA
  • 290 print pages
  • Suspense/In camera


  • Epoch: Contemporary
  • Time Period: 21st century
  • Location setting: United States
  • Themes: PEOPLE facing life, Search for the truth, Death, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Conspiracy, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Violence, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Social relations


A group of unsuspecting guests arrive to a snowy, mountain inn for a weekend away from everyone and everything. Each has their own personal reasons for being there. Whatever the reason, it was going to be a pleasant getaway. But by early the next morning, things take a drastic turn. A body has been found at the bottom of the staircase at the Inn.


In the W H Smith Richard and Judy Book Club list - May 2019
A Sunday Times bestseller

"The intriguing plot echoes an Agatha Christie style murder mystery and is set during a freezing cold and violent ice storm that leaves the guests at an isolated hotel stranded without power. As the guests (each with their own story or deep buried secret) start to die in mysterious circumstances, the terrifying suspense is instantly ratcheted up, therefore making the book impossible to put down." A reader

Shari LaPena is the bestselling author of THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR, a thriller novel being developed as series by Paramount TV, Anonymous Content & Sugar23.


A remote lodge in upstate New York is the perfect getaway... until the bodies start piling up. It's winter in the Catskills and the weather outside is frightful. But Mitchell's Inn is so delightful! The cozy lodge nestled deep in the woods is perfect for a relaxing - maybe even romantic - weekend away. The Inn boasts spacious old rooms with huge wood-burning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a book and someone you love. So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity - and all contact with the outside world - the guests settle in for the long haul. The power's down but they've got candles, blankets, and wood - a genuine rustic experience! Soon, though, a body turns up - surely an accident. When a second body appears, they start to panic. Then they find a third body. Within the snowed-in paradise, something--or someone--is picking off the guests one by one. They can't leave, and with no cell service, there's no prospect of getting the police in until the weather loosens its icy grip. The weekend getaway has turned deadly. For some couples, it's their first time away. For others, it will be their last. And there's nothing they can do about it but huddle down and hope they can survive the storm.

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  • Author’s biography

    Shari Lapena is a Canadian writer. She worked as a lawyer and as an English teacher before turning to writing fiction. She is a graduate of The Humber School for Writers. Her first novel, THINGS GO FLYING, was shortlisted for the 2009 Sunburst Award. She won the Globe and Mail’s Great Toronto Literary Project contest, and was shortlisted for the 2006 CBC Literary Awards. Her second novel, HAPPINESS ECONOMICS (2011) was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Paramount Television, Anonymous Content and Sugar23 have optioned the rights to her novel THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR to develop as a television series.