A very Happy Publication Day to Cat Hickey, whose debut novel The Bellhop Only Stalks Once is out today! I was immediately intrigued by the book’s premise and excited to read it.
Bellhops (that’s bellboys for UK readers) keep mysteriously disappearing from a beautiful resort in Costa Rica. Chloe, a young Baltimore woman on a journey of self-discovery and seeking time out to consider her relationship back home, is plunged into the mystery as soon as she arrives. She sets out to rescue the missing bellhops with the help of some new friends she encounters including Sopie, a blue-haired yogi (yoga practitioner) and Mateo, the charming guest liaison at Club Pacifica, to whom she’s becoming increasingly attracted – but can she trust him?
This is an entertaining, lighthearted mystery with a hint of darkness but no gore or gaslighting, which suited me perfectly after reading a number of bleak suspense thrillers. The dialogue is snappy and funny and with the underlying romance, I can see the story appealing to YA readers as well as older ones.
The setting was a brilliant choice and had me enthralled. I felt myself transported into a land of volcanoes, rapids, hanging bridges, hot springs and jungle, surrounded by insects, snakes, howler monkeys and sloths. As well as the spectacular scenery, Costa Rica’s known for its ancient folklore which, along with the mind-altering properties of some of its plants, adds to the dreamlike nature of these bizarre events and had me turning the pages fast to find out what had happened to the bellhops and whether Chloe herself could come out unscathed.
There are surprises along the way and characters who aren’t as they first appear. If you enjoy entertaining, romantic mysteries set in beautiful locations, this could be the ideal choice.
The Bellhop Only Stalks Once is published today by Darkstroke Books.
You can buy it here
About the author
Cat Hickey has a Masters in Biology and teaches Anatomy and Physiology at a university in Baltimore. She writes lighthearted mysteries based partly on her extensive travels around the world. She is an avid yogi, teaches yoga and performs aerial arts. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her four rescue animals – three cats and a horse.