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I am standing in the lobby of a breathtaking luxury hotel.
My friends, all top hotel professionals, crowd round me.
‘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 managers and luxury travel experts. ‘The stories spring fully-formed from my imagination. But enough about me. Has anything weird or stimulating happened in any of your properties recently?’
‘Weird or stimulating barely suffices to describe what happened at my hotel in London last week,’ says the general manager of a legendary five-star property. ‘Let me tell you about it…’
So what is in the Hotel Stories; and why should you read them?
All seven Hotel Stories star the world’s most brilliant hotel manager, Ms N (she is too modest to wish to be named here). She has strict methods of dealing with badly-behaved hotel guests. The stories are narrated by Ms N’s beautiful but naive colleague, Tatiana.
The first reason you should read the Hotel Stories is The Two Rooms. Read about Mr Burke, an unspeakably obnoxious 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. (Links in bold italics are to other posts on this site.)
The second reason is The White Blouse. Somewhere in the Former Soviet Union is a hotel with some ugly problems including bribery; corruption; and a guest with unpleasant proclivities. The White Blouse contains scenes which are not for the squeamish. Actually, all of the Hotel Stories are intended for adult readers.
I’m delighted to announce that the fifth in the series of “Hotel Stories”, Ask for Scarlett, is now available. If you have a Kindle, or a Kindle app on your iPad, laptop or other digital device, you can download it instantly with six other stories in Hotel Stories: the Complete Collection.
I wrote about Ask for Scarlett in a previous post, including the fact that it lets us, for the first time, see parts of the story from the point of view of Ms N – the most brilliant, unpredictable and occasionally homicidal hotel manager in the world. It may also, perhaps, introduce a couple of comparatively sympathetic male characters.
Wonderful news for the hundreds (yes, I have counted) of fans of the ‘wonderful, feminist and dark’ Hotel Stories.
A fifth story in the series, Ask for Scarlett, is coming soon.
Many readers have asked – please can we see what is going on inside Ms N’s head?
Others have said – surely there must be a few more sympathetic male customers in these five star hotels?
One or two have said – the hotels you’re depicting aren’t luxurious enough. What about some real luxury? (Actually, I made that up. No-one could possibly doubt the luxury of the establishments in Hotel Stories 1-4.)
So watch this space for news of Ask for Scarlett – out soon on Amazon for your delectation.
It will address all the queries and alleged deficiencies mentioned above. Well, some of them.
Incidentally, analysis shows that my most popular post about the Hotel Stories is 5 Ways the “Hotel Stories” can improve your life, featuring beer, fish and chips, the picturesque hamlet of Stow cum Quy and “Don’t get mad, get even”. Check it out.
It’s true. The Hotel Stories can improve your life.
The Seven Hotel Stories are available in a single, wonderful, novel-length volume.
But what are the stories? Here’s a quick summary.
The first Hotel Story is called The Two Rooms. It involves an obnoxious guest; a Prime Minister on a moral crusade; a high-class call-girl; some Russian ice-hockey fans; an angry Japanese sushi chef; and a startling twist. Is it my favourite? Perhaps it is.
The second Hotel Story, set somewhere in the Former Soviet Union in a hotel with some ugly problems including bribery; corruption; and a guest with deeply unpleasant proclivities, is The White Blouse. This one has a couple of scenes which are not for the squeamish. Actually, all of the Hotel Stories are intended for adult readers.
In response to popular demand, I have published on Kindle an omnibus of my famous Hotel Stories.
The price is much better than buying the stories individually.
In the early days, back when I’d only written four Hotel Stories, I threw in an old, strange story of mine which I wrote back in the early ’90s in Moscow. I wrote several short stories and even a novel about Russia in those days. This is one of my favourites.
Novy Bor (it means “new forest” in Russian) is not a hotel story. But it does, like the Hotel Stories, have a female narrator. It’s set at a time – the winter of 1991-92 – when the Soviet Union suddenly ceased to exist.
Street scene near Kyiv Station, Moscow, 2005. Photo: Robert Pimm
1991-92 was a period of turbulence, uncertainty and corruption in Russia: as the narrator observes: “with more dollars sloshing around in what people are beginning to call Russia than at any time since 1917, only a saint would have nothing to hide, and saints don’t make it big in Russian politics.”
“Novy Bor” is not at present available in full; but I might publish it on this blog sometime, if anyone says they’d like the read the rest of it. You can read a taster here. Let me know what you think via the “Contact me” page.
Novy Bor (excerpt)
A short story by Robert Pimm
The piece about the Russian rocket boffins and the Pyongyang vacation jobs catches my eye in some guy’s copy of AIDS-INFO as I step onto the platform at Lubyanka. I see it over his shoulder – I’m pretty tall – but read only a line or two before the usual crowd of jostlers sweeps me up off exitwards. Shoving back against an elbow in the breast I break my knee on a crate of oranges on wheels which is being pulled along like a dog on a string by an old man in a black coat who chooses this moment to stop dead. (more…)
You can now find the fourth in the series of “Hotel Stories”, Britches, published on Amazon as part of Hotel Stories: The Complete Collection.
I’ve written about Britches in a previous post, including the fact that it features a rather attractive Scot in a kilt; so I won’t say any more about it now. Let’s get straight into the action with an excerpt from the start of the story.
A short story by Robert Pimm
‘The music is too loud.’
‘I beg your pardon, sir?’
‘You are kidding me, right?’ The customer in the dressing gown peers at my name badge. ‘Tatiana.’
‘No, sir, of course I am not kidding you. But I cannot hear you too good.’
The man is narrowing his eyes. I think he is deciding whether it is worth being angry with someone so unimportant as me. (more…)
My last blog promised that the fourth Hotel Story, Britches, would be coming soon.
I’m editing it this afternoon.
It’s good to re-read a story and enjoy it. Here are two excerpts from Britches:
– As our narrator heroine Tatiana is manhandled through a crowded party in the Dionysus Bar of the hotel by an over-excited guest, she assesses the situation:
I try to relax and to focus on my task, which is to turn the music down, or even off. As I am being dragged I examine the people I am being dragged past in case they can help me. Most of the men have more white hair than the women, but their noses are not so sharp and their lips are less stretched. They are dressed in black suits with black or white open-necked shirts and some of them have what look like small white moustaches. But when I look closer I see that they have dabs of white powder under their nose as if they have cut themselves shaving.
It is as if there has been a bad-shaving massacre in the Basement Luxury Venue.
– Later, Tatiana recruits help from some men in kilts to tackle a problem; and we see her famous analytical skills in action:
If I am honest, I am thinking that the man with the hairy, shapely legs has already tonight had one or more drinks. But in a moment he has pulled three other men in skirts from the crowd of people who are watching the Long-Legged Lovely Lassies. All of this new group of men also have hairy, shapely legs. In fact, I am wondering whether this is because men with hairy, shapely legs are enjoying wearing a skirt more than men with legs which are not so hairy or shapely; or whether it is because wearing a skirt makes a man’s legs more hairy and shapely.
A talented woman, is Tatiana. Watch this space for more news about Britches.
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