I’m standing in the lobby of one of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
I’m surrounded by top hotel professionals: general managers, directors of sales and marketing, even a hotel recruitment wizard, all here for the birthday of another top hotel professional.
‘We’ve heard about your Hotel Stories,’ says one. ‘They sound fabulous – a little bit spicy, a little bit mysterious, loads of strong women. Are they based on real life?’
‘Absolutely not,’ I say to the group of hotel professionals. ‘They all spring fully-formed from my imagination. But enough about me. Has anything weird or remarkable happened in any of your properties recently?’
‘Weird or remarkable barely suffices to describe what happened at a hotel managed by an old friend of mine in London last week,’ says one.
So what’s in the Hotel Stories; and why should you read them?
Here’s a quick summary.
The first reason you should read the Hotel Stories is The Two Rooms. Key plot ingredients are an unspeakably obnoxious male guest; a Prime Minister on a moral crusade; a high-class call-girl; some cigar-smoking Russian ice-hockey fans; an angry Japanese sushi chef; and a startling twist. Is it my favourite? Perhaps it is.
The second reason is The White Blouse, set somewhere in the Former Soviet Union in a hotel with some ugly problems including bribery; corruption; and a guest with deeply unpleasant proclivities. The White Blouse has a couple of scenes which are not for the squeamish. Actually, all of the Hotel Stories are intended for adult readers.
The third reason is Gents, set in sunny Florida. It involves a congress of hoteliers; a dodgy night-club; alligators; and an ambitious male colleague who does not respect Ms N and tries to muscle her out of a job on which she has set her heart. This turns out to be a bad move on his part.
The fourth reason is Britches, which records how Ms N and Tatiana first met. They slowly form a team, as Tatiana helps Ms N sorts out the hotel owner from hell using a Combined Burns Night and St Patrick’s Day Ball (they exist! I’ve been to one); the President of China; a whisky-tasting; a giant cake; and something Tatiana finds under a handsome Scotsman’s kilt.
The fifth reason is Too Cool to be Corporate, which takes Ms N and Tatiana to the Caravanserai Ultra Platinum – “the coolest and most ecological as well as the most luxurious hotel on earth”. You will find why Tatiana says “every paradise contains a serpent”; how Ms N solves a problem no-one else can even identify; and how much nonsense you can talk about the environment to sell hotel rooms.
The sixth reason is The Swedish Woman. In an elevator awash with blood, a man lies murdered. But who is the killer? The suspects are many, including the mysterious Swedish woman, who checked in a few hours earlier. If Ms N and Tatiana cannot identify the murderer before the untainted-by-corruption-of-any-kind Minister of Justice can summon his portly Chief of Police, disaster looms.
Where can you read the Hotel Stories? Lots of ways:
- You can read excerpts of each story at the links above. See what you fancy;
- The best-value way to enjoy the stories is to buy Hotel Stories: The Complete Collection. You can find it at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and other reputable Amazon outlets;
- If you fancy buying a single story, all are available individually. For ease of reference, links to Amazon are below.
Have fun; and do let me know what you think. Comments and Amazon reviews are always welcome.