Daily Archives: August 21, 2014

A Day in the Life of Antonia “Ant” Blakeley by Lisa Fernow

Dead on Her FeetMy 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 LisaFfirst 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.

Visit www.lisafernow.com for behind the scenes extras and to learn more about the tango world. Find Lisa on Facebook and on Twitter: @LisaFernow.

A Little Night Murder by Nancy Martin

A Little Night MurderA Little Night Murder by Nancy Martin is the 10th book in the “Blackbird Sisters” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian, August 2014

Murder under the stars….
Nora Blackbird—pregnant at last!—is spending summer afternoons wallowing in the Bucks County pool of her best friend, Lexie Paine, who has just been released from prison. At night, Nora is covering Philadelphia’s high-society events for the local newspaper. And this time she doesn’t have to look far for a good story.

Next door, a Broadway show is in rehearsal at the estate of Toodles Tuttle, the long-deceased but ever-legendary composer. Reigning over the estate is Toodles’s diva widow, Boom Boom. The demanding old broad still rules with an iron fist, and considering the chorus line of enemies she’s racked up over the years, her death has been a hotly anticipated event. So imagine everyone’s dismay when it’s her beloved daughter, Jenny, who drops dead—from a cause that is anything but natural—just as the lights are set to go on for the lucrative new Toodles musical.

Yet murder is only an overture to the drama to come….
Nora’s sister Libby, a soon-to-be-grandmother, has gotten herself into a sticky situation, wooed by both a lowly bug exterminator and a cheesecake-loving Broadway impresario. Edgy sister Emma has a dangerous new boyfriend who may jeopardize her show-jumping exploits. And the love of Nora’s life, Mick Abruzzo, has been desperate to prevent Nora from meeting the most notorious member of his mobbed-up family—his mother.

Now Nora has to deal with the bump-and-grind of her personal life, and also bring the curtain down on a daring killer—before he forces her to exit stage left, permanently.

I love it. Nancy has done it again by delivering a wonderfully crafted novel that I devoured from beginning to end. The mystery kept me interested as there were plenty of suspects to ferret but it was everything else that surrounded Nora and her pending motherhood that engaged and entertained me. The author did a great job in creating an atmosphere that made me feel that I was part of the drama unfolding within the pages of this delightfully friendly story. There were some surprises in store for Nora in this tome, but the biggest surprising twist came at the end and wow, that I never saw coming. The Blackbird sisters are back and doing what comes naturally to them; Mick is Mick and with Lexie back in the game and Bridget arriving on their doorstep, I can’t wait for the next book in this fantastically delightful series.