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The Last Chance Hotel

(Seth Seppi Mystery #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  402 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Seth is a kitchen boy at the remote Last Chance Hotel. His father has long ago left, leaving him imprisoned until he is old enough to set out on his own. If there's any hope he has, it's to be the greatest chef that ever lived... just like his father.

One night, a band of magicians begin to arrive to participate in a secret meeting -- a Prospect Selection Procedure to dete
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 7th 2018 by Chicken House
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3.67  · 
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 ·  402 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
This is the story of Seth, who lives and works at The Last Chance Hotel. He has really quite a miserable life, but enjoys cooking, creating dishes that are wonderful to look at and eat.
A group of magicians all come to stay at the hotel. Seth has no clue why they are there, but then one if the group is poisoned and dies and Seth is blamed. He decides that he needs to clear his name by finding out who really did the murder.
This was fine. It is a middle grade so is an easy, quick read and I thought
Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it
This middle grade magical murder mystery was pretty good fun! For me, there was a little too much going on, and Seth isn’t always the best main character as he doesn’t know anything lol. Though that works as a plot device, it means you feel like you always want someone to just tell you what’s going on. He’s also a bit of a push over, and I’m looking forward to how the reveals at the end of the book will (hopefully!) change that.

And I loved Nightshade. Talking cat ftw. She helped with the glorio
John Naylor
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A book about a teenager that is thrust I to the world of magic and mystery. I am going to try and avoid comparing it to another series. There are a lot of differences.

The author has the ability to produce some brilliant descriptive writing and characters that you invest in. I feel some minor (and possibly one major) characters could have been expanded upon more without losing the story or the mystery. It was a good read for any age but it also did drag in points.

It created a world and some rule
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book! It was like a cross between Harry potter and Agatha Christie. There was suspense boarding on frustration as the reader goes through the murder mystery. The main character, annoyingly, doesn't help himself and keeps a lot to himself, a sort of dramatic irony, as we know that information might help him but he doesnt say anything! There are many puzzles and inferences that can be made throughout this book, an interesting read for a key stage 2 class. I really lik ...more
Sarah Hunnicutt
Thanks to Scholastic Press for sharing this book with KidLitExchange for me to review! This book is already available for purchase. All opinions are my own.

This book was a slow starter! I spent the first 100 pages not know what was going on and it really bothered me. After I pushed through, I really started to enjoy it. The rising action, climax, and resolution made up for it.

Seth Seppi is a dishwasher/bellboy/maid/cook at The Last Chance Hotel. He has no memory of his mother and his father left
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Seth is a boy who works in hotel that is own by Bruno family and had special dinner party. A doctor is killed by Aeth’s special dessert and is innocent and a investigation occurs as magic lurks

This book was very fun book to read and I felt I should have read it during halloween the mystery was great and I really enjoyed all the characters and the oacing was great and magical highly reccomend it
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My homework for October... Our kids book of the month. I loved this, it has everything that kids love. It's an adventure mystery, with a murder and some magic and best of all a talking cat. Hopefully there will be a follow up as there are couple of loose ends. A great read regardless. 😊
Tori Hodges
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Once you get past the obscure character names it was quite a fun read. Got me very into the Halloween mood 😊
Angela Groves
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
The great mix of magic and kids cosy crime. Think Harry Potter/Nevermoor meets a Murder Most Unladylike.
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked the boy and I liked the magic counsel meeting for a reason. But an unexpected murder brings more chaos to the mix, not to mention a talking cat! With strange goings on this was a fantastic mix of Harry Potter meeting Agatha Christie for children 9+
Will you see who did it?
A great jaunt that leaves more questions unanswered and another book 2 to get excited about.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Last Chance Hotel is an atmospheric murder mystery brimming with magic and mayhem that came to the attention of the publishing world when its manuscript won the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition in 2016. With the plot set up in a classic whodunit style with each of the suspects being guests at a hotel and the murder taking place in a locked room, this is the kind of story that keeps you guessing through its twists and turns and a few delightfully impish red herrings thrown i ...more
Emily (a_court_of_bookworms)
Rating: 3 Stars
The Last Chance Hotel was a fun, atmospheric, mysterious Halloween read.

In terms of the plot, the pacing of the novel ensured for a somewhat gripping book.

The characters Nicki Thornton created were interesting, with each character having their own backstory and why they are assembling at the Last Chance Hotel.
I would recommend this novel to predominantly younger readers who are looking for a mysterious novel to read around Halloween.
Lisa Andres
One of my favorite things to do in Waterstones (the UK equivalent of Barnes & Noble) is wander through the children's section and find new stories. A few weeks ago, when we were in London, this book was *everywhere.* And, after wavering for a long time (and realizing that if I bought it on Amazon, it wouldn't be any cheaper than if I just paid the exchange rate) I picked it up. It was, apparently, the "winner of the Times' Children's Fiction Competition" and was a magical murder mystery.

Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly intriguing closed room murder mystery with a magical bent and an entirely unpredictable ending. The atmospheric setting of a crumbling hotel in the middle of nowhere, a sometimes-when-it-deigns-to talking cat (!), the righting of historic wrongs, the development of unlikely allegiances and the settling of old scores- together with the odd subtle nods to the importance and magic of books, reading and knowledge- all add up to a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable read. The first in ...more
Sanja Jenkins
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-2019
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 27, 2019 rated it liked it
The Last Chance Hotel was our children’s book club’s first exposure to whodunit. But it wasn’t your ordinary whodunit, it was a magical murder mystery!

“Seth is the oppressed kitchen boy at the remote Last Chance Hotel, owned by the nasty Bunn family. His only friend is his black cat, Nightshade. But when a strange gathering of magicians arrives for dinner, kindly Dr Thallomius is poisoned by Seth’s special dessert. A locked-room murder investigation ensues – and Seth is the main suspect. The fun
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physical-arcs, 2018
The Last Chance hotel is a lovely autumn read aimed at those aged 9 to 12 years old whose main character, Seth, is an almost Cinderella character. Seth appears to be an orphan living with a not very nice (unrelated) family who seem to have just inherited him along with the hotel but you aren't being asked to feel sorry for him. Even when he is wrongly accused of the 'locked room' murder of one of a group of VIP guests at the hotel, you get the sense that this boy is going to be just fine while s ...more
Paperbark Merchants
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
"There is nothing so brilliant and unexpected as the wonders you will find in a book."

No truer word was ever spoken and 'The Last Chance Hotel' offers many such wonders!

Seth is the oppressed kitchen boy at the remote Last Chance Hotel, owned by the nasty Bunn family. His only friend is his black cat, Nightshade (who may or may not be able to talk). But when a strange gathering of magicians arrives for dinner, kindly Dr Thallomius is poisoned by Seth's special dessert.
A locked-room murder investi
Abby Johnson
Seth Seppi dreams of being a chef like his father, but he fears that he'll be stuck as a dishwasher and houseboy in the Last Chance Hotel forever. But when mysterious guests begin to arrive and Seth is tasked with preparing a special, top-secret dinner for them, Seth wonders if his fate is about to change. Preparing a phenomenal dessert for the kindly VIP guest Dr. Thallomius is the first step. But then Dr. Thallomius keels over dead, poisoned, apparently be Seth's masterpiece dessert, and Seth ...more
Amy (Golden Books Girl)
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
From the moment I heard this existed, I was 99.9% sure I`d enjoy it; a middle grade mystery/fantasy blend combines several of my favourite things, and the book lived up to my high expectations of it. It`s about the Last Chance Hotel`s much put upon kitchen boy Seth, when a group of mysterious magicians arrive for a secretive dinner party, and he is accused of fatally poisoning the VIP, Dr Thallomius. Each and every other person within the hotel is a viable suspect, and this coupled with the fact ...more
Christina Reid
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I picked this up from my local library, attracted by the mention of magic and after hearing good things from other bloggers. Mysteries and crime aren't always my cup of tea though, so I was a little cautious going in. There was no need for that - I devoured this in no time!
The main character Seth Seppi, is very lovable and his feline sidekick Nightshade definitely deserved even more lines than she had. I liked the variety of characters introduced and the red herrinsg thrown in to make you suspe
M.L. Little
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
@kidlitexchange #partner: The Last Chance Hotel by @nicki_thornton , @chickenhousebooks, and @scholasticinc. Releases May 28th!
This rollicking, fantasy-filled mystery is like Harry Potter meets The Westing Game. Seth, a young, orphaned kitchen boy at a strange hotel in the middle of nowhere, finds himself in the midst of a murder mystery when magical characters convene at the hotel—in fact, not only in the midst of it, but accused. To clear his name, Seth will have to rely on his talking
Niki Estes
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had to pick this one up because that cover is just beautiful! Overall, the story was a great one, too. It's a middle grade mystery with a magical twist. Seth, a teenage kitchen boy, dreams of becoming a great chef like his father. Unfortunately, he is an orphan stuck serving the horrible owners of the Last Chance Hotel and the target of their bully daughter. When a group of mysterious visitors come to the hotel and one of them is murdered, Seth's life is thrown into chaos as he's the prime sus ...more
Banrion Cruimh Leabhar
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Got this book as I really loved the cover and it peaked my interest. The book is aimed at 8years and up and is based in a hotel and around Seth Seppi a kitchen boy abandoned by his chef father. Seth is working for the Bunns and is treated quite badly in particular by their spoiled daughter Tiffany. This has a ring of Harry Potter to it but is a different story.

The story begins with VIP guests who are arriving under mysterious circumstances. Seth wants to make an impression and as he is secretly
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Seth Seppi is a lowly kitchen boy at The Last Chance Hotel he’s unfairly treated by the owners Mr and Mrs Bunn and their vindictive daughter Tiffany.

He hasn’t got much to look forward to in life except for practising his new recipes just like his father the previous chef at the hotel who had died.

The story follows Seth and an enigmatic cast of guests who arrive at the hotel. He realises quickly that magic is in the air but when one of the guests dies Seth finds himself number one suspect in a mu
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a fabulous children's locked room murder mystery. Seth is a kitchen boy in a remote hotel in the depths of a forest where he is not treated very well by the owners and their daughter, Tiffany. When a group of important guests check-in, he is curious about them and, when he is treated kindly by one of the guests he decides to repay him by preparing a special dessert for him at dinner that evening. And that's where it all starts to go so horribly wrong for Seth as the guest dies at the dinner ...more
Stephen Connor
Nov 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: magic, adventure, mystery
Seth is a put-upon kitchen assistant at the Last Chance Hotel, and is spoken down to Mr Bunn, the chef, and teased and bullied by Bunn’s daughter, Tiffany.

When he sees the chance to earn some brownie points for a guest by baking an apricot dessert, he goes for it, and his beautiful creation is presented during a meeting. All is well, until one of the guests drops down dead.

Seth is of course suspected - but he knows he is innocent. He learns more about the guests, discovering their magical abil
Jon Mackley
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it
I bought this book because it was recommended to me by a member of staff in Waterstones. It’s a kind of Agatha Christie meets Harry Potter. It’s the traditional story of the murder in a sealed room. The protagonist, Seth, is the prime suspect and he sets out with his talking cat to find out which of the hotel’s occupants could have committed the murder, or indeed, whether he is himself guilty of the crime.

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with the story, but I found myself skim-reading to get
Justine Laismith
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
This book will be right up the street for younger middle grade readers. It's about finding the murderer of an eminent magician. Agatha-Christie-like, there are several characters in the hotel, and anyone of them could be the murderer. Mix this with some secret agents, in a Harry Potter setting of a magical/muggle world, and you have The Last Chance Hotel. I found Nightshade the cat bizarre, not quite sure of its role in the story. I expected more from it when it started talking. Not everything w ...more
Jamie Littlechild
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
I left about a quarter of the book unread and skipped to the end to find out what happened as the book dragged for me. It's a confusing read in all honesty and I struggled understanding what was going on. The main reason is because the characters names are too lengthy and unusual so I couldn't even pronounce them and lost track of what character was who. I see this a lot in MG/YA and it's quite annoying as when the characters are not strong enough they all tend to roll in to one. I did like Seth ...more
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NZ Intermediate S...: The Last Chance Hotel 1 10 Oct 21, 2018 02:57PM  

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