What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

The Last Chance Hotel (Seth Seppi Mystery, #1)
This topic is about The Last Chance Hotel
SOLVED: Children's/YA > SOLVED. Children's Mystery & Fantasy. Hotel, important magician guest gets murdered, MC is the suspect. Spoilers ahead. [s]

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message 1: by Isla (last edited Oct 09, 2020 05:37AM) (new)

Isla (queerbookgirl) | 5 comments Warning: a lot of spoilers ahead! I will be revealing basically the whole plot.

Genre: Fantasy and mystery.
Details: I read this in 2019 or 2020.
Cover: I think the cover had a hotel on it, used purple prominently, and had silhouettes of people behind the windows.

I will be including lots of random details.

In this book, the main character is working as a servant, possibly slave, for a cruel hotel owner. His father was a chef, and who his mother is is revealed later in the book. He strives to be like his father (I don't know what happened to his father) but doesn't think he'll ever be. An important guest comes over, I think one of the most experienced magicians. Along with him he brings a crew of magicians and hopeful magicians, and I think they serve as a jury essentially to test if someone's has magic in their blood.
Anyways, the main character is assigned to make something, a dessert for the magician, but he is stumped. The daughter of the family he works for finds him sneaking a fish to his cat, who is an important character in the story. The girl threatens to do something, not sure what. Then he finds the cat scratching at something in the wall, I think, and there's a book in there. The book is a magic book, and it has things from a "firefly lamp" (that's important later on in the story) and a recipe that would be perfect for him. The cat turns out to be able to talk, but hasn't seen a need for the past years when the MC owned her.
He prepares the dessert, it may be lemon cake or something like that, and it is given to the guest. Soon after he eats it, he falls dead. The people call a magical detective organization, and he's scared because they tell him that they do things using magic, including blowing people up like balloons, to get their suspects to tell the truth. (He's the suspect.) He mentions the firefly lamp, which raises suspicion.
When the detective arrives, however, he is eventually friendly to the MC and asks for information. He and the detective work together to figure out the murderer, but he is still a suspect. Then some things happen, and here is where I don't remember a lot. Some things that happen, not necessarily chronologically:
- One of the magicians that came with the victim has the ability to hear the walls talking, and does some magic with her wand.
- Another person is discovered to use springs in her shoes to fake magic, and is disqualified. I think there's a magic garden, I'm not sure. If so, I think that's where the wall talking thing happens.
- The person who can hear the walls talking, I think her name is Monique, is discovered to be using illegal magic to get more information about the people there. She summons some mist, or something like that, and gets info from a database. One of the things that come up is a group of rogue magicians who were never seen again. The MC and the detective have a conversation where the MC realizes that Monique has a lot of power that she's not using.
- The detective informs the MC that Monique is working for a secret magician intelligence agency or something like that, and that she's trying to solve the mystery of the rogue magicians.
- Another thing that happens is that the MC's talking cat scratches the hotel owner's daughter, and she locks the cat up in a cabinet. The cat is okay afterwards, just annoyed I think.
- Sometime later, I think the MC finds a firefly lamp in the possession of the hotel owner.
- The MC also sometime finds an artifact (this may have happened a little earlier) that has the power to make the user appear somewhere else or something like that. Later, it turns out to be illegal.
A while after, someone hears a scream. I know that there's a new chapter here. It is a hopeful magician, and she saw a ghost. Her mother says this is proof of her magic. She thinks it is the ghost of the victim. It turns out to be the person whose room the MC found the artifact in, and I think that same person also has the symbol of a magic criminal organization in his room that the MC found. It may have been something like "the red carnation", I'm not sure.
Then it is revealed somehow that the victim, a well-respected magician, worked with a magician who turned evil on the "firefly lamp". The firefly lamp can trap a magician, not killing them but rather forcing all the power out of them. All of a magician's magic, when trapped in a firefly lamp, is at the mercy of the user of the firefly lamp. This causes a shock to everyone that this reputable magician would have worked on this.
Then sometime later, possibly right after, giant creatures are seen in the forest surrounding the hotel. The detective goes out to investigate, and the MC may have been told to stay but went instead. It turns out to be the family's daughter who, using the firefly lamp, animated wooden creatures and made them huge. She has no magic blood, but wants to be a magician. She seems to have stolen the firefly lamp from her father, the hotel owner, and claimed the magic for herself. There's a chase, and finally the firefly lamp is retrieved and the girl is taken away to jail. The mother of the MC turns out to be one of the rogue magicians, and whether she is alive or dead is unclear. The MC is offered the possibility to train to be a magician, and I think he accepts.

Ironically, I don't remember who actually killed the victim. It may have been the hotel owner, or the person who popped up and looked like a ghost.

Thanks for any help! I really want to know what the title of this book is.

message 2: by Paige (new)

Paige | 690 comments I haven't read it, but could it be The Last Chance Hotel?

message 3: by Isla (new)

Isla (queerbookgirl) | 5 comments Paige wrote: "I haven't read it, but could it be The Last Chance Hotel?" That is it, thanks! :D

message 4: by Paige (new)

Paige | 690 comments Yay! Glad I could help.

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