Oh, the weather outside is….well, weather. We’re in Northeast Ohio, so we’re used to wacky weather, right? Right. In keeping with the recent snow, I’ve got three thrillers that are set in snowy situations that directly impact the plot and the actions taken by our main characters. Cozy up with a cup of hot cocoa and your favorite blanket, and get ready for some great reads!
It’s winter in the Catskills, and a group of strangers – some couples, some singles – converge at Mitchell’s Inn for weekend getaways. As the guests at the inn mingle and get to know each other, the weather begins taking a turn for the worst. A blizzard hits, snowing the guests in, and the next thing they know, the power and phone lines go down as well. The guests settle in and try to make the best of it by cozying up around the fire. Soon, one of the guests turns up dead, and everyone wants to believe it was an accident. When a second guest dies, it starts to look more like someone is picking them off one by one. With no way to escape from the inn, the guests are forced to hunker down and survive. Is the killer a stowaway in the inn, or is it one of the guests? This is a locked room style mystery reminiscent of Agatha Christie, and will keep you guessing until the end!
The Hunting Party also takes place at an inn where the guests are snowed in, but this time, it’s a group of thirty-something college friends spending New Years Eve together at a posh hunting lodge in the Scottish Highlands. Not long after they arrive on December 30, an historic blizzard hits, trapping them in the lodge, where it soon becomes obvious that the group of friends is not as close as they once were. Secrets and betrayal swirl around, and when one of the friends ends up dead, they instantly become suspicious of each other. Who is the killer, and why? Was it a crime of passion, or is something more sinister afoot? While this is similar to An Unwanted Guest, the fact that the group all know each other and have a history together sets this book apart and makes for an intriguing character study.
When college student Darby Thorne gets word that her estranged mother has cancer and doesn’t have long to live, she jumps in her car and starts driving, not realizing that there’s a blizzard starting in the mountains of Colorado. She has no choice but to stop at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere when the roads become dangerously impassable. In the rest stop are four complete strangers, who seem nice enough to Darby. When Darby goes outside to see if she can get any sort signal on her phone, she sees movement in the back of the van parked next to her car. As Darby gets closer, she realizes there’s a little girl locked up in a cage in the van. One of the strangers in the rest stop is a kidnapper, but who? Can Darby figure out a way to escape the rest stop with the little girl? Hang on tight for a fast-paced ride, as Darby decides who she can trust among the strangers.