A Last Resort has been set at one of New England’s most popular and celebrated resorts, The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel. Its author, Mark Okrant, is an internationally known tourism professor and researcher, who has conducted visitor research for the State of New Hampshire for more than two decades, and guest research at the resort since the early 90’s.


A love starved middle-aged housewife, a novelist suffering from prolonged writer’s cramp, and the general manager of a resort hotel find their lives inextricably intertwined. When Edna Connor fails to show up for meals at the beautiful Balsams grand resort hotel, general manager Warn Barson fears the worst. Not wanting to alarm the other guests nor risk bad publicity that would spell almost certain ruin for the hotel, he enlists the aid of his old friend, professor-turned novelist Kary Turnell, whose inability to shake a well-established reputation as a one-hit wonder has him taking refuge at the resort. Kary tries to put his own problems on hold as he works against time to unravel the mystery of Edna’s disappearance.

To lend authenticity to Kary’s search, Mark Okrant spent years interviewing the staff and examining every nook and cranny of the resort to ferret out likely crime scenes—secret passageways, hidden corridors, and out-of-the-way service elevators.

The author, Mark Okrant

What people are saying about A LAST RESORT...

“Mark Okrant has used remarkably accurate settings and true-to-life characters to capture the flavor of daily life for guests and hosts at The BALSAMS. And, the compelling mystery he has spun will have you wondering right to the last pages of the book. Now, whenever I walk through the halls of the Hampshire House, I still revisit how some of his characters played out the final chapter of their lives.”

- Stephen P. Barba, President
The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel

There is going to be a murder at The Balsams. Mark Okrant won’t say who is going to be murdered or why. He’s a cagy one, this murder planner . . . a very sinister man . . . stalking around . . . scheming and planning and plotting . . . the resort hotel setting is perfect for a murder mystery.”

- The late Dennis Joos
The News and Sentinel, Colebrook NH, 1996

A LAST RESORT (ISBN 0964606143) retails for $10.95. It is available through Wayfarer Press, 6 Langdon Park Road, in Plymouth NH 03264 (include $3.00 for shipping and handling), or can be purchased at big box bookstores and numerous small stores throughout New Hampshire. Email for information: mokrant@mail.plymouth.edu

Click here for information about Mark Okrant's novel, JUDSON'S ISLAND.