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Snow Place for Murder

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I had really high hopes for this to be such a cozy mystery, but mostly I'm just annoyed with the MC and sick of reading every single thought that goes through her head. The mystery didn't even begin until nearly 50% of the way through. Maybe it's just not for me, but I did not connect with this book at all.

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SNOW PLACE FOR MURDER
by DIANE KELLY

This is the third book in the Mountain Lodge mystery series. However, I don’t believe it’s necessary to read the other two books before this one.

Misty Murphy owns a lodge in North Carolina. I resort developer has bottle the lodge for the week prior to Christmas and has invited some wealthy American investors. It is a wonderful setting for a story.

I don’t like to do spoilers but because it’s in the title there is a murder, and they need to solve the crime.

It was a nice cozy read, and I can see how the rest of the series would be enjoyable to read as well.

I have added both of the previous books to my tbr.

If you want an enjoyable Christmas read, you may wish to pick this.

Thank you to #stmartinspaperbacks and @netgalley for the advanced reading copy.

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Snow Place for Murder: A Mountain Lodge Mystery
By Diane Kelly
St. Martin’s Paperbacks
October 2023

Review by Cynthia Chow

It’s the winter season, and North Carolina Mountain Lodge owner Misty Murphy is thrilled that her college-attending sons will be visiting for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. And since their divorce was about as conscious-uncoupling and friendly as one could be, Misty doesn’t mind that her ex-husband Jack will be accompanying them. Jack’s first meeting with Misty’s new boyfriend does go a little awkwardly though, with Jack knocking on her bedroom door with a bottle of wine only to discover that Rockford Crowder already had the same idea. Once that is out of the way though, they all take advantage of the season with Misty’s sons joining Rock’s daughter on the slopes for snowboarding and warm meals by the fire. Misty still has to attend to her guests though, as venture capitalist Nigel Goodwin has come all the way from London to host prospective investors in his next development. Misty is a little worried about what a new resort could do to the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, but her concern is nothing compared to that of environmentalist/photographer/researcher Gus Bingenheimer. Things take a dire turn when Jack Jr. and Mitch Murphy discover what they have yet to realize is a nose on the slopes, with the rest of Nigel Goodwin’s body buried under the snow. It doesn’t take long for police to discover that the investor was frozen even before he was buried, meaning that his death was not an accident and that one of Misty’s guests could be a murderer.

The occasional chapters narrated by Misty’s fluffy white feline Yeti always provide unique yet very cat-like observations, keeping the novel grounded in reality. The Murphy and Crowder family meals provide an immense amount of relatable humor, and readers will be wanting more of the brief appearances by Phoebe “Pebbles” Crawford. Unexpectedly fascinating are Misty’s responsibilities running the lodge, not to mention the laws regarding guest privacy and lack thereof. The writing is always clever and filled with humorous dialogue, and Misty continues to be an extraordinarily likable character. She is probably the most relatable heroine of Diane Kelly’s many hilarious novels, but that doesn’t mean that she isn’t just as compelling. These snow-filled adventures leading up to Misty’s Christmas celebration ensure that this is the perfect cozy read to snuggle up with and enjoy for the holiday season.

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A great holiday cozy read when you are ready for snow! Misty Murphy is still fairly new to owning the Mountaintop Lodge in North Carolina, but is preparing to be fully booked up for a whole week after Thanksgiving. But the boost in business goes bad when the would-be resort developer who brought a full house of potential investors along is found frozen dead outside her lodge.

The characters are down to earth and charming. Misty, along with her handyman love-interest. The plot has some unexpected twists along the, but the lodge stays cozy, warm, and inviting even while it seems a murderer may be living alongside them.

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This is book three of The Mountain Lodge Mystery series. I have read the first two, but this could be read as a stand-alone if you haven't.

Once again, we are treated to the POV of both Misty and her cat Yeti. I sort of like Yeti's perspective. Sure, it doesn't add anything to the story, but everything's better with a cat.

Snow Place for Murder was very slow paced. It seemed like the murder happened farther into the story than most cozy mysteries, but once it got going, it was a well thought out mystery. I also enjoyed the snowy winter vibes and the charming setting.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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When I started reading this book, I thought it sounded vaguely familiar, then I discovered it was one of a series. The plot was very similar to the other one I read. Shysty person brings people to the resort, subsequently is found murdered and all the guests are suspects. In this book, the motive was very weak and really did not feel right. Also the incident with the sleds was unbelievable and lame. I doubt I will read any more of this series. Too bad when I read the first one, I thought it had potential.

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First and foremost I would like to thank Netgalley and the publishing company for allowing me to read this ARC. Thank y’all so much!

What would describe as a cozy mountain murder mystery has lodge owner Misty on her toes.

Such a fun read and it’s easy to follow consider I didn’t read the other books in the series

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In Diane Kelly’s latest Mountain Lodge mysteries, Snow Place for Murder, it’s almost Christmas and her two boys are spending their college break at her lodge in Beech Mountain to help out and get some snowboarding in. A developer wanting to build a resort nearby has booked her lodge for the week so he can present an investment pitch to wealthy investors. With locals against the idea & a blizzard what can go wrong? Great characters, perfect setting since I enjoy vacationing there!

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Returning to the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountain town setting and the cozy comfort of Misty’s inn for a new seasonal mystery was an anticipated reading experience for me and I was not disappointed.

Snow Place for Murder is the third installment in the Mountain Lodge cozy mystery series. Each book can be read standalone and, in fact, I started with book two and did just fine.

Misty hosts a family Thanksgiving for her ex and two college age sons, JJ and Mitch, her new boyfriend, Rocky, and his daughter. A good time was had by all. JJ and Mitch stay on to help Misty at the lodge while her assistant takes a long holiday break. The lodge is hosting an international resort developer who is the new owner of a nearby patch of land he plans to turn into a resort, his wife, assistant, and his potential investor guests. First, a local group of protestors who, for their various reasons, don’t want the land developed into a resort and then the murder of Nigel, the developer, turn the cozy mountain holidays into a murder investigation.

After reading, A Trip With Trouble, I was positively impressed with Diane Kelly’s writing, the setting, the characters, and her mystery plot so I wanted to keep going with the series. Like that book, Snow Place for Murder took some time to develop the ongoing relationships and give a wonderful seasonal feel starting with the family Thanksgiving. It might seem there would be some drama since Misty hosted her ex and kids with her boyfriend and one of his kids, but she had an amicable divorce after the kids were grown, and a careful slow burn romance with Rocky, her boyfriend and handyman.

The story then changed gears and it was time for Misty, Rocky, and her sons to go to work hosting a group for a week at the lodge. A blizzard sets in adding atmosphere when the mystery part of the story gets going. The pacing stays steady and slower as an observant Misty works with the police sharing what she has seen and heard, using her position to subtly question suspects and witnesses, and follow a moderately twisting path to the reveal. I do like how Misty works with law enforcement and duly considers her actions.

The conclusion with the family Christmas and the hot tub Rocky put in to improve the lodge’s appeal was the perfect satisfying finish to a holiday cozy mystery. I enjoyed being back in the Blue Ridge with Misty and the others and will be continuing with the series. I invite you to join me.

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Pro:
* The mountain setting
* The ongoing developing relationships among the regular characters
* I like having Misty and Rocky’s families in the story
* Like the first two books, I find myself drawn in and simply wanting to read it.
* The first third is promising.

Con:
* Gimmicky cat perspective chapters.
* I appreciate diversity, but it feels contrived and announced in this series. I’d like to see character descriptions blended into the plot more smoothly.
* Misty’s constant violation of her guests’ privacy.
* The figuring out the mystery process is painfully unbelievable: Police are not going to share every bit of information about the case with a civilian like Misty when the case is ongoing.
* She doesn’t weave the clues in subtly enough. Too much “beat you over the head with it” repetition.

Thank you to Diane Kelly, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

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I have [mostly] enjoyed this series [more on that later] and I was really looking forward to reading this new one. While I am not sorry I read this [because again, I mostly enjoyed it], I am a little disappointed in how this one played out.

Misty is typically a great MC and she does a good job here, but some of her actions throughout the book have dipped into an area that I dislike - where nosiness and curiosity dip into borderline criminal behavior [one should NOT be sneaking outside of other's windows with their phone video camera running, NOR is snooping in the rooms and deliberately listening in on other's conversations] and it made me uncomfortable while she was...ahem, helping. There was also quite a bit of repetition throughout the book [a new trope that is already O L D imo] and that got old and tiring after awhile.

I liked the addition of her sons [even though their borderline disrespect for their mother grated on my last nerve] and their willingness to do their job and do it well before spending the day skiing and Rocky's daughter Pebble [such a cute play on words there] was also a welcome addition, though we don't see much of her.

I knew who was going to be killed, I knew who the murder was [though not the why and that was heartbreaking. WRONG of course. 100% wrong, but grief and the idea of revenge will never steer anyone towards anything good] from the moment they were introduced and [the biggest thing], those D*MN CAT CHAPTERS. I hate them. They are stupid, they don't add to the story, they interrupt the flow [and often made me want to chuck the book across the room] and did I say how STUPID they are?? IF they were adding to the story, or helping the MC solve the mystery, then I could probably wrap my head around the need for them, but that is not the case here and UGH UGH UGH!!! I do believe, should there be a book 4 [which I would read], I would make a list of all the Yeti chapters and just skip them so the flow for me would be a lot smoother, and there would be a lot less potential book throwing. It is because of all of this, that I cannot rate it higher than 3 stars.

Like I said, I will absolutely read book 4 [if one is written], and I can only hope some of the issues with this book will be resolved in that one.

I was asked to read/review this book by the publisher and I'd like to thank them [St. Martin's Press] along with the author Diane Kelly and NetGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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In short: It’s the week before Christmas and the lodge is fully booked by Nigel, a resort developed, who has invited various wealthy guests for a week of skiing and pitching his resort idea as he’s seeking investors.

What I liked:
🎿The winter & Christmas time setting
🎿That Misty’s twin sons and her ex are visiting.
🎿The semi-locked room situation. So many suspects to investigate between the investors and those opposed to the project stuck there during a storm.

Final thoughts: I really enjoyed this book and think the series just keeps getting better and better. In this book we get to see more of Misty’s personal life between her kids home for the holidays and the continuing evolving relationship with handyman Rocky. I also really like the mystery in this one from finding a the body frozen on the ski hill to sorting through suspects.

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Misty is getting the resort’s rooms for her ex-husband Jack and her two boys J.J. and Mitch. They are coming for Thanksgiving. Before that Misty and Rocky are talking to Nigel Goodwin about the resort he hopes to buil — Goodwin has booked the Mountain Lodge the week before Christmas to talk to potential investors for the resort. Thanksgiving arrives and her boys and ex arrive the day before Thanksgiving. Rocky has gone down to pick up his daughter. Rocky comes back late with flowers and wine for Misty. Jack comes into Misty’s room and is surprised to see Rocky. Misty decides to make the best of it and the three of them have a visit. Jack and Rocky get to know each other. The week before Christmas is filled with Nigel Godwin’s investors. Will they decide to invest in his lodge? It snows and the boys can’t wait to snowboard at the ski resort. When they find out that Rocky has made a spot into ca snow hill, the boys run out to try snowboarding. They discover a strang rock in the snow which turns out to be the nose of Goodwin. He is dead. Misty calls the police. Who killed Goodwin? Why?

The author has done an excellent job of writing — pacing the story. The author has the reader involved in the different suspects who might had killed him.. The police watched each suspect’s behavior,. As I was trying to solve the mystery by clues given I found myself wondering if I was going to solve the mystery. It was fun to read even if there was a mysterious death.

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Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the arc. This is the third installment in the series but it can be read as a stand alone. I have enjoyed the first two but this one is definitely the best with the development of the characters. I’m excited to see what Misty and company get up to in the next one!

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Snow Place for Murder continues to follow Misty and family as the holiday season hits, and with it, the possibility of new development in the local area. A variety of guests are invited to learn about an amazing investment opportunity, but before they can dive too deep into the logistics of it all, someone is found dead, leaving the guests and lodge employees unsettled and insecure.

There are many thoughts about who could have done it and why, and Misty is determined to play amateur sleuth not only for the dignity of the victim, but also to help her lodge maintain it's good name. As all this occurs, her cat, Yeti, pops in with her observations of the happenings in the lodge, providing a good bit of comedic relief.

I completely enjoy Diane Kelly's novel, and look forward to reading the others in the series. It was an easy read, kept on the PG side, but it was not an easy giveaway as to what really happened to the victim. I recommend this for anyone who likes mysteries but doesn't want anything too intense.

Thank you to #NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC. All opinions are my own.

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I enjoy this series quite a bit and was so excited for this installment. In this one, a developer comes to Beech Mountain to try to drum up enough investors to open up a high end resort. Not everyone is keen on the idea and when the investor ends up murdered, there are lots of suspects.

This book is set around Christmas. Misty's boys are home for the holidays from college and play a larger role in this book. I loved all the family being together this time. Although the weather is definitely wintery, Christmas plays a back burner to the mystery and is not a major part of the book.

I am liking this series more and more with each new book and hope there is more to come.

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Snow Place for Murder by Diane Kelly
Mountain Lodge Mysteries Book 3
I did not really like this book as much as the first two in the series. I thought the way the body was discovered was just weird and kinda gross. Then, I did not like the conclusion. Can’t say why because no spoilers so that’s all I can say.
I will read another book in this series but it’s going to be my last if I don’t like it better than this one. I have enjoyed other books in some of this author’s other series so I have hope for further books.

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Lovely Christmas read!
Great 3rd installment. Mountain Top is booked for a private event by a resort developer. Misty is having some second thoughts, what will a big resort do to the Lodge, and even the locals are mixed about the idea.
Misty’s boys are staying with her during the Christmas break, to help out and of course take advantage of the ski hills. Things take quite the turn when they find a rock that isn’t a rock, and leads to the frozen body of the resort developer.

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I really enjoyed this cozy mystery. It wasn’t my first book by this author but the first in this series. I will definitely be going back and reading the first two. I really liked the setting and the story had a good amount of mystery and suspects. Thanks to NetGalley for the privilege to read and review this book.

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This was a charming cozy as we follow as her boys and her ex visit for the holidays. I loved seeing the development of her and Rocky's relationship as she discovers another murder on her cozy property.

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