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Murder at the Dolphin Hotel

(Miss Underhay #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,515 ratings  ·  165 reviews
A room with a view… to murder

June 1933. Independent young Kitty Underhay has been left in charge of her family’s hotel, The Dolphin, on the tranquil English coast. She’s expecting her days at the bustling resort to be filled with comfortable chatter with chambermaids as they polish the mahogany desks and glittering candelabras of the elegant foyer. Everything must be per
Kindle Edition, 252 pages
Published December 11th 2019 by Bookouture (first published December 9th 2019)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,515 ratings  ·  165 reviews

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Start your review of Murder at the Dolphin Hotel (Miss Underhay Mysteries #1)
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
As soon as I saw the setting I knew I wanted to read this. I spent many happy holidays in Dartmouth as a child, and remember looking out at the beautiful view of the river from a hotel window just as Kitty does in the story. Plus I always enjoy a good cosy set in the 1930's!

So Murder at the Dolphin Hotel ticked several boxes for me before I even started to read it. It also turned out to be an excellent mystery with many twists and turns and an unpredictable ending. I enjoyed the characters and l
Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's always good to start a new series that you know you're going to love. 'Murder at the Dolphin Hotel' introduces Kitty Underhay, a young woman who helps her grandmother run a hotel in Dartmouth in the 1930s. Kitty's mother disappeared when she was six and is presumed dead and she hasn't seen her father who lives in America since she was even younger, but she has a good life with her grandmother and enjoys the hotel, especially organising entertainment for the guests.

While Kitty's grandmother
When Kitty Underhay’s grandmother left to attend to a sick relative, she had hired ex-Army Captain, Matthew Bryant as security for the Dolphin Hotel, and to make sure Kitty herself was safe. Grams knew more than she had let on to Matt; she was worried for Kitty, wishing she hadn’t had to leave. But needs must, and Kitty was an independent young woman, happy to oversee the hotel that had been her home for as long as she could remember. Kitty had acquired the services of a Chicago jazz singer who ...more
Natalia  R
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

It's been seventeen years since Kitty Underhay's mother vanished without a trace. Kitty, now twenty-three years old, lives and works at her grandmother's hotel in Dartmouth, England. When her grandmother travels to look after her sister, Kitty is left in charge of the hotel. Unbeknownst to her, her grandmother has been receiving mysterious letters and has hired a new security officer to look after the hotel in her absence. Kitty doesn't think too much of the additional security until a
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Murder at the Dolphin Hotel by Helena Dixon is an engaging historical cozy. Ms. Dixon is a "new to me" author; but I was glad to find this book as it was an easy read.

The plot is smoothly paced with quite a few twists, several suspects and a diverse cast of characters set in 1933. I found Kitty and Matthew to be very likable and enjoyed getting to know them both as their characters developed throughout the story. The finale was intense and caught me by surprise as to "who done it". I look forwar
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

This new series is set in Dartmouth, England in 1933 with the main characters of Mrs. Treadwell (Grams), the owner of the Dolphin Hotel and her granddaughter Kitty Underhay. Mrs. Treadwell hires ex-army Captain Matthew Bryant to watch over the hotel and especially Kitty as she has been receiving threatening notes in recent weeks. Someone seems to think that they know of the whereabouts of a
Robin Loves Reading
In one of my favorite genres, cozy mysteries, Murder at the Dolphin Hotel introduces readers to a new amateur detective as well as a new series.

The very first thing that I enjoyed about this book is the setting. It is 1933 and is in Dartmouth, England. Kitty Underhay is suddenly manager of her grandmother's hotel. Kitty is new at her job, and her grandmother, lovingly called Grams, also hires ex-captain Matthew Bryant to watch over things as she has to deal with an emergency in Scotland and
Toya (the reading chemist)
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
As much as I love a heart-racing, hang onto your seat thriller, there’s something about slowing down and being completely engrossed in a cozy mystery during the holiday season that I absolutely love.

The Murder at the Dolphin Hotel takes place in the summer of 1933 in Dartmouth, England. Mrs. Treadwell (Grams) owns the beautiful Dolphin hotel, which is always bustling during the summer. However, Grams must reluctantly leave since her sister took quite the tumble resulting in some broken bones. Wh
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lovely, historical cozy mystery set in Dartmouth, 1933.

It's summer and the start of the tourist season in riverside Dartmouth at the Dolphin Hotel. The fashionable place is owned and managed by Mrs. Treadwell and her granddaughter, Miss Kitty Underhay. As the story opens, a dead body has been fetched out of the river -- the man was a Dutch foreigner -- and the police are involved. Murder is not common in Dartmouth and this news has everyone a bit on edge. So, when Mrs. Treadwell has to leave
Mar 02, 2021 rated it liked it
This was a well-paced tale that reads easily and fast set in Dartmouth in the 1930's. There are two featured characters that grow in trust of one another throughout the series of mishaps and murders, all whilst managing a resort hotel and being faced with bitter truths of family history. Once invested in their fate, one wants to read on in the series.

Kindle Unlimited
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A murder mystery set in 1933, this was simply the perfect book for me. I grew up reading such books, scavenging them from my relatives' bookshelves... Most were first or second editions. You bet I was not allowed to touch them. Yet... I did.

Dolphin Hotel was the setting and its owner Mrs. Treadwell was receiving few threatening notes in the past few days. She hired Mathew to look into her and protect Kitty her granddaughter. In absentia of gran, Kitty and Matt started investigating, when murder
Dec 10, 2019 rated it liked it
When her grandmother must travel to Scotland to care for an ailing relative, Kitty Underhay is left in charge of running the family's hotel during their greatest entertainment booking. After receiving several mysterious and threatening notes, Kitty's grandmother enlists a a former military man, Captain Matt Bryant to make sure everything is safe and secure in her absence.

Now with a murder so close to the hotel's front doors and rooms within in the hotel being secreted into and searched, it appea
Diah R
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
(I received a digital ARC via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

This wasn't the first cozy mystery I've read, but probably the most boring one. Maybe I'm just not suited to cozy mystery.

Pros: good writing (I swear the words flew like water and I didn't realize that I arrived at 50% mark just by reading it at work), easy to follow plot (much like other cozies), and cute setting.

Cons: too many characters, I didn't really like Kitty (and I guess this play a huge role on me not being
Clare Chase
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this atmospheric historical mystery. The characters were appealing and I enjoyed the romantic sub-plot. The descriptions of 1930s Dartmouth, the hotel and other local businesses all added colour. I’m looking forward to the next in the series.
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
This cozy mystery sounded like it would be right up my alley. Kitty is a young woman in the 1920s who has been put in charge of running the family hotel while her grandmother goes out of town for a bit. Her grandmother doesn’t want to leave and hires a former soldier to be in charge of security while she is gone, due to threatening letters she has been receiving. The problem for me was that Kitty is rather useless and makes only poor choices. I wanted more about the hotel and the workings of the ...more
Debra Belmudes
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a fun, golden-age cozy set in a boutique luxury hotel run by Kitty Underhay's grandmother. Kitty has been raised at the hotel by her grandmother from a very young age since her parents disappeared.

When her grandmother is called away by a family emergency, Kitty is left in charge to prepare for the season's new jazz act and masked ball. But, a series of mishaps begin to occur when word gets out there may be a valuable gem hidden at the hotel. With the help of the new house detective, Mat
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A character described as a black Chicago native shouldn't sound like a white woman from NC! British narrator failed on how to handle that; I had to keep reminding myself the woman wasn't white.

Main character a bit Nancy Drew-ish, but not too ditzy. Romance angle not overdone.
Christine Margaret Costello
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great read, Helena writes a very entertaining story, just downloaded the next in the series. Very enjoyable and I love stories aet back in time. Good characters.
Gail C.
Dec 08, 2019 rated it liked it
This is the first in a new cozy mystery series featuring Kitty Underhay, a twenty-something year old woman in the flapper era. She has been raised by her grandmother in the hotel she owns and Kitty is currently co-managing the hotel with her grandmother in preparation for her assuming responsibility of it’s running. Kitty has been left in charge of the hotel while her grandmother travels to take care of an ailing aunt.
Before leaving, Kitty’s grandmother hires Matthew Bryant, a former captain in
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
A pleasantly surprising cozy mystery and a light and delightful read.

I was unsure about this book in the early going, but quickly came around to its charming characters and propulsive plot.

This book relies less on atmosphere than most cozy mysteries, which concerned me at first but felt like a nonissue by the end of the book. And while the solve is not exceptional, it’s perfectly fine.

Perhaps most intriguing is how well this book sets up the future installments of the series with several enga
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable cosy period crime thriller, set in 1933. A very easy read, the author has a nice writing style.

A series of strange notes leaves Grams worried about Kitty’s safety, so she calls on Matthew Bryant to keep an eye on her granddaughter before being called away to deal with a family emergency. When Kitty’s bedroom is ransacked and people start getting murdered, it seems Kitty is in serious danger.

This is the first in the series about Kitty Underhay, a young woman who helps her grandmother
Mar 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We are introduced to a holiday spot in 1933s England and the Dolphin Hotel. The proprietress of the hotel is the Grandmother of our leading lady, Kitty Underhay. She has a sad and mysterious past with her mother going missing unexpectedly and her father away, the latter a person Kitty has never seen or heard much (or anything at all) about. In this mix come threatening letters and a forced trip for the Grandmother, meaning additional security requirements to protect Kitty. Captain Matthew Bryant ...more
Cara Devlin
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a perfect beach read! A fun and fast cozy mystery that takes place at a hotel in England during the busy summer season. I'm not always a huge fan of jewel theft plots but thankfully there was a nice tangle of clues and red herrings, and the main characters each had their own mysterious pasts (which are left unresolved to be continued in the next book, I imagine). One critique would be the villain: he was a little obvious and there was that scene at the end where he gloats about how he p ...more
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this! Romance, mystery, murder, 1930's England and masqued balls! What more could a reader ask for?
It was slightly slow to get started but that is probably due to it being the first in the series and having the scene setting to attend to etc.
I loved the writing, it was historical without being antiquated and the little accent touches were nice.
The plot was gripping, if slightly predictable but it didnt detract from my enjoyment.
All round great read! Cant wait to start the ne
Angharad Boyson
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I like the characters of Kitty Underhay and Matthew Bryant. At times I felt the plot was a little slow and it took a while before I felt this was a book I couldn’t put down. But I enjoyed it more as it went on and I’ve already started the next book in the series.
There are still mysteries left to solve and plenty of room for character growth. Hopefully this is a series that will be continue to grow.
Caron Allan
Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful start to a great series

This was my first taste of Helena Dixon's work and I loved it. Definitely head and shoulders above the majority of cozy crime novels. With delightful characters, secrets and plenty of mystery, this book really grabbed my interest and held it to the end. I highly recommend this book, and I'm now heading off to start book 2!
Puzzle Doctor
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Full review at
Jan 12, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021
A 2.5 stars for me.

There were too many coincidences to be believable.
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is the first in a series which does not disappoint. This novel has the genuine feel of a Golden Age classic. The characters are amiable and well defined. The setting is luxurious. Several strands of mystery, one of which, the unsolved disappearance of the heroine's mother, continues throughout the series. The plot unfolds in an unhurried way. There is no extraneous gore. A good escape read for Covid times. ...more
Tracy Wood
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: z-netgalley, za-2019
Running a hotel is a time consuming profession even when it's in your blood and you are doing so during the heady days of the early 1930's. When you start getting threatening letters along with everything else it definitely adds an extra amount of stress to your day. Kitty Underhay lives with her grandmother at The Dolphin Hotel in Dartmouth which they own and manage between them. Kitty's mother, Elowed, disappeared in June 1916 on her way to London and hasn't been seen or heard from since. Her ...more
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Librarian note:
There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name
For other authors of this name, see also:

see: Helena Dixon - Erotica

This author also writes as:

Nell Dixon - Contemporary Womens Fiction

Nell is an multi-award winning author who splits her time between Devon and the Black Country. She lives with her husband, daughters, a tank of tropical fish, and a crazy Cockerp

Other books in the series

Miss Underhay (6 books)
  • Murder at Enderley Hall (Miss Underhay Mysteries #2)
  • Murder at the Playhouse (Miss Underhay Mysteries #3)
  • Murder on the Dance Floor (Miss Underhay Mysteries #4)
  • Murder in the Belltower (Miss Underhay Mysteries #5)
  • Murder at Elm House (A Miss Underhay Mystery #6)

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