I am enjoying a vat of Champagne in the lobby of a breathtaking luxury hotel.
All around, top hotel professionals – general managers of eye-popping resorts and directors of sales of world-famous chains – have gathered for the birthday of another top hotel professional.
‘We’ve heard about your Seven Hotel Stories,’ says one. ‘They sound fabulous – I like the sound of this spicy, mysterious Ms N, all the strong women and the ingenious murders – are they based on real life?’
‘Absolutely not,’ I say. ‘They spring fully-formed from my imagination. Especially Ms N, the world’s most brilliant, unpredictable and occasionally homicidal hotel manager and her beautiful but naive ally, Tatiana. She bears absolutely no resemblance to anyone I know. But tell me. Has anything weird or remarkable happened in any of your hotels recently?’
‘Weird or remarkable barely suffices to describe what happened at my hotel in London last week,’ says another top hotel professional. ‘Let me tell you all about it.’
The above is a true story.
You should read the Hotel Stories for seven reasons.
Your first reason is The Two Rooms. Ingredients are an obnoxious male guest; a dodgy 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 macabre twist. Is it my favourite? Perhaps it is.
Your second reason is The White Blouse, set in a hotel with ugly problems including corruption, abuse of women and a guest with unpleasant sexual 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, although none is erotic or explicit.
Your third reason is Gents, an adventure set in sunny Florida. It involves a congress of hoteliers; a dodgy night-club; alligators; corporate in-fighting; and an ambitious male colleague who does not respect Ms N. This is, of course, a mistake.
Your fourth reason is Britches, which records how Ms N and Tatiana first met. Tatiana and Ms N sort 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.
Your fifth reason is Ask for Scarlett. You can find out why, at the Caravanserai Ultra Platinum – “the coolest and most ecological as well as the most luxurious hotel on earth”, Tatiana says “every paradise contains a serpent”; how Ms N solves a problem no-one else can identify; and how environmental claptrap can sell hotel rooms.
Your sixth reason is The Swedish Woman. In an elevator awash with blood, a man lies dead. Can Ms N and Tatiana identify the murderer before the 100% untainted-by-corruption-of-any-kind Minister of Justice, who is present in the lobby, can summon the police? A whodunnit thriller.
The seventh reason is The Three Heads. Can marketing, social media and the coolest pop star on earth save Tatiana’s loss-making hotel, the Caravanserai Ultra-Platinum, nestling inside a hollowed-out mountain above a relic-strewn plain and accessible only via three separate and perhaps not entirely modern or safe airlines? Is there really a flea infestation? Only Ms N knows the answer.
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;
- You can buy Hotel Stories: The Complete Collection. You can find it at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and other reputable Amazon outlets;
- If you fancy trying a single story, you can read The Two Rooms by way of an introduction.
- If you don’t want to pay for a story, contact me via the form below and I’ll send you a Word copy of one of the stories. We try to please!
Have fun; and do let me know what you think. Comments and Amazon reviews are always welcome.
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