Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dead Man Waltzing-Ella Barrick

Dead Man Waltzing

Ella Barrick

Obsidian, Jun 5 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780451237347

In Old Town Alexandria, Stacy Graysin, co-owner of Graysin Motion ballroom dance studio, ended her two-year engagement to her cheating partner Rafe Acosta when she saw him doing a horizontal number. Two months later Rafe was murdered in the studio and she was ASPD Detective Lissy’s only suspect (see Quickstep to Murder). Stacy’s new partner is Rafe’s half-brother Tau. Because of his attraction to her, he refuses to sell his business interests in the studio. She feels an attraction to him also, but Stacey refuses to act on her feelings.

Lissy arrives at the studio demanding to see instructor Maurice Goldberg who failed to show up for a class. He tells her that the legendary grand dame of ballroom dancing Corinne Blakely, who has pushed hard for this to be an Olympic Dance Sport, was poisoned while dining with Maurice who happened to be her ex-husband. Stacy realizes she should stay out of this homicide investigation, but distrusts Lissy to look beyond Maurice so feeling a debt of gratitude to her employee; she begins an inquiry to clear her friend’s name.

Dead Man Waltzing is a charming cozy told in the first person perspective by Stacy. This enables the reader to better understand her motive to investigate especially having learned the risk of doing so from her previous inquiry to clear her name. The investigation is creative as there are plenty suspects for the heroine to tango with. Additionally, the audience obtains a deep look at running a dance studio and what a professional instructor must do to teach a myriad of dances. This is a lively amateur sleuth mystery that will have readers wanting more dance numbers. starring Stacy.

Harriet Klausner

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