Kensington, Aug 2001, 22.00, 288 pp.
Lindy Graham-Haggerty was a successful dancer before she retired to raise two children. Now she faces empty nest syndrome while her husband travels more than he is home. Lindy goes back to work as the rehearsal director for the Jeremy Ash Dance Company. She is now on the road traveling with the troupe to the to Easton Arts Retreat, a writers and visual arts colony, in upstate New York.
Jeremy got his start there and his company is opening the season on the retreats fiftieth anniversary. Just before they arrive at their destination, a student is killed falling off a cliff. The local sheriff, who hates the retreat, is looking to make the boy's death a murder or a suicide. When a second boy turns up missing, the sheriff arrests the man who stole his girlfriend many years ago, a person he hates with a passion. Lindy, with the help of her friends in the troupe, tries to find the real culprit so the show can go on.
The cutthroat world of dance juxtaposed against the intense avarice of the perpetrators making the disparate groups seem more like mirror images of each other. Shelly Freydont is quite good at characterization that enables her to create fully developed yet diverse players. MIDSUMMER MURDER is a real puzzle because the main perpetrator is right in the reader's face, but difficult to see because the culprit still blends in with the rest of the forest of suspects.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner