My name is Antonia Blakeley but my nephew Christian calls me Ant. Clever boy. I inherited him after his parents managed to do each other in during a domestic disturbance – that’s the police’s euphemism, not mine. I know a little about those. Domestic disturbances, I mean, not euphemisms, although I am a very good liar. My ex used to beat me. I tried calling 911 exactly once. Atlanta’s finest interviewed him, found out how prominent his family was and promptly recommended marital counseling. So you can understand why I might have just a teensy problem with authority.
Anyhow, I’m Christian’s guardian. He’s turning eighteen but he doesn’t have a frontal lobe yet. He’s a student at Georgia Tech, and they complain to me all the time about him hacking into one or another of their computer systems. This time, Christian bumped the President’s Scholars out of Caldwell residence hall and reassigned young ladies to the men’s floor. He even gave himself a female roommate even though he’s not actually signed up for campus housing. But, as usual, I talked them out of suspending him.
It’s funny but it isn’t, really. Christian spends all his time on the computer, night and day. I worry about what it’s doing to his social skills. You read about all those Romanian orphans and how they have trouble with attachment? I tried to explain this to Eduardo – he’s one of my favorite dance partners – did I mention I teach tango? He’s a true Argentine milonguero, and dancing with him drives me crazy in all the right ways. He’s also a psychoanalyst in Buenos Aires. Anyhow, he asked me if Christian had joined a gang, which he hasn’t, but he did have a violent childhood. He witnessed his parent’s deaths. Christian says he doesn’t remember anything, so he’s clearly traumatized. Eduardo also asked if Christian was sexually promiscuous, and that’s just the problem. Christian never gets out. The only thing he knows about women he learns from websites and fantasy role-playing games.
Eduardo thinks I should let Christian find his own path. I think he needs to meet real, live women in a structured environment where he can develop some social skills. So I have decided to bring him to tango class.
I understand why Eduardo might be concerned. It’s true that tango can stir up powerful emotions. But I have everything under control.
* * *
What happens when a dancer violates the tango code?
Tango instructor and chronic meddler Antonia “Ant” Blakeley has no respect for authority. So when a much-hated member of the Atlanta tango community is stabbed, the last thing she wants to do is use her tango expertise to help the police work out how someone could have struck the fatal blow, unseen, in the middle of the dance floor. Unfortunately Christian, her troubled nephew, is first on the list of suspects. As someone who has experienced police incompetence first hand, Antonia doesn’t trust the authorities to find the truth, so she lies to give Christian an alibi, and the cover-up begins.
Unfortunately for Ant, Detective Sam Morrow, a former marine who will do anything to get to the truth, is on the case, and he’s not about to let Antonia’s hijinks hijack his investigation. As both Ant and Sam investigate (or in Ant’s case, “butt into the lives of”) her tango students, the two sleuths are about to find out the more antagonistic meaning of “it takes two to tango.”
You can read more about Ant in Dead on Her Feet, the first book in her tango mystery series, published by Booktrope Editions.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on August 26 for the chance to win a copy of DEAD ON HER FEET. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, unless specified.
Meet the Author
Lisa Fernow grew up on the classic mysteries of Ngaio Marsh and Elizabeth Peters. Dead on Her Feet is the first mystery in a planned series set in the tango world. Her short story, Death of a Tango Dancer, was featured in King County Library System’s Take Time to Read program in 2010.
Lisa has danced Argentine tango since 1996, studying with legendary masters Cacho Dante, Susana Miller, Brigitta Winkler and other inspiring instructors throughout the US.