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Retro Reading: Quickstep to Murder by Ella Barrick

Updated on May 13, 2022
Debut of the Ballroom Dance Mysteries
Debut of the Ballroom Dance Mysteries

Get Your Dance On

As Dancing with the Stars gears up for the fall season what's a fan to do on the nights when it's not on? In order to get your fix for dancing, pick up Ella Barrick's Quickstep to Murder.

The first in the ballroom dance mysteries will have you flipping through the pages faster than the quickstep.

Stacy Graysin, part owner of the dance studio, Graysin Motion has a lot on her mind. It's a couple of weeks before the big Capitol Ballroom Dance Festival and her co-owner/former fiancée Rafe Acosta has been acting awfully strange lately. He's pushing Stacy to turn the studio into one that offers hip-hop and tap classes but she won't have it.

She can't get over the fact that she found him doing the horizontal mambo with Solange Dubonnet and can't figure out how he could afford to rent a Lexus. Things get a little complicated when she finds his body in the studio ballroom and she becomes the main suspect.

Entering the picture is his half brother Octavio (an older replica of Rafe) who now owns half of the studio and Stacy's world is taken for a loop. She doesn't know what Tav's motive is for the studio, but she's afraid that if he sells his stake in the studio, it might go to the wrong person. Tav insists he doesn't want anything to do with the studio. He's only come to the country to take his brother's body back to Argentina once it's released from the police.

In the beginning she doesn't warm up to Tav, but eventually she starts to fall for him and vice versa. She knows it's wrong since he is, afterall, Rafe's brother. Although they don't become romantically involved, Tav also holds the key to Rafe's past which surprises Stacy. Having been engaged for over two years there were a lot of things she didn't know about her betrothed. One obviously being his being a womanizer.

Since Tav has an interest in the studio and now Stacy, the two of them start their own investigation as to who would want Rafe dead.

Barrick has created the beginning of a great series revolving around the dancing world. Her characters are intriguing and interesting and they come across as real people. There's not a lot of interaction with the police but on those occasions the action is short and to the point. It's the character development and the story which is intriguing.

A lot of time has been put into the details of the dancing world which for the average person wouldn't think of. Whenever a writer goes out of their comfort zone and spends time doing the research on a specific subject, the ending result will be an enjoyable experience for the reader except for the ending. There is definitely a twist which did let me down.

Personally, I've never understood how someone could find the dedication for dancing and Barrick puts you front and center with the characters. You start to feel every pain and strain these characters get. And to dance day in and day out? I don't think I could ever do it!

In between weeks of dancing eliminations of the stars, this is one series you'd want to pick up. If the next two installments are just as good, then Barrick deserves the dancing trophies.


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