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Publisher's Summary

If you want to spend a night amid the luxury and charm of the early 20th century, book a room at Hotel 1911. You'll find 28-year-old Ivy Nichols behind the reception desk. The hotel is Ivy's only link to the family that abandoned her when she was a small child. Now, plagued by panic attacks, she pedals her sea-green Schwinn bicycle to work every evening, hoping desperately to hold on to her job.

When wealthy, imperious Ms. Swain arrives at the hotel and belittles Ivy, the young woman seeks consolation in the welcoming kitchen of George, the hotel's chef. Despite her tormentor's barbs, she dutifully informs George that Ms. Swain has a deadly allergy to shellfish. So when Ms. Swain collapses at dinner and dies, the police suspect that the chef made a tragic, inexcusable error. Desperate to save George's career, Ivy begins sleuthing. She learns that numerous people in and around the hotel had motives to contaminate Ms. Swain's plate. Among them are the victim's son and heir, Jeffrey Swain, painter Rose Jewett, and British expat Hemal Sandeep.

Even after the police find traces of shellfish in George's kitchen, Ivy is determined to clear her friend's name. But the stress of the investigation in a hotel filled with suspects threatens to precipitate another terrifying panic attack...or something more deadly.

©2020 Audrey Keown (P)2020 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What listeners say about Murder at Hotel 1911

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Twisty mystery with a complicated protagonist!

Loved this book! I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery. Lots of twists and turns that keep you guessing, but my favorite part of the book is probably Ivy Nichols, the intrepid protagonist determined to solve the case. I love how Keown wrote this character - devoted friend and daughter, but ultimately flawed and coping with mental illness, past trauma, and family secrets. It’s so refreshing to have a fully relatable and three dimensional female lead. I’ve read far too many books in which the female heroine is only allowed to have cutesy, adorable foibles, not real personal weaknesses and mistakes... so happy to say that Ivy Nichols is nothing like that. And did I mention family secrets? I’m dying to know more about the Morrow family and Ivy’s mom. I CANNOT WAIT for book 2! I need answers! :)

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GOOD SERIES INTRO

I ENJOYED THE THEMED SETTING, AND IVY, GEORGE, AND MR. FIG ARE LIKEABLE CHARACTERS YOU WANT TO KNOW BETTER. THE WRITING IS INTELLIGENT, AND THE HOTEL'S AND IVY'S FAMILY SECRETS INTRIGUING. HOWEVER, THE INTRO SPENT TOO MUCH TIME FRUITLESSLY GOING BACK AND FORTH ABOUT SUSPECTS AND NOT NEARLY ENOUGH ON INTRODUCING AND DEVELOPING CHARACTERS AND RELATIONSHIPS. I PRE-ORDERED THE 2ND BOOK. IF IT MAKES ME FEEL CLOSER TO THESE CHARACTERS, I WILL CONTINUE. IF NOT, I WILL LEAVE IT AS ONE MORE AUTHOR MORE ENAMORED OF HER WRITING THAN HER CHARACTERS AND READERS. I TRULY HOPE FOR THE FORMER. SO MUCH POTENTIAL.

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It wad n o t for me

I felt like it was overly long, difficult and over complicated. I didn't enjoy it and it didn't leave me feeling complete. I didn't get the sense it will be a sequel, so I'm disappointed.
Those are just my thoughts, have at it, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

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  • ZL
  • 12-13-20

A wonderful story!

A unique, wonderful story. Beautiful characters, great plot and full of twists and turns. Suspense until the end!

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Do yourself a favor and BUY THIS NOW!

Do yourself a favor and buy this book right now! The narrator does such a fantastic job with this cozy murder mystery and I literally could barely force myself to get out of the car between listening sessions. Phenomenal writing and a superb writer by any measure. I absolutely couldn’t put it down. I was totally hooked from the very first chapter!!! This was such a fun, fun book and really amazing for a debut novel. Audrey Keown is definitely an up and coming author we’ll be hearing more about! Great writing, and definitely a great Audible. Sorvari was the perfect voice for this unique cast of characters. She really brought the book and the amazing detailed setting of the fictional historic home in Chattanooga to life. (If Hotel 1911 were real, I’d be checking in to my long weekend in the Achilles room right now!) Keown’s artful mastery of language bring the rich architecture and history of Hotel 1911 to life, and the witty and hilarious inner monologue of the main character help set this book apart from the pack. It all helps make “Murder at Hotel 1911” with quirky amateur sleuth, Ivy Nichols, tough to stop reading until you help her catch her killer! So fun to read and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

I liked the youthful spirit of the character and found her more intriguing than a lot of flat, transparent amateur sleuths that generally show up as cozy mystery heroines. There is a lot of room for this character to mature and develop in the series and I look forward to watching Ivy's growth while working through her own personal struggles.

Unlike many cozy mystery writers, Keown’s minor characters seem much more interesting with rich back stories that are only hinted at in this introductory book to the series. Ivy is a well-written, fun amateur detective with a lot of personal challenges to work through and a quirky take on things, but I was equally surprised by how much depth and richness there is in the more minor characters. I feel like many authors in the subgenre tend to leave these characters one dimensional and lackluster. I was first introduced to this author when I got a link to read a related stand-alone short story about one of the novel’s side characters, Mr. Fig. It was INCREDIBLE and really helped me enjoy the book so much more. (I got so tickled whenever Mr. Fig made an appearance… he felt like an old friend at that point!) While I liked Ivy, I would really love to see additional short stories about several of the other characters that I liked and wanted to know more about. I would love to get to know George, Clarista, and others from Keown’s POV. You can tell the author really fleshed out the smaller characters and it really added to the quality of the novel. The standalone Mr. Fig story made him so endearing. I highly recommend you read it whenever you read the full-length novel.)

Interestingly, the historic hotel itself plays an essential role in the series opener and is almost a character unto itself. I found the author’s descriptions of the grounds, the rooms, etc. fascinating. I loved that the main character’s primary interest in working there is due in large part to wanting to learn more about her own family history with the house. Her own investigation is intertwined with the murder mystery, and I like watching her make discoveries about her family while she was figuring out the “whodunnit” of the story. The clever use of the hotel itself to propel the story was very cleverly done and really leaves me wanting to know more about Ivy’s family, her mother and relatives and what role their anxiety played in their downfall, and what new mysteries lie in store down the road for us to uncover.

Overall, this was a solid read and a fun, entertaining little mystery. Even if you had a hunch, the author left just enough detail aside for anyone to know for certain who the real killer was until the big reveal. I also really appreciated the setting in the small southern city of Chattanooga, Tennessee and the nods to local history of the area. I can’t wait to see where this series leads and what other fun offshoots it creates. I could totally see a tangent of historical mysteries based in the 1800s involving Ivy’s family members in her ancestral home. She is a fun writer and I am certain this is just the first in a long line of clever stories we will see from her.