The Dead Mountaineer’s Inn

Author: Strugatsky Brothers

Genre: Mystery / SF

Year: 1970

Rating: 7 of 10

Generally I love the Strugatsky brothers and had only been aware of their science fiction writing. I have not read many mysteries so when I found this book by authors I love I figured I’d give it a try. Most of the story was entertaining and somewhat absurd. The tale is about a group of people, supposedly all on vacation up in the snowy mountains, who are blocked in by an avalanche. A murder ensues and then things get continually stranger. An inspector who happens to be staying at the inn takes on the case and tries to piece together the events through a series of weird interviews with the other patrons. For ninety percent of the book it is a mystery then is wrapped up quickly with a bizarre science fiction explanation of events. My problem with the book is that it ended rather abruptly and all the loose ends were tied up in a hurry with preposterous explanations. The ending led me to believe that perhaps this book is a parody of mystery fiction, but I am not well versed enough in the genre to fully get the joke. A fun story, but if you haven’t read the Strugatsky brothers yet I would start with Roadside Picnic.


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