The Last Chance Hotel by Nicki Thornton

Publication Date: 7 June 2018

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Cover and inside illustrations by Matt Saunders

As very important guests descend on the Last Chance Hotel, Seth Seppi wishes he was just a little bit magic, so he could be in with a chance of completing the myriad of tasks set by hotel owners, Mr and Mrs Bunn, and head chef, Henri. His day gets worse when Tiffany, the Bunn’s spiteful daughter returns to make his life even more miserable. She demands he make a show-stopping dessert which she will, naturally, take the credit for if it’s spectacular, or blame him if it isn’t. Only when it’s finished does she tell Seth that one of the guests is allergic to one of the key ingredients, and he must make a special dessert just for Dr Thallomius. And that is where Seth’s troubles really begin.

Behind locked doors the mysterious VIPs settle down for dinner. As they tuck into their desserts one of the guests dies, and it’s obvious he’s been poisoned. With Seth as the prime suspect of the murder investigation, he must solve the mystery and clear his name. But he’s not just up against a scheming murderer, he’s up against magic…

Hercule Poirot meets Harry Potter in this mind-bending, magical, murder mystery. With plot-twists aplenty, a well-crafted world, and an eclectic cast, I was gripped from beginning to end, and desperately want to know what happens next.

Seth is kind, bright and inquisitive, yet desperately naïve about the world in which he finds himself plunged into. His determination to clear his name never waivers despite his fear he won’t be able to. Tiffany is truly ghastly as the spoilt daughter and tormentor of the Bunn’s unwanted ward. Inspector Pewter is enigmatic in his role of Detective, while Angelique is as friendly as she is secretive. Add in the other guests, with a varied range of abilities, and it becomes a very tangled web to unravel.

The magic within the richly drawn world unfolds as Seth learns more about it and the magical community that resides there. As the Hotel begins to show just how much magic he’s surrounded by, a host of everyday objects become more than first glance would suggest. Oh, and I definitely need a wordstone in my life!

Great for fans of Goodly And Grave, Black Cats And Butlers and The Uncommoners.

Huge thanks to Jazz at Chicken House for sending me a copy – it didn’t even make it onto my school bookshelf before it was in the hands of a child!

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