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Nicki Thornton

  • Original Title: SETH SEPPI MYSTERY
  • Publication date: June 2018
  • Publisher: CHICKEN HOUSE
  • Country: GB
  • 336 print pages
  • Fantastic/Urban Fantasy


  • Epoch: Historical
  • Time Period: 21st century
  • Location setting: United Kingdom
  • Themes: FAMILY, Mourning, PEOPLE facing life, Search for the truth, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Social relations, Family secrets, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Injustice, Rivalry, CHARACTERS, Child, Animal, Death, Friendship


The story of kitchen boy Seth, who is caught up in a murder investigation at a magicians' convention. Since the disappearance of Seth's father years before, his black cat has been his only friend, and Seth must prove his innocence to the Magical Constabulary before it is too late.


Translation rights sold: Options in Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany Holland, Italy, Korea, Poland, Romania, Russia, World Spanish, Taiwan, Turkey, USA, Australian,

Book 1, THE LAST CHANCE HOTEL, has now sold 40,000 copies in the UK.
Book 2, THE BAD LUCK LIGHTHOUSE, to be published in July 2019.
Book 3 will be ready in Spring 2020

A magical locked-room murder mystery, pitched as Agatha Christie meets Harry Potter.

Book 1 was Waterstones' Book of the Month in the UK

THE LAST CHANCE HOTEL is a fun murder mystery story which is very entertaining. It has a dark tone and magical suspense to it that young readers will enjoy and keep them interesting in solving the case. The story combines magic and murder and has lots of little twists and turns.

The co-founder of an independent bookshop in Abingdon, Oxfordshire has won the UK's most valuable children's writing competition for her unpublished debut. Nicki Thornton, who has run Mostly Books with her husband Mark for a decade, wins a £10,000 publishing contract with Chicken House, which will now work with the author on her novel, to be published in june 2018.
Thornton beat four other shortlisted writers to be named winner of the ninth Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition. The competition asks unpublished writers to submit a complete novel for children, and this year received a record number of over 1,000 entries, including many from overseas.

THE LAST CHANCE HOTEL is aimed at the lucrative 9-12 readers market. Thornton spent eight months writing the book, going through several drafts and getting feedback and support along the way from the local writers group of which she is a member.



What could be worse than working your fingers to the bone as the kitchen boy of a hotel in the middle of a wood so deep you can’t even imagine ever getting away?

Being the main suspect in a bizarre locked-room murder mystery?

Or when you learn the person you are suspected of murdering was one of the most important wizards in the land?

Seth Seppi started his day with a big dream of becoming a chef, like the father who abandoned him, and to get away from the Last-Chance Hotel.

Now he longs for nothing more than to stay one step ahead of the magical police and to find out who really killed kind Dr Thallomius.

Can Seth uncover the secrets of the Firefly Cage and discover his true heritage? Can he stay one step ahead of MagiCon and discover which of the guests is a clever killer and clear his name? Or will Seth only ever leave in disgrace with a murder charge hanging over him?

Report on Book 1 & 2 available

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