• Murder at the Dolphin Hotel: A Gripping Cozy Historical Mystery

  • A Miss Underhay Mystery, Book 1
  • By: Helena Dixon
  • Narrated by: Alex Tregear
  • Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (1,219 ratings)

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Murder at the Dolphin Hotel: A Gripping Cozy Historical Mystery  By  cover art

Murder at the Dolphin Hotel: A Gripping Cozy Historical Mystery

By: Helena Dixon
Narrated by: Alex Tregear
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Publisher's Summary

A room with a view...to murder

June 1933. Independent, young Kitty Underhay has been left in charge of her family’s hotel, The Dolphin, on the tranquil English coast. She’s expecting her days at the bustling resort to be filled with comfortable chatter with chambermaids as they polish the mahogany desks and glittering candelabras of the elegant foyer. Everything must be perfect for the arrival of a glamorous jazz singer from Chicago and a masked ball that will be the cultural highlight of the season.

But when several rooms are broken into and searched, including Kitty’s own, she quickly realizes that something out of the ordinary is afoot at the hotel. Soon, rumors are flying in the cozy town that someone is on the hunt for a stolen ruby. A ruby that Kitty’s mother may well have possessed when she herself went missing during the Great War. And when the break-ins are followed by a series of attacks and murders, including of the town’s former mayoress, it seems the perpetrator will stop at nothing to find it.

Aided by ex-army captain Matthew Bryant, the Dolphin’s new security officer, Kitty is determined to decipher this mystery and preserve not only the reputation of her hotel, but also the lives of her guests. Is there a cold-blooded killer under her own roof? And what connects the missing jewel to the mystery from Kitty’s own past?

A classic murder mystery! Fans of Agatha Christie, Elizabeth Edmondson, and T. E. Kinsey will love this whodunit.

©2019 Helena Dixon (P)2019 Bookouture

What listeners say about Murder at the Dolphin Hotel: A Gripping Cozy Historical Mystery

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very Good Start

For a while I have been looking for a perfect combination of story, likeable characters and narrator. I have been a huge fan of The Royal Spyness series by Rhys Bowen which have given me hour upon hour of joy. However, with the declining quality in story and new narrator I have found I needed something more.
I really have battled to get that perfect combo and I feel this series can fulfil my appetite. For starters Alex Tregear sounds like a wonderful narrator. She has the ability to create uniqueness of the characters and does justice to the male voices. I feel she has the ability to create warmth and depth of character.
Kitty is a really likeable main character. She isn't helpless, she is smart and can survive without a man. Good for her :)
The story is just what people would expect from a cozy mystery. It's not going to be an Agatha Christie. It should be a bit looser on the mystery. But overall I do feel the mystery is pretty solid for a cozy mystery.
Looking forward to buying book 2 and waiting eagerly for book 3.

67 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

The story's buried in conjecture

There are some nice scene descriptions of nature and rooms and interesting plot and characters introduced but I think Ms. Dixon needs to learn how to give body to her plot. She fills it out with painfully repetitious, fretful self-questions of the characters about what options they have in every situation and the main characters' excessive and premature conjecturing as to WHO might have done the bad things before the story has even hardly gotten going - these completely block the flow of the story. I was disappointed because the plot, description and characters showed such promise.

31 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

I can't think of any complaints, except that number 2 isn't already out! I liked that the characters were adults and didn't have the immature drama you find in YA novels. At the same time, there wasn't bad language, sex scenes, etc. I enjoyed the time period and mystery. For me it was just fun and I look forward to the sequel!

24 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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One serious flaw

Otherwise, it wasn't a bad start to a new series.

A character described as a black Chicago native shouldn't sound like a white woman from NC! British narrator failed on how to handle that; I had to keep reminding myself the woman wasn't white.

21 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun English cozy mystery

If you’re looking for a light, fun, typically English cozy mystery, you’ll enjoy this book. Cute story, well performed. Not great literature, but it’s not meant to be. Entertaining and enjoyable.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Well Pleased

It was a delight to find a new cosy mystery series that was interesting without being gushy. Well plotted with characters one is pleased to care about enough to want to know more about.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A really good read with excellent narration!

I thought this was a very well written book, especially for the first one the author has done, at least for this series. The characters were well developed, especially the two main personalitids. I I found it to be fast paced and suspenseful and it had an exciting ending. I look forward to the next book, but hope the main couple's relationship evolves at a faster pace. The narrator did a wonderful job with all the different characters and made you feel like you were watching a play. Her voice is really easy to listen to, as well. I would highly recommend this book and look forward to the next in the series!

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good cozy read

There are a few inconsistencies that should have been caught in editing: Kitty was drinking gin, but a sentence or two later there was reference to her wine glass, and then her gin; another instance was placing her bible in the bedside table where she always kept it, but she wasn't in her own room. Switching from 'father' suddenly to 'papa' was disconcerting and seemed contrived.

Alex Tregear did a great job with the narration.

7 people found this helpful

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This book was just OK

I was looking forward to finding a new cozy mystery series and wanted to like this book . This book started off well with great character and story. As is progressed it became a bit boring. Then ending was awful, When I started this book I was so impressed I purchased the second of this series believing I had found a new series to enjoy. By the time I finished this title I requested a refund on the second book of the series as I felt disappointed . I do not recommend this title as it was not very good.

6 people found this helpful

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A pleasant listen.

The storyline was light and interesting and had enough twists and turns to be engaging. Sometimes things fell into place a bit too neatly, a bit contrived. The narration was very good. The reader’s voice was pleasant and she conveyed the characters quite well. I’d listen to other books she narrates. This is a good book to use as filler between darker, more complex stories.

6 people found this helpful

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  • AKEMAP
  • 04-25-20

The perfect cosy read.

The perfect cost read
Get wished away to another life time. Murders that don’t frighten the daylights out of you. A good book for bedtime. I can’t wait for the next in the series.

16 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Claire Kendall-Price
  • 07-09-20

Sorry, Too Soppy For Me

If you like stories that contain, "She stared into his deep blue eyes", or "as she remembered his strong arms a frisson ran through her" etcetc then this is definitely for you.
We have no idea what our female protagonist looks like until quite a way in which is frustrating.
I gave up after 3 chapters, sorry, but bit soppy for me.

10 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • georgina monet
  • 08-09-20

weak leading lady and worse ending

bored from the start, leading lady is weak, and her back story is just a bit of a non story to define yourself by. disappointing. and story that needs so many murders and such a rediculous end .... don't waste your time.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Trevelyan
  • 04-23-20

Enjoyable.

Gentle and intriguing. my only criticisms are
1. Too many american terms e.g. elevator, which is irritating when listening to a story very clearly set in an English seaside town.
2. The narrator, though on the whole good, was not corrected on some mispronunciations which grated. The worst one was 'hyber- bowl' for hyperbole.!!

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • viv
  • 06-07-20

Cosy old fashioned murder mystery

It is as it promises so if you like this sort of thing it is very good.
It is similar to Frances Brody’s Kate Shackleton series but not quite as good. There were one or two occasions when I really doubted whether certain words and turns of phrase were around in the 1930’s which broke the spell somewhat. Narration is fine - some good characterisation- though she pronounced some words rather strangely at times! Escapist in a warm, fuzzy way!

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • LJArtistry
  • 06-06-21

Absolute pants!

Very simple plot that struggles in places. Over exaggerated romance story that never really amounts to anything. Protagonist read in an irritatingly simpering tone when written to be strong and capable. Overall irritating and unsatisfactory. If you’re into a decent murder story then avoid.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • happy shopper
  • 08-18-20

Main character is a drip. Boring

Gawd this was really annoying. I stopped at chapter 4 as it appeared to centred around a woman who came across as silly little girl. Oh dear what's grandma going to say I ripped my tights! HOW old are you? Also not very 1930s language and dialogue.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dan & Kim
  • 05-27-20

Easy listen

Nice summer story with interesting characters and set in a lovely part of the world. Yes I am biased, being a Devon Maid!
Looking forward to book 2.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David Bacon
  • 04-26-20

Easy listening

Easy to follow without too much complication to remember. Ideal for in the garden on a pleasant afternoon.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Renshai
  • 04-08-20

covid 19 gloom buster..very enjoyable

covid 19 gloom buster..very enjoyable
and very well read....dont hate when they insist you write than you want to

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-25-20

It’s ok

Kitty is a tad underwhelming. Trembling, feeling faint a lot of the time. She’s made out to be weak and that makes the story weak. Could be better. Storyline ok.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mari
  • 01-09-21

Enjoyable Cozy

A really enjoyable cozy that had a good mystery and lots of good vibes about it. This first instalment sets up what should be a fun series.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-23-22

Mills and Boon style mystery

Although the plot is reasonably plausible and engaging, the style of writing was a real distraction due to the overuse of certain verbs and phrases. If Kitty, the main character, said “I don’t understand “ and “it doesn’t make sense” once, she said it ten times. This made her character appear totally insipid when really she turned out to be quite feisty. Cups and glasses were always “drained” of liquid, never dipped, gulped or finished. The Inspector always stroked his moustache, characters edged into rooms rather than walked or strode or simply came… and so on. I found myself second- guessing the dialogue quite often. Yes I finished the book because it was a sort of mindless thing to have on as I chopped veggies or swept the floor- but I won’t be listening to any more by this author.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dani
  • 01-14-22

Great work

very absorbing. I found. it very hard to stop listening, a different enjoyable plot