Book Reviews

Book Review: An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

Happy Monday bookish people! The fourth book review today is for An Unwanted Guest. I’ve recently gotten into reading the mystery/thriller genre and so far I am loving it.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy the book review!

An Unwanted Guest Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The plot of this novel gave me classic crime, Agatha Christie’s Poirot style vibes. With the remote Inn where all the guests get snowed in and then a murder happens. This is the style of murder mystery I truly enjoy. The whole time my brain was whirring trying to figure out who the murderer was and why they did it. I will admit now, I did not guess it correctly. There are so many twists in this book, secrets hidden by all of the guests and none of them can be trusted. I read this book in an afternoon and loved every second of it. I felt that the changing between the scenes could have been smoother because sometimes I did get confused about where I was but this didn’t impact much on my enjoyment.

An Unwanted Guest Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You get an introduction to almost all of the characters and all of them have mystery surrounding them. Some have marital problems, some have jealousy and some have even worse secrets. I found each character to be engaging and interesting however, I didn’t feel that I liked any of them and I certainly didn’t trust any of them.

Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The dialogue in this book worked brilliantly with the atmosphere. It gave the characters personalities and their interactions with each other spoke volumes with minimal words. The writing style was clever, dynamic and creative. It was smooth to read and I barely remembered that I was not in the story myself because of this.

An Unwanted Guest Overall Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars because I really enjoyed the mystery, the atmosphere and how everything came together. I felt that some parts of the book needed a tiny bit more explaining and some things weren’t fully resolved at the end but overall I loved the book.

Blurb/Synopsis:

A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away

It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

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 and try to make the best of it.

Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead–it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic.

Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm–and one another.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Windsor Knot by S J Bennett

Happy Monday bookish people! It’s time for another book review (1 of 5 book reviews that I will be posting today). I’m catching up with the book reviews for all the books I’ve read so far this year. I read The Windsor Knot in January after seeing it in my local bookshop, I didn’t buy it there my friend actually sent me a copy. I thought it looked like a unique mystery novel, the Queen solving murders in her free time? I needed to read it.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review!

Plot:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This is the first book in a series and I’ll start by saying that I will be continuing the series because it is an original and compelling take on the murder mystery genre. I found myself unable to put this book down because I wanted to know how the case would unravel at the end. However, I felt like the majority of the story focused on other characters rather than the Queen and I would have liked to have seen her feature more in the case. I enjoyed that there was a twist with the murder itself at the beginning of the novel and the twists kept coming which kept me hooked on the book. Personally, I think that the plot could have been developed further, maybe by making the book longer, but also this is the first book of the series and I think that as the series goes on the plots will get better.

Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The characters were okay. I personally didn’t believe in them, or get recruited to them and their motivations. I felt that there were a lot of characters that were introduced in one sentence and barely mentioned throughout the book but at the end they were important to the plot and for me this meant that I didn’t have the chance to enjoy the characters or to develop any real feelings towards them. The main character throughout the novel, Rozie, is an interesting protagonist that takes you along the journey of solving the case. She is a likeable and intelligent character, I’m glad we got so much of her in the plot because I enjoyed following her thoughts.

Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

For me the writing style was hard to get into. There was nothing technically wrong with it but something about it was difficult for me. Some pages I had to read through more than once, this didn’t have much of an impact on my overall enjoyment of the book however it did have an impact on my star rating for the book. However, this is only my opinion on the writing style.

Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I gave The Windsor Knot 3 stars overall because I enjoyed it however, there were some parts of the plot that I think let the story down. I struggled a little with the physical reading of the book and I felt that there wasn’t enough of the Queen in the book.

Blurb/Synopsis:

The first book in a highly original and delightfully clever crime series in which Queen Elizabeth II secretly solves crimes while carrying out her royal duties.

It is the early spring of 2016 and Queen Elizabeth is at Windsor Castle in advance of her 90th birthday celebrations. But the preparations are interrupted when a guest is found dead in one of the Castle bedrooms. The scene suggests the young Russian pianist strangled himself, but a badly tied knot leads MI5 to suspect foul play was involved. The Queen leaves the investigation to the professionals—until their suspicions point them in the wrong direction.

Unhappy at the mishandling of the case and concerned for her staff’s morale, the monarch decides to discreetly take matters into her own hands. With help from her Assistant Private Secretary, Rozie Oshodi, a British Nigerian and recent officer in the Royal Horse Artillery, the Queen secretly begins making inquiries. As she carries out her royal duties with her usual aplomb, no one in the Royal Household, the government, or the public knows that the resolute Elizabeth will use her keen eye, quick mind, and steady nerve to bring a murderer to justice.

SJ Bennett captures Queen Elizabeth’s voice with skill, nuance, wit, and genuine charm in this imaginative and engaging mystery that portrays Her Majesty as she’s rarely seen: kind yet worldly, decisive, shrewd, and most importantly a great judge of character.

That’s it for this book review, let me know if you enjoyed it, if you’ve read The Windsor Knot and what you thought of it!