Nothing makes the chillier months go by quickly like hibernating in your spare time with a warm blanket, a hot cup of tea or coffee, and of course, a binge-worthy book on your lap. This time of year is ideal for the locked-room mysteries featuring inclement weather like snowstorms that are so easy to get lost in. Locked-room mysteries are typically crime fiction stories in which a crime occurs in a location has been sealed off from the rest of the world, making both the characters and reader panic, knowing a killer is close by.
If you’re looking for the perfect crime fiction story that will make you “weather the storm” and solve a crime from the comfort of your favorite reading spot, here are some that will make you thankful you’re safe at home.
One by One by Ruth Ware
Ruth Ware is the Agatha Christie of our generation, and with One by One, Ware channels the same fear in a ski chalet that she did with a cabin in the woods a la In A Dark, Dark Wood. When the cofounder of a hot new start-up app brings eight of his coworkers to the French Alps for a corporate retreat, things quickly get intense after one shareholder tries pushing a buyout offer. To make matters worse, as the tension rises in the chalet, a snowstorm brews outside, creating a devastating avalanche. As the time passes and their chances of escaping dwindle down, the group begins to disappear one by one.
Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson
If you love a locked-room mystery combined with Nordic noir, then look no further. Ari Thor is a young police officer in a small fishing village in Northern Iceland who longs for the day he can reunite with his girlfriend. When a young woman is found unconscious and bleeding in the snow and an elderly writer falls to his death inside of the local theatre, Ari must investigate both crimes. As a snowstorm cuts the village off from the outside world, Ari looks at the once peaceful community and realizes he is trapped in this village with a killer.
Misery by Stephen King
The king of horror meets psychological suspense in a story that is perfect for bookworms. Best-selling author Paul Sheldon just made the riskiest move of his career by killing off the popular main character of his romance series in hopes that he can move on to other writing ventures. After barely surviving a car accident in Colorado, Paul wakes to find himself in the home of his number one fan, Annie Wilkes. With no escape and trapped inside of the woman’s house and at her mercy, Paul’s chance of survival relies heavily on his ability to write his best book yet…and bring back Misery at Annie’s demand.
Death in the Family by Tessa Wegert
Knives Out meets chilling police procedural in the first of a new series that is part murder mystery, part atmospheric terror, and sensationally addictive. Former NYPD detective Shana Merchant has moved on from the big city to her fiancé’s small town in the Thousand Islands of upstate New York after barely surviving an abduction by a serial killer. As a nor’easter begins to hit the area, Shana and her partner Tim receive a call about a man missing on a private island and after they arrive, Shana is convinced he has been murdered. When Shana and Tim become trapped on the island due to the storm, they find all of the members of the Sinclair family and their guests are hiding information that could be paramount in solving this murder.
No Exit by Taylor Adams
If you like some action and suspense with your blizzards, then you’ll love No Exit by Taylor Adams. College student Darby Thorne is traveling home to visit her dying mother when she’s caught in a blizzard in the Colorado mountains and pulls into a rest stop with a handful of strangers riding out the storm. In the parking lot, Darby finds a little girl locked in an animal cage in the back of a van. Trapped by the blizzard, Darby must try to save the little girl with no cell phone reception and no escape in sight. Terrified, Darby realizes that she has to do this on her own as she comes to the conclusion one of the strangers she’s been trapped with is responsible for the kidnapping.
Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
Domestic suspense more of what you enjoy reading? Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat! Married couple Adam and Amelia Wright win a weekend getaway at the perfect time – their marriage is in shambles. Adam has dealt with face blindness all his life; he has never recognized anyone, including his wife. For every anniversary for the past ten years, Amelia has written Adam a letter that she never lets him read, until now. After ten years of marriage and secrets, this weekend could end up costing them more than their marriage.
The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
Another trope with locked-room mysteries that I love is when the plot involves a group of friends. One of my favorite stories involving a group of friends put in a situation where one of them is a killer is The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley. Every year for the past decade, a group of friends from Oxford meet to ring in the New Year together and this year they are meeting at an isolated estate right before a blizzard strikes. Stuck at the estate with nowhere to go, secrets begin to emerge as the drinks flow and the tension is just as intense as the blizzard outside. By New Year’s Day, one of the friends will be dead and one friend is responsible.