Helena Dixon joins me this week to share an excerpt of her new novel, which was published on 11 December 2019 – Murder at the Dolphin Hotel. It is right now storming up the UK and US charts 😀.
A room with a view… to murder.
June 1933. Kitty Underhay is a modern, independent woman from the top of her shingle bob to the tip of her t-strap heels. She prides herself on the reputation of her family’s ancient hotel on the blustery English coast. But then a body is found, rooms are ransacked and rumours begin to circulate that someone is on the hunt for a valuable stolen ruby – a ruby that Kitty’s mother may have possessed when she herself went missing during the Great War. Before she can do more than flick a duster, Kitty finds herself in the midst of a murder investigation.
When the local police inspector shows no signs of solving the shocking crimes plaguing the hotel, Kitty steps briskly into the breach. Together with ex-army captain Matthew Bryant, her new hotel security officer, she is determined to decipher this mystery and preserve not only the name of her hotel, but also the lives of her guests. Could there be a cold-blooded killer under her own roof? And what connects the missing jewel to the mystery from Kitty’s own past?
A classic page-turning murder mystery! Fans of Agatha Christie, Elizabeth Edmondson and T.E. Kinsey will love this unputdownable whodunnit.
Published by Bookouture 11 December 2019.
Kitty Underhay was on reception duty at her grandmother’s hotel. Outside the revolving doors lay a fresh, sunlit afternoon. Inside the lobby there was the scent of beeswax and lavender with dust motes floating in the air.
‘They fetched a body out the river this morning,’ Cora murmured to Kitty as she whisked her duster across the top of the reception desk. The older woman glanced around the lobby to check there were no guests within earshot before continuing with her tale. ‘Foreigner, Dutch they said. And it looks a bad business. Constable told me he’d had his head bashed in.’
‘Cora, really.’ Kitty glared at her employee. ‘You are the limit.’
Cora loved a titbit of gossip, and in a small, sleepy riverside town like Dartmouth, foul play on this scale was unusual to say the least. She bustled around the desk, her round, middle-aged face avid with glee at being the bearer of news.
‘Police is searching the banks down by the lower ferry. Mr Farjeon found him in the water when he went to open up his booth. Says he thought it were a dead dog, so he fetched a long stick and there was a face looking back up at him, all glassy-eyed and weed-covered.’ The maid’s stout frame shuddered at the thought.
Kitty sighed. Once Cora got started it was difficult to stop her, but she had to admit that her curiosity was piqued, even if she could have done without the details. As in any town that had a high number of holidaymakers and boats calling in to port, one expected some issues, especially with the naval college on the hill at the edge of town. Even so, a murder, especially of a stranger, was indeed news.
‘You can’t trust foreigners.’ Cora pursed her lips and rubbed at an imaginary spot in front of the visitors’ ledger. ‘I heard as well, that—’ Whatever else she was about to add was left unsaid as Kitty’s grandmother, small and elegant in a tweed suit, silk blouse and pearls, swept up to the reception area.
Buy link: https://t.co/654oQkUnYj
About Helena Dixon
Helena Dixon splits her time between the Black Country and Devon. Married to the same man for over thirty five years she has three daughters, a cactus called Spike, a crazy cockapoo and a tank of tropical fish. She is allergic to adhesives, apples, tinsel and housework. Her addictions of choice are coffee and reality TV. She was winner of The Romance Prize in 2007 and Love Story of the Year 2010 as Nell Dixon. She now writes historical 1930’s set cozy crime. Nell enjoys hearing from readers and you can read her news and contact her via her website at http://www.nelldixon.com visit her blog at http://www.nelldixonrw.blogspot.com find her on Twitter @NellDixon and friend her on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nell-Dixon/228642037151856
Thank you for sharing this excerpt Helena. If you enjoy Murder at the Dolphin Hotel, Book 2 in the Miss Underhay Mystery series is available for preorder – Murder at Enderley Hall is published by Bookouture on 19 March 2020.