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by Shelley Freydont
Kensington, October 2004
288 pages
ISBN: 0758201273

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

In the world of competitive ballroom dancing it's a dog-eat-dog world where image is everything. The right clothes, the right shoes, the right partner, and the right facial expression are very important and the most minor slip could prove to be disastrous. One misstep can prove fatal and it is not a world that forgives easily.

The Jeremy Ash Dance Company is participating at a competition in Atlantic City and things are not going well. There's been a murder, a disappearance, and a case of vandalism. Lindy Graham Haggerty, the rehearsal director for this dance troupe, decides to do her own investigation. The question is, why? Didn't she have anything better to do?

In the opening chapters, specifically the first one, the author introduces everyone involved in the novel all at once, confusing readers and not letting us catch a breath. Is Lindy's boyfriend a cop, a detective, a wannabe, or a professor? It is never made clear, at least to me. Readers unfamiliar with this series characters will continue to be lost. Also the murder in the book makes little sense and the killer's motive for the death is laughable. It was like killing a fly using an Uzi.

A MERRY LITTLE MURDER was anything but merry. Annoying is a more apt description. As much as the author knows about the ins and outs of ballroom dancing, her writing needs a lot of work particularly with the characters. Characters development is important when it comes to tell a story. It is hard to do that when you don't know who's who, what's what, and have to turn back to previous chapters to see if you missed something.

Consider yourselves warned if you decide to give this book a shot. It's just not worth it.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, January 2005

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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