Dead on the Dance Floor opens with the dramatic "accidental" death of a competition ballroom dancer in the middle of a dance. Lara Trudeau wasn't widely loved as a person, but as a dancer she excelled. One of her students who was also a lover, a young cop named Doug O'Casey, asks his brother, a former FBI profiler-turned-PI to look into Lara's death because the circumstances seem off. Quinn quickly discovers that Doug isn't the only one who thinks Lara was murdered--nor that there is any shortage of suspects.
Quinn begins taking lessons at the studio where Lara occasionally worked, and finds not only her ex-husband and Shannon Mackay, the dancer he shunned to marry Lara, but a number of Lara's competitors. In the meantime, two more women die, and Quinn is convinced that their deaths and the death of one of the studio's former students several months before are linked to Lara's. Unfortunately for Quinn, his prime suspects turn out to be his brother and Shannon, a woman he finds himself inexplicably drawn to.
This report prepared by Sarrah
Mira, Mar 2004, 24.95, 352 pp.
Having attained first prize in every ballroom competition that she competed in, everyone agrees that Lara Trudeau is the dancing queen though all agree that the Prima Donna is a detestable nasty egomaniac. Currently, she is expected to triumph again as she vies for the trophy of the Universe of Champions event. However, this time during one of her classy moves Lara abruptly dies fittingly on the floor where she reigned as the monarch of dance.
Quinn O'Casey heads the investigation into the ballroom dance queen death that seems so suspicious. However, he goes undercover to learn what he can about the regulars, employees and owner of the Moonlight Sonata Dance Studio. His deepest interest is in the owner Shannon MacKay, but he is not sure if he wants to handcuff her as a criminal or as the woman he is falling in love with.
Police procedural romance readers will take great delight with the terrific DEAD ON THE DANCE FLOOR. The story line hooks the audience from the first step until the final pirouette. Because Lara is universally loathed, Quinn has too many suspects to contend with, but Shannon is the most obvious of all. Adding to his tension is he wants to not only believe in her innocence he wants to dance with her preferably in the bedroom not the ballroom. Shannon is his ideal partner so that the audience obtains a fine story that in many ways feels like a modernization of the classic film Laura.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner