Snow Place for Murder

Mountain Lodge Mysteries #3

By Diane Kelly                 

ISBN: 9781250816016


Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra                   


International resort developer Nigel Goodwin has traveled all the way from London, England to Misty Murphy’s little corner of North Carolina and bought out the Mountaintop Lodge for the week prior to Christmas. Their intention? To pitch an exclusive new resort concept to wealthy American investors.

But locals are at odds over the idea, and when a group comes to the lodge to express their worries to Mr. Goodwin and the potential investors, a blizzard hits Beech Mountain. Like the weather outside, things quickly get frosty, and Misty has to call local police to intervene. Handyman Rocky Crowder plows the lodge’s drive and, in an attempt to regain a jovial holiday atmosphere, smooths the snow pile into a makeshift sledding hill for the guests to enjoy.

Misty’s boys have finished their exams and are “home” from college for the winter break, planning to spend most of their time snowboarding at the ski resort. While taking a few runs down Rocky’s sledding hill, they discover a funny-looking, nose-shaped rock. Only it’s not a rock. It’s the frozen nose of Nigel Goodwin, who’s found dead and buried under the mound of snow.

Who put the developer on ice and why? (Goodreads)


Snow Place for Murder is the third book in the Mountain Lodge Mysteries series by Diane Kelly and the first in the series that I have read. I must say, it was very easy to feel vested in the lives of the main amateur sleuth and her family as this reader was properly introduced to these characters. As a result, I did not really feel like I was missing anything jumping in at the third book of the series. Well, other than being exposed to Misty’s propensity to help with police investigations!

The premise is typical standard cozy mystery fare. The location is in the ski town of Beech Mountain, North Carolina. Misty Murphy is a relatively new owner of the Mountain Lodge. Another character who plays a prominent role is Rocky Crowder, the handyman at the lodge as well as a new love interest of Misty’s. We also get to interact with her two boys as well as her ex-husband (albeit briefly).

An international resort developer, Nigel Goodwin, has reserved the lodge for several days where he plans to pitch a new resort to several wealthy investors whom Nigel has brought to the Mountain Lodge. Not surprisingly, there are a number of “locals” who are opposed to this development. That definitely added some interesting dynamics…and many additional potential suspects for the murder of … yup, you guessed it…Nigel! I must say, I did find the reveal of the murder victim different from other cozy mysteries (usually one “trips” over the whole body). In this particular story – this is not the case. And that did add an interesting layer until “all” of Nigel was located.

The number of potential murder suspects is large and varied – from townsfolks, to Nigel’s employee, wife or even a potential investor. This certainly added a bit of complexity to the mystery. As in true cozy fashion – Misty worked through her suspect list to narrow down the potential murderer in conjunction with the local police. It seemed that she mused each decision and piece of information she found with a lot of thought – sometimes excessively so in my opinion.

However, there is the business of the pesky little chapters with the title of “Yeti”. Took a couple of minutes to figure out these were the cat’s musings. I found them, quite frankly, useless and added nothing to the story. Perhaps I should re-read and see if I change my mind, though this is highly unlikely as there are many other cozy mysteries that I could read. However, I must say, I have enjoyed reading another of Ms. Kelly’s series – House-Flipper Mystery series. So while I may not continue with any more of the Mountain Lodge Mystery series books I will read her other series J.

I did enjoy references to other popular ski areas: Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and Banff to name a few. All places in Canada – so this added a bit of comfort as this reader is from Canada and has skied at these resorts!

I must say, I fully anticipate the next book in the series to include a death associated with the newly installed hot tub at the lodge since this addition to the lodge seemed to take up a fair bit of real estate in this novel.

If you enjoy cozy mysteries set in the rustic location in the North Carolina mountains, with a variety of characters and a wintery setting, then I suggest you pick up Snow Place for Murder and get reading.