Thursday, February 26, 2015

Flamenco, Flan and Fatalities (A Happy Hoofers Mystery Book #2)

CAuthor:  Mary McHugh
Genre:  Mystery

Four Stars

The high-kicking Happy Hoofers--Tina, Janice, Pat, Mary Louise and Gini--have been booked to flaunt their fabulous flamenco footwork on a luxury train ride through northern Spain.  But when a blowhard talk show host is found deader than four-day-old flan--with Gini as suspect numero uno--the fiesty friends waste no time stepping into their sleuthing shoes to protect one of their own.

The dynamite dancers will have to step up their game before a clever killer brings the curtain down on one of them--for good!

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The different thing about this book is that the series is written from different points of view.  The first was told from Tina Powell's point of view, and this, the second in the series, is told from Gini Miller's.  It gives a nice perspective in that you are getting different voices, and as such, different personalities.

The five women are the aforementioned Tina and Gini, and also Mary Louise, who is married to George and has three children; Pat, a therapist who also happens to be gay; and Janice, an actress.  This time out, the ladies are in Spain, traveling by train and seeing what the country has to offer.  When a talk show host dies (and there is no surprise here, since from the first pages we find out that he is a nasty human being, and we know right away that he is going to be the person who gets killed.  

We have a long list of suspects to choose from, including Gini herself, who made an idle remark that could indeed be construed as a threat, even if she did feel provoked at the time.  In fact, practically the only person who liked him was a tourist named Dora, who gushed over him at dinner the night before.

I  liked the book and the plot, but one thing bothered me: Gini says that each of the hoofers brings something to the table:  Tina is the smartest, Gini the funniest, Pat the wisest, Mary Louise the kindest, and Janice...the most beautiful.  Four personality traits and one physical trait.  I guess if Janice weren't beautiful she'd have nothing to offer.  That irked a little bit.  The fact that it kept being played up throughout the book (how beautiful she was and how men fell at her feet everywhere they went, but very little about her accomplishments) bothered me.  It seemed as if because she was beautiful nothing else mattered.  I like to see books with strong women, and if they're beautiful, all to the good.  But when this is mentioned as the only trait that's important...this is what cost the book the fifth star.

However, the plot was enjoyable and the women were likable, even if because there were five of them, you only get to know anything about one - the narrator - and just snippets of the others.  I am guessing that in the rest of the books, the other characters will be fleshed out somewhat.  Enjoyable, recommended.

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