BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: The Last Chance Hotel
Author: Nicki Thornton
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication Date: June 2018
Most Suitable For: Years 4-6
The Last Chance Hotel is an atmospheric murder mystery brimming with magic and mayhem that came to the attention of the publishing world when its manuscript won the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition in 2016. With the plot set up in a classic whodunit style with each of the suspects being guests at a hotel and the murder taking place in a locked room, this is the kind of story that keeps you guessing through its twists and turns and a few delightfully impish red herrings thrown in for good measure.
Seth Seppi is a lowly kitchen boy at the Last Chance Hotel. Unfairly treated by the cruel hotel managers Mr and Mrs Bunn and their vindictive daughter Tiffany, Seth finds he has very little to look forward to except having the chance to practise perfecting new recipes just like his long-lost chef father had done years ago.
When an enigmatic cast of new guests arrives at the hotel, Seth is fascinated by the unusual assortment of characters. It soon becomes clear that there is magic in the air and this is no ordinary convention. But when the important magician Dr Thallomius, who had initially been very warm towards Seth, unexpectedly dies after eating Seth’s special dessert, Seth finds that all the fingers of blame are pointing at him.
What follows is a fast-paced investigation as Seth desperately attempts to clear his name and solve the mystery. At the same time, Seth discovers more about the existence of magic and finds himself increasingly captivated by the wonderful magical objects and secret histories he unearths.
Readers will find themselves rooting for Seth and just as intrigued as he is by the magical world into which he gazes as he stands on its precipice. We leave with the impression there could be more to come from Seth and it would certainly be a joy to read more adventures inside the magical world Nicki Thornton has begun to construct here. I recommend this particularly for readers in KS2 who will enjoy getting their teeth stuck into a good old mystery.
The Last Chance Hotel publishes on Thursday 7th June 2018.
Many thanks to the publisher for kindly sending me a review copy of this book.