Quickstep to Murder by Ella Barrick is the first book in the new “Ballroom Dance” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian, September 2011

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.

Ahh, the romance of ballroom dancing and the dying isn’t easy. That is what faces Stacy when she finds her ex-fiancé’s dead body on her ballroom floor, the victim of foul play. The detective assigned to the case names Stacy as their prime suspect and believing they won’t look for the real killer, Stacy sets out to find a murderer before her two-steps becomes a jailhouse march. This was a well-written, evenly-paced story that had elements I love in a mystery; a page-turner with plenty of action, a whodunit that stumped me as I thought I knew who the killer was, great conversations, a hint of romance and a wonderful cast of characters. This was an enjoyable read and I look forward to the second book in this pleasantly appealing series.

FTC Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book

** I have one copy of QUICKSTEP TO MURDER to give away, thanks to Berkley! To enter, leave a comment with a valid e-mail address. Please break it up using (at) and (dot), like domain(at)host(dot)com. This is open to US addresses (publisher’s request). Contest ends on September 20 at 6:00 pm EST. Winner will be notified by e-mail and has 2 days to respond. **

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