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Book Review: The Homicide Hustle by Ella Barrick

Updated on November 7, 2014
Put on your dancing shoes and do The Homicide Hustle
Put on your dancing shoes and do The Homicide Hustle

Before Doing the Hustle, Make Sure Your Partner's Alive

Having a hard time adjusting to life without Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) ? Need more dancing on those off nights? Well, never fear for Ella Barrick is here.

Barrick, author of the successful ballroom dance mysteries has released the third installment, The Homicide Hustle and it'll definitely help you get your fix and take you behind the scenes of the fictional dancing show, Ballroom with the B-Listers (or Blisters for short).

In this installment, Stacy Graysin, co-owner of Graysin Motion, has managed to get her dance studio on the show. Along with other studios in the Washington, D.C. area Blisters pairs to B-List celebrities with two professional dancers from the local dance studios for the chance to win the coveted Crystal Slipper. And Stacy wants that slipper.

She and dance partner Vitaly Voloshin are paired with Zane Savage and Phoebe Jackson. Savage, a former teen heartthrob and Jackson an action star have some stiff competition and the professional duo are determined to make these two dancers at any cost.

Once Stacy finds out she's paired with the former teen star her mind is set adrift to the time when both she and her sister Danielle both had mad crushes on him. This of course causes a little sibling rivalry between the two as Stacy fights to control her urges while Zane seems to be comfortable wanting to date both sisters. Well, Stacy still has some pent up feelings for her co-owner of the studio, Tav Acosta, but still hasn't acted upon them for fear their business partnership would not survive.

As the story progresses the cast learns of the death of co-producer, Tessa King. King is eager to pursue other interests while the show is in town and those other interests lead her to her untimely death. However, King's co-producer, Nigel Whiteman thinks this is ratings gold and wants Stacy to uncover Tessa's murderer while managing to do the rumba.

Barrick's characters are exceptionally well conceived. She manages to keep the regular characters interesting and with the addition of the B-Listers for the show, manages to create some interesting contestants. Who would have thought of having a pet psychic as a dancing contestant? Since I'm not a reality show watcher, I'm sure there's probably a show devoted to pet psychic's but I look at it this way- Barrick was one step up from the real reality competition so if next season there's a real pet psychic on DWTS we'll have to thank her.

As with the previous installments, this is a fast read. Everything about the story is tight, but at times I was a little confused as to what was going on. To start with, the book begins with the word WEDNESDAY. I thought it was going to be broken down by days and at first it seemed like we were going to be taken back in time and then come back to the present. After that, there is no mention of other days in bold so I'm not sure what the reasoning was behind this.

The second thing which sort of confused me was the Blisters premise is to take the show around the country to various cities for the competition. For a fictional show this was an excellent idea, however, I kept thinking they were shooting in Los Angeles. I kept having the feeling since the celebrities were having meetings with their agents and directors for upcoming projects (and run in's with the paparazzi) that they were in California. The production's crew also seemed to be recognizable to the "civilians" which didn't make any sense.

As the days get shorter and you're looking for something good to read, I suggest cozying on up to this series. It's a fun way to stay warm on these cooler nights.

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