Murder at the Dolphin Hotel by Helena Dixon
|Murder at the Dolphin Hotel by Helena Dixon|
|Category: Crime (Historical)|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages:||Date: December 2019|
|External links: Author's website|
Elowed Underhay was just twenty seven when she disappeared from Dartmouth in June 1916, leaving her daughter, Kitty, in the care of her grandmother. A great deal of money had been spent to find out what happened to her and the conclusion was that she was dead, mainly because there was no evidence to suggest otherwise. Kitty has come to terms with this and in 1933 she was running the Dolphin Hotel in Dartmouth with her grandmother, when her grandmother had to leave to look after her sister who was ill. She was reluctant to leave Kitty in charge - and Kitty could not understand why. She's always coped with the mix of holidaymakers, boating people and the naval college on the edge of town before - and she's done every job in the hotel. And she particularly cannot understand why her grandmother's friends have been roped in to keep an eye on things and why Captain Matthew Bryant has been hired to take charge of security at the hotel.
There is, of course, a good reason. Letters have been sent to the hotel which show that there's a credible threat - and then strange things begin happening. Kitty was only saved from being pushed under a coal truck by the timely presence of Matthew Bryant and whilst her bedroom might not look as though it's been searched, Kitty knows that things are not as she left them. And the anonymous letters are becoming more threatening.
It's cozy crime, but of a superior type. Characterisation is good. I liked Kitty: she's feisty but not silly with it and there's a definite chemistry between her and the handsome Capt. Bryant, who has a history about which he's not being terribly forthcoming. There are some colourful characters too - Vivien Delaware is there to provide entertainment, but you suspect that there's rather more to her visit to the coast than a need for some sea air. And let's not mention the reporter who thinks that Kitty is going to fall in love with him.
There's a real feel for the location and particularly for what life in a classy hotel was like in the thirties. I had the feeling of some diligent research having been done, but without the need to insert every bit of acquired knowledge. The plot is good too. I worked out one or two of the twists, but I had the wrong person pencilled in as the baddy. As cozy crime goes, this is first class. I'd like to thank the publishers for making a copy available to the Bookbag.
For more cosy crime we can recommend A Body in the Bookshop (Kitt Hartley Yorkshire Mysteries) by Helen Cox although it's not as good as Murder at the Dolphin Hotel.
You can read more book reviews or buy Murder at the Dolphin Hotel by Helena Dixon at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Murder at the Dolphin Hotel by Helena Dixon at Amazon.com.
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