Today it’s my stop on The Morecambe and Vice blog tour and it’s my pleasure to have children’s author Nicki Thornton on My Chestnut Reading Tree and review the prize winning Last Chance Hotel. Many thanks to Sarah Hardy for inviting me onto the tour.
Morecambe and Vice…
‘The Last Chance Hotel’ is Nicki Thornton’s debut novel and was chosen as Waterstones Book of the Month for October 2018.
It is a murder mystery set in a magical world and was nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2019, was shortlisted for the 2019 CrimeFest Best Crime Novel for Children, the 2019 Oxfordshire Book Award Best Junior Novel, Shortlisted for the Warwickshire 2019 Junior Book Award and longlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards 2018
It was a ‘Best Book of 2018′ in The Observer, The Telegraph and The Sunday Times.
Nicki lives in Oxfordshire where she ran a bookshop for more than ten years. She is passionate about books, bookshops and anything that celebrates reading for pleasure.’
Nicki Thornton will be appearing at Morecambe and Vice tomorrow Saturday 28th September on the “Let Them Lead The Way” panel at The Midland Hotel 1045-1130.
You can find out more by visiting the website HERE
The Last Chance Hotel…
Seth is the oppressed kitchen boy at the remote Last Chance Hotel. But when a strange gathering of magicians arrives for dinner, their leader is poisoned. A locked-room murder investigation ensues – and Seth is the main suspect. Can he solve the mystery and clear his name, especially when magic’s afoot?
This is a wonderfully magical murder mystery that would be perfect for children age 10+ although I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it as an adult. It certainly has a complex enough plot to keep the attention of adult readers which could put off some younger readers but I think that by year 5 they can cope with this intriguing narrative.
The first few chapters set the scene nicely introducing Seth Seppi the kitchen boy and Henri (who I’d like to have seen more of to be honest). They work for the owners of The Last Chance Hotel, the terrible Bunn family, who are preparing for some very special guests. But when one of those guests is murdered, seemingly by a special desert made by Seth himself, in a room where no one could get in or out then Seth is the main suspect in their death.
The characters who have assembled are there for a reason and I loved watching how that reason unfolded alongside their explanations of the magical world they interacted with. When Seth finds something mysterious in his room, it totally changes his perspective on what is happening around him as he try’s to prove his innocence. He’s helped by his cat Nightshade who definitely comes to life once his new talent debuts!
I can see why The Last Chance Hotel has won and been nominated for so many awards. It’s gripping, creative and intriguing storyline maintains the readers interest throughout and leaves them wanting to know more about Seth especially after those shocking last few pages.
Highly recommended by me!
And make sure you follow the other bloggers on the tour…