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Murder at the Dolphin Hotel by Helena Dixon

Title: Murder at the Dolphin Hotel (A Miss Underhay Mystery #1)

Author: Helena Dixon

Published on: 11 December 2019

Genre: Cozy Mystery(Historical)

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Kitty helps her gram Mrs Treadwell run The Dolphin Hotel. Mrs Treadwell has sought the help of ex-Captain Matt Bryant – someone is sending the old day threatening letters. With a murder in the vicinity, the old lady fears someone’s behind Kitty. Kitty’s mum ran away while nothing is known about her father.

Kitty is on her way to post parcels when she’s shoved to the street. Matt manages to save her before she’s crushed under a vehicle. Phew! Kitty learns Matt is a security at the hotel. After the accident, Kitty goes back to her room and finds that someone’s been through her things.

Gram leaves soon after to look after Aunt Livvy. The letters keep coming and the body count starts to increase. Oh boy! Kitty and Matt are determined to solve the mysteries. (Yes, you read that right. More than one mystery to solve in this mind-blowing historical cozy series debut)

Since I have already called this book a mind-blowing historical cozy debut, let me start the review by saying – What an awesome story! We have the element of mystery, murder, blackmail, missing persons and possibly, a stolen jewel.

The two main characters in this story – Matt and Kitty – have to face their demons. Matt returned from the war (WW1) wounded and lost. The readers are introduced to his deceased wife Edith and deceased baby Betty. Did the London bombings kill them? Or, was it something worse? Kitty has no idea who Edith is; she’s curious to know but at the same time, she knows she has to give Matt some space.

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Kitty doesn’t remember seeing her father. Her mother ran away when she was six. Nobody’s seen her since and is presumed dead. A celebrity living at the hotel tells Kitty they knew Kitty’s parents. Kitty is curious to learn more about her parents – not all secrets hurt. Or, do they?

Helana Dixon is a brilliant storyteller. The tension and suspense are well-maintained throughout the book. The mysteries keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Likeable and well-portrayed characters and a well-developed storyline. Many came back from the war front with mental scars. Seeing their friends and brothers killed in front of their eyes wasn’t an easy sight. Ms Dixon has explored the PTSD angle in this story – Matt has episodes of panic attacks.

It is hard to believe this is a debut in the Miss Underhay Mystery series. An adventure-packed story, that’s for sure. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series. Murder at the Dolphin Hotel is an engrossing, entertaining and unique historical cozy mystery. As a debut, we do see some sparks fly between our two main characters. Cannot wait to see what’s next in store for the duo.

If you are looking for a historical cozy read that keeps you on the edge of your seat, Murder on the Dolphin is THE book for you.

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