Happy Review Sunday guys!! And SHOCKER! I actually have a review for y’all today. I finished this book last night and thought it would be good to chat about it now before I forgot and it just happened to line up very well with a Sunday post.
My keyboard is still going crazy so I’m going to stop typing unnecessarily and just get into the review.
Title: Murder at the Dolphin Hotel
Author: Helena Dixon
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Historical
Publication Date: December 11th 2019
Pages: 252 pages
When I Read It: December 18th 2020
Goodreads Rating: 4.05 Stars
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 perfect for the arrival of a glamourous jazz singer from Chicago and a masked ball that will be the cultural highlight of the season. But when several rooms are broken into and searched, including Kitty’s own, she quickly realises that something out of the ordinary is afoot at the hotel. Soon rumours are flying in the cozy town that someone is on the hunt for a stolen ruby. A ruby that Kitty’s mother may well have possessed when she herself went missing during the Great War. And when the break-ins are followed by a series of attacks and murders, including of the town’s former mayoress, it seems the perpetrator will stop at nothing to find it. Aided by ex-army captain Matthew Bryant, the Dolphin’s new security officer, Kitty is determined to decipher this mystery and preserve not only the reputation of her hotel, but also the lives of her guests. Is there a cold-blooded killer under her own roof? And what connects the missing jewel to the mystery from Kitty’s own past?
My Goodreads Review: *aka my initial thoughts, straight after (and during) reading
September 22, 2020 – page 51 20.24% “So far I really like it. I’m a sucker for a mystery and this is giving me such Miss Fisher’s Murder Mystery vibes. I cant wait to read more.”
Finished – 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 next one.
Characters: I enjoyed reading Kitty’s perspective. She was a fun character to read, determined and adventurous but at the same time still very proper for contemporary views of woman and knows her place and how to work around that if that makes sense. I wish we got more into the mystery of her mother and the drama with her dad but I think that will develop in books to come. I did think she was slightly oblivious and too trusting at times but it worked with the plot and complimented her personality so she was nice to read. As always, I preferred reading Matthew’s POV because I always enjoy the guys perspective more. I loved his backstory and just him as a character was a joy to read. He was the perfect balance to Kitty and yeah I don’t know how many ways I can say he was my fave. Overall, the characterisation in this book was really promising and noone irritated or angered me so that is a bonus.
Characters = 8/10
Humour: There wasn’t much humour in this book but it doesn’t fit with the genre so I can’t really mark it down for that. So I’m just going to give it half marks because it wasn’t funny, but it also wasn’t attempting to be.
Humour = 5/10
Atmosphere: I am a sucker for historical setting in things – books, TV, movies etc. And I think that’s where this book was most outstanding for me. I thought it was an incredible representation of 1930’s england and it was very immersive from the accents, the caloquialisms and the little historical elements were really well balanced with the modern writing and I don’t know how to describe it fully but it was just great!
Atmosphere = 10/10
Writing Style: I feel that this kind of ties into what I just said as there is a lot of overlap between how well its written and how successful and immersive the atmosphere and time period feel. It was quite a descriptive writing style which I personally enjoy but I know some people prefer a little less description so I’m mentioning it even though I felt it worked super well with the 1930’s vibe.
Writing Style = 10/10
Plot: As a mystery, the plot is arguably the most important part. I did enjoy the plot, like I said above – murder, mystery and romance?! What about that plot is not to love? I don’t want to delve too much into the actual plot of the mystery too much incase I say a spoiler inadvertently but I do think that the blurb kind of says it all really. I wish there was more of a delve into Kitty’s mother’s story but it is only the first in the series so I can presume that it will develop in those.
Plot = 8/10
Intrigue: As I briefly touched on, I think that the blurb kind of spoils a lot of the plot a bit. There isn’t much of a surprise as to the motive of events. And by the 100 page mark I had guessed the person behind everything, and the characters seemed to have worked it out quite quickly after me too. There wasn’t ever really much debate about who was behind it, more that they couldn’t be found if that makes sense. Its slightly disappointing because intrigue and drama is a focal point of this genre and I think it missed the mark slightly. It was also quite a slow book which I think accentuated this faults.
Intrigue = 6/10
Logic: The historical logic I thought was great and the characters actions seemed logical and great… If anything it was too logical in the way that there wasn’t any surprise about who did what because only a few people had motive.
Logic = 7/10
Enjoyment: Despite the last two debbie downer sections, I did enjoy it. I think it was down to the writing style, the historical setting and the flirty hints at romance. It was a nice read and I did enjoy it.
Enjoyment = 7/10
Relationships: I really liked the romance in the novel because there wasn’t much. It was more of a flirty but appropriate relationship and you can tell the tension growing between them and it just got me so so excited for the next in the series to see how it develops and grows!
Relationships = 8/10
Overall Score = 69/90 or 7.7/10
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
That’s all for today’s review folks. I will again keep this short because of my laptop and just leave you with today’s Questions. I hope you enjoyed this and I will see you guys again tomorrow ❤