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Review & Author Blog: The Bad Luck Lighthouse / Nicki Thornton

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Today is our stop on the blog tour for The Bad Luck Lighthouse by Nicki Thornton. In this sequel to The Last Chance Hotel (see our review here), we return to the world of Seth Seppi, who finds himself caught up in a new mystery described as ‘Agatha Christie meets Harry Potter with a dash of Robin Stevens’!


Read on for a review of The Bad Luck Lighthouse followed by an exclusive guest post in which the author imagines sorting her characters into the right Hogwarts houses.


Book Title: The Bad Luck Lighthouse (available here)

Author: Nicki Thornton

Publisher: Chicken House

Publication Date: July 2019

Most Suitable For: Upper KS2

Reviewed By: Angela Kent (@FljsLibrary), Librarian



Reminiscent of a classic whodunnit novel but with the twist of magical intrigue, Nicki Thornton takes us on the second Seth Seppi mystery. While it is the second novel, Thornton has imaginatively entwined information from the first novel throughout this mystery making it work as both a captivating sequel and a standalone novel.


Struggling to perfect a basic spell, Seth is feeling deflated when he is visited by the mysterious Inspector Pewter. So, when Pewter teleports away to his new investigation, Seth decides he wants to help. Together with Nightshade (his talking cat), he sneaks through the portal, gets himself a job in the lighthouse and tries to assist in the investigation – while also trying to find answers for his own personal dilemmas.


This fantastical story has rich, descriptive text, an interesting cast of magical and non-magical characters and so many plot twists it will keep you guessing to the very end. I was gripped from the start, as I was not only invested in learning what had really happened at Snakemouth Lighthouse, but also in Seth’s journey – willing him to discover the magical power he so longs to possess to feel closer to his mother.


One of the best books I have read this year and I eagerly await a third Seth Seppi mystery. I can’t wait to recommend this book to our children in Years 5 and 6 (as well as the teachers!) when we return to school in September.


You can order The Bad Luck Lighthouse online or from your local bookshop or library.


Guest Blog Post

by Nicki Thornton, author of The Bad Luck Lighthouse

Huffledor or Ravenpuff?

It’s surprising what family debate can result when someone suggests you might want to write a piece on which Harry Potter houses your characters might be sorted into.

My main character, Seth, was an easy Hufflepuff. Apparently. ‘Well he’s not very brave in The Last Chance Hotel is he?’

Fair point. If Seth had never discovered the existence of magic, he would probably never have any greater ambition than to be a great chef like his father.


He is pretty wide-eyed (gullible even) as a detective. He doesn’t really get people for whom ambition is purely about their own success.

He has a lot to learn, being stuck out living in a forest in the middle of nowhere. Although he does grow to understand that you have a choice about whether you stand by and let that happen – or stand up and try to change it.


He does have a chance to decide whether to stand up for what he thinks is right.

I would say that views of Seth’s bravery might change with reading The Bad Luck Lighthouse. His innocent, wide-eyed understanding of the world does develop. It’s one of the fun things about being able to revisit a character in a second book.

The easiest one to agree on seems to be to sort Inspector Pewter into Ravenclaw. As a magical detective working for MagiCon he definitely uses buffoonery to lull his enemies into underestimating him. But most folk can see that’s all a disguise for a very sharp brain (mostly).

There’s a strong vote for sorting rather a lot of Slytherins in my stories. But then as most of the characters are suspected of being capable of murder, perhaps that is not so surprising. There’s more than a little bit of darkness running through them.

Angelique Squerr seems to cause the biggest headache, because she is very secretive – what is her real character? She’s clever and brave, but never lets anyone close.

Can we get away with calling Seth a Huffledor and Angelique a Ravenpuff? Is that breaking too many rules?

And what about Nightshade?

This worries everyone. Are cats allowed to be sorted? If so, I think the voting might be Hufflepuff again, mostly because of all that snoozing.


THE BAD LUCK LIGHTHOUSE – sequel to Nicki’s bestselling debut THE LAST CHANCE HOTEL – is out now, priced £6.99. Connect with Nicki on Twitter: @nicki_thornton




You can order The Bad Luck Lighthouse online or from your local bookshop or library.

Many thanks to Nicki for writing the guest post and to Review Panel member Angela for reviewing our copy, provided by the publisher.


Check out the other stops on the blog tour, too!


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