Publication Date: September 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 304pp
(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Ella Barrick on the WEB: website, facebook
Excerpt from Quickstep to Murder
Her dance partner is a real heel...
When Stacy Graysin catches her fiance and dance partner, Rafe, doing the horizontal mambo with a samba queen, she immediately nixes their engagement. But the two still co-own a professional ballroom dance studio. Now Rafe wants to boost the studio's bottom line by offering - shudder! - hip-hop and tap classes, but Stacy would rather shave off her blond locks than dance to that tune.
Finding Rafe's lifeless body in their studio really makes Stacy's head spin, and when police name her as the chief suspect, she decides to investigate so she won't be waltzing into a prison cell. At least, Stacy thinks, she now owns the studio outright. But Rafe recently changed his will, and his estranged half brother has come forward, ready to sell the studio to the highest bidder... who may be the murderer.
Quickstep to Murder is the first book in the new Ballroom Dance Mystery series written by Ella Barrick. With the popularity of shows like "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance", this series has a very current and edgy feel. Barrick is able to hook not only cozy mystery fans but fans of ballroom dance as well with an engaging premise and characters with more steps than a good waltz.
Barrick uses interesting word phrasing and detailed descriptions of dance and dance terms to draw the reader into Stacy Graysin's world. The author gives the reader suspects ranging from a congresswoman to a samba queen and motives that include a woman's scorn to the heated fury of a father. The action doesn't let up in this one and Rafe's death is only the beginning. When his Argentinean half-brother shows up with a vested interest in the dance studio sparks are bound to fly. Tav is a very debonair and handsome man that Stacy or the reader would not fail to notice.
The author does an amazing job of making the characters in this cozy accessible and full of life. They are fun to read about and certainly keep the reader interested. With it's setting proximity to our nation's capital, there is also potential to add a little political wheeling and dealing to the world of dance that could be interesting in future books. This well plotted and fun debut sets the scene for a great series.
Overall I would say this a great debut for Ella Barrick and readers will not be disappointed. The dance studio setting is timely and unique. Cozy fans will love the amateur sleuthing and learn a little bit about the world of dance in the process. From elderly amateur dancers to teen couples to congresswomen, who wouldn't benefit from adding a little two step now and then? Great for a long weekend or lazy afternoon with a cup o' joe!
Quickstep to Murder is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag! Excellent beginning to a great new series...
Ella Barrick and her husband tried ballroom dancing and had to admit they will not be mistaken for the next Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. They still enjoy speculating at ballroom dance competitions and live in Colorado with their children and pets.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway here at Debbie's Book Bag. One copy of Quickstep to Murder by Ella Barrick will go to one lucky winner from this blog!
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~ US Addresses only! (Publisher Request)
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST November 4th.
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