"The Hotel Stories" share some of the defining characteristics of Pimm's thriller "Blood Summit": dramatic tension, strong female leads, intricate plotting. But "The Hotel Stories" are comedies through and through.
One one level, "The Hotel Stories" are blackly comic explorations of the dramas which can take place in the world's most luxurious hotels, based on exhaustive research by the author. On another, they are wickedly incisive explorations of the sex wars, starring the world's most brilliant, unpredictable and occasionally homicidal hotel manager, Ms N; her beautiful but naive ally, Tatiana; and Ms N's unique methods of dealing with awkward hotel - usually male - guests. Ms N's problem solving skills are so exceptional, in fact, that "The Hotel Stories" are now studied in some hotel management schools.
The complete collection includes seven stories, some of them available only in this volume. "Britches", chronologically the first story, shows how Ms N and Tatiana first met and sorted out the hotel owner from hell using a Combined Burns Night and St Patrick's Day Ball; the President of China; and something Tatiana found under a handsome Scotsman's kilt. "The Two Rooms" combines an obnoxious guest; a Prime Minister on a moral crusade; Russian ice-hockey fans; an angry Japanese sushi chef; and a macabre twist. In "The Swedish Woman" a man is found dead in an elevator awash with blood. But who has killed him? Ms N must find the murderer before the 100% untainted-by-corruption-of-any-kind Minister of Justice can summon his secret police. "The White Blouse" is set in a hotel with ugly problems and shows Ms N at her sternest and most vengeful. "Gents" is set in Florida and involves a congress of hoteliers; alligators; and too many men wearing identical suits. "Ask for Scarlett" is set in the coolest hotel on earth and how scams can plague even the best hotels. "The Three Heads" explores betrayal, greed, celebrity and the limits of social media.
Matthew Parris on Robert Pimm: "Funny, pacy, sexy... Pimm has the sharpness of observation and amused cynicism of a political insider... raunchy, clever and melancholy."
"I really enjoyed Robert Pimm's weird and unpredictable stories set in the strange world of business travel and menacing hotels. Full of unexpected twists and some Dahl-like acts of revenge. Recommended." Writer David Baker.
"The writing is immensely easy to read and the characters strongly drawn and attractive." Writer Jony Russell.
"Ms N is a star: I love her calm-but-deadly approach to problem-solving. Robert Pimm is unusual among male writers in that he has created a believable female lead character." Reader review.
"If you can imagine the mischievous lovechild of Julie Burchill's "Ambition" and Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series, you might get a flavour of these quirky tales." Writer Phoebe Taplin.
"You can learn more about how hotels really work, and how to run them better, from Ms N and the "Hotel Stories" than from any hotel school or hospitality institute." Top hotel professional.