A Day in the Life of Pat Keeler by Mary McHugh

Bossa Novas, Bikinis, and Bad EndsI belong to a group of five dancers in their early fifties who perform on cruise ships, luxury trains, resorts and anywhere else they’re willing to let us tap, samba, carioca or flamenco. There’s Tina, a bridal magazine editor, Gini, a documentary film maker, Janice, an actress and director, and Mary Louise, a homemaker, besides me.

I’m a family therapist when I’m not off dancing in Moscow, northern Spain, Paris, Rio or New York. I live with my friend Deirdre and her 10-year-old son David in Champlain, New Jersey. Most of the time I lead a normal life, counseling people with problems, doing stuff with David and being respectable.

But when I get the chance to dance with my friends in some exotic place, something inside me goes wild. No longer the staid family therapist, I’m a force, a burst of joy, a totally different person, freed of all inhibitions, fears, anxieties and problems.

When we flew to Rio to dance at the Copacabana Hotel, I expected to have fun and to hang on to my purse when we walked around the city. We went to the top of Corcovado mountain where the statue of Christ towered over us and I was overwhelmed by the power of his presence. We wandered through the Botanical Gardens and marveled at the wide variety of orchids displayed there. I fell in love with the cat who lived in the hotel who produced several kittens during our stay there. I got the recipes for picadinho and pastels, delicious Brazilian dishes. I went up to the slums called favelas to a baile funk, an all-night dance festival. Oh, and I learned some Portuguese words.

I didn’t expect my life to be in danger several times during our stay there.

If you want to travel to Rio with my friends and me, get the recipes for the Brazilian food, and experience my adventures with me, read Bossa Novas, Bikinis, and Bad Ends.”

See you later, or as they say in Rio, “Tchau.”


Bossa Novas, Bikinis, and Bad Ends is the fourth book in the Happy Hoofers mystery series, published by Kensington, April 2016.

Murder’s a showstopper. . .

The fancy-footed Happy Hoofers–Tina, Janice, Pat, Mary Louise, and Gini– are kicking off Carnival by entertaining posh guests at the most elegant hotel in Rio de Janeiro. Stunning beaches and spectacular views abound. But the party is cut short for the fab five when their alluring Brazilian companion is found dead in her room, without a clue as to what killed her.

As the samba-loving sleuths sift the evidence, they realize that even in beautiful Rio, murder can set the stage–and steal the show. . .

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
Mary McHugh has published 27 books on subjects ranging from feminism to crotchety old men, and most recently including four books in her Happy Hoofer series of cozy murder mysteries for Kensington Books.

She worked for The New York Times for their special sections, and her article, “Telling Jack,” in the Sunday Times magazine was nominated for an award for best personal essay by The American Society of Journalists and Authors.

Her book “Special Siblings: Growing Up with Someone with a Disability,” was awarded a prize for Special Recognition of a National Project by the Arc of New Jersey.

She worked as an articles editor at three national magazines and was a contributing editor for Cosmopolitan magazine.

Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle and seniorwomen.com.

Visit Mary at www.marymchugh.org.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Bossa Novas, Bikinis, and Bad Ends. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end May 2, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

32 responses to “A Day in the Life of Pat Keeler by Mary McHugh

  1. Would love to win a copy of Bossa Novas, Bikinis and Bad Ends. Thank you for the chance.

  2. Doward Wilson

    This is a delightful series with heart warming characters and complex mysteries. Thanks for a chance to win the latest book.

  3. I can imagine the festivity of Rio during Carnival time. I love this series and would love to have a copy of the latest book to call my own. robeader53@yahoo.com

  4. What an interesting group of protagonists. I’d love to win and am looking forward to reading Bossa Novas, Bikinis and Bad Ends, regardless of if I win.

  5. Bossa Novas, Bikinis, and Bad Ends sounds like an enjoyable cozy mystery! Thank you for the chance to win.

  6. I love series with food and older women!

  7. elainehroberson

    Sounds like a great series. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  8. wendynewcomb

    Sounds like I just added another book to my wish list, thank you! lol

    wfnren at aol dot com

  9. Yes please Dru, only this time I’m doing it for the recipes. You know how much I enjoy trying new dishes.

  10. Wonderful giveaway and special book. Thanks.

  11. Not much of a dancer myself but I love to watch. Sounds like a fun book!

  12. Exciting contest!!!!Love the series

  13. What a delightful collection of women.

  14. Love the sound of the book and the title.

  15. Sounds like fun! So nice to find cozies with women my age in them – well, they are about 25 years younger than me…

  16. Sounds like a very fun series. Have added it to my TBR. Thanks for the chance

  17. I really enjoy that the characters in the book are in their 50’s and their adventures sound like so much fun. Definitely adding to my TBR list.

  18. Oh how I love, love, love the adorable cover on this new book!!!! I love to dance to the oldies and also loved watching “The Love Boat” and this new book sounds like it is so much fun! I haven’t read any of the others in this series, so that will be fun too reading this one and all of the other books in this series. This really sounds like a super duper awesome and fun book!!! Thanks so much dear Dru for the chance to win!!! God bless you!!!

  19. Great title!

  20. rosemary pfeiffer

    well now this one is different..never read about any dancers in their 50’s..and it sounds like it would be a fun read..thanks for this cance ant something different..

  21. Sounds like a song and dance I don’t want to miss! Thanks for the chance to win.

  22. Peggy Hyndman

    I’d love to add a copy of Bossa Novas, Bikinis and Bad Ends to my bookshelf. Thank you for this opportunity.

  23. These books are always so fun! Thanks for the chance to win!

  24. Susan Slovinsky

    What fun! Sounds like a feisty group I would enjoy getting to know.

  25. Wow, looks like great cozy mystery.

  26. This sounds like such a good book! I love finding all these great books here.

  27. Patricia Lafferty

    I want to read this escapist cozy mystery with its interesting characters and locale. Thanks for the contest.

  28. Love this series! Gotta b have this book.

  29. I enjoy this series, maybe because I’m 81 and took tap dancing for a few years when I was very young.

  30. I enjoyed the first book in the series. I need to read more of the books that have come out. 🙂

  31. This was always one of the most unusual plots of any cozy…the hoofers I mean. It always made me laugh and think I would really enjoy reading about them. Please enter me…
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  32. Lynne Moody

    Sounds like a Awesome read 👍👍👍 Thank you for a chance to win 💟 Have not had read in of your books yet , But this one really pkes my interest 👍👍