What people are saying about The Last Chance Hotel

I've had some lovely reviews of my book The Last Chance Hotel. A huge thank you to everyone who has taken the trouble to read and share their thoughts.

Thrilled to see it in The Guardian 'the best recent fiction for children'. 'Young orphan Seth is actually an immensely talented chef, miserably indentured and bullied by the Bunns' insufferable daughter; he has to turn sleuth in this magical milieu to figure out who is framing him and why. Talking cats, mysterious notebooks full of ancient wickedness; what's not to love?'

Thank you to The Times for making it their Book of the Week 23 June 2018 'it's a jolly, atmospheric mystery'.

Big thanks also to The Week Junior for making it their Book of the Week (Jun 28) 'If you like whodunnits, you'll enjoy this mystery, inspired by Agatha Christie and Enid Blyton, but set in a magical world. Entertaining and inventive'

And to the Phoenix Comic for making it their book club pick June 9.

Also to The Telegraph for featuring it in their 'The best children's and young adult books of 2018 (so far)'

Thank you to Matthew Simpson for his review in the Maidenhead Advertiser (Jun 28) ‘I could not put The Last Chance Hotel down when I started. It was a thrill ride from start to finish. I loved the characters and the constant air of mystery they added.’

Pam Norfolk, Lancashire Evening Post (June 12)


Emily Bearn, The Daily Telegraph (Saturday 2 June)


Storgykids (full review here)
The Last Chance Hotel is a delightful page turner, I challenge anyone who reads it not to fall under Thornton’s spell. The book reads as a simple who done it novel but the beauty of this book is the shear brilliance of its plot and the characters that are held within its pages. A remarkable book with so much to offer young readers.

Book Mumuration



(read the full review here)

Books for Topics (full review here)

'This is the kind of story that keeps you guessing through its twists and turns and a few delightfully impish red herrings thrown in for good measure . . . What follows is a fast-paced investigation as Seth desperately attempts to clear his name and solve the mystery. At the same time, Seth discovers more about the existence of magic and finds himself increasingly captivated by the wonderful magical objects and secret histories he unearths.'

Miss Cleveland is Reading

‘Hercule Poirot meets Harry Potter in this mind-bending, magical, murder mystery. With plot-twists aplenty, a well-crafted world, and an eclectic cast, I was gripped from beginning to end, and desperately want to know what happens next.’ (such a lovely review! Read the whole thing here)

Read it Daddy book of the week
'C is really enjoying how the murder mystery is told from the point of view of the accused which is a neat and original twist.'

Golden Books Girl (full review here)
'I was rooting so much for Seth, who was so loveable I dare anyone to read this and not adore him, to clear his name. His rather critical, gloriously funny cat Nightshade was definitely my favourite though; she was a phenomenal animal companion. The magic system was really unique and clever too.'

Sue & Pakka’s Blog



‘This is a book to savour. To enjoy sitting with your cat beside you in peace – for once not climbing bookcases or disappearing into the backs of open drawers. It is marvellous with many different elements, or, if I may, flavours.’ (full review here)

Parents in Touch

‘There are plenty of clues in this atmospheric book which will have you gripped throughout as you root for Seth.’ (full review here - you'll need to scroll down the page!)



You can listen to when I was a guest on Fun Kids Radio (26th June)

The lovely Lilley Mitchell from BBC Radio Oxford was kind enough to invite me onto her show. If you want to hear our chat about The Last Chance Hotel and get my amazing writing tips, then you can listen here. I arrive at 2 hrs 8 mins (between Prince and David Bowie no less).

and even more kind readers who have taken the trouble to read and review over at Good Reads.

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I love talking to children about books and reading. If you would like to invite me to an event, I've put up a page with all the details of what you need to do here.