Saturday, September 10, 2011

Timestep to Murder-Norma Lehr

Timestep to Murder

Norma Lehr

Camel, Jul 1 2011, $$16.95

ISBN: 9781603818636

The six former Manhattan Topettes who live near Lake Tahoe are invited to perform a weekend of reunion shows at the Cal Neva Escort Spa and Casino. In their late forties and a quarter of a century since they danced together, Abby, Melanie, Dana, Gail, Blythe and Renee arrive for a precision high kick performance. Coaching the team for the shows is much younger NYC Topettes Teacher Jan Withers.

However, the rivalry between the dancers is as feral as it was twenty five years ago. Lottery winner Melanie retains her superego as the center performer because she is the tallest. Renee hates Melanie for stealing the love of her life Tommy. Business partner Dana has sued Melanie over the lottery winnings. Gail still envies Melanie as the second tallest has done futile stretching exercises to steal the focus point, but remains shorter. Blythe tries to persuade Melanie and the others to sell her health drinks. Driven from California by former cop Blade, Abby is the mother confessor to the group. All hell occurs when someone poisons Melanie and subsequently kills Gail. Although she should allow Detective Fromer to do his job, Abby investigates out of loyalty to her friend Renee, a major suspect.

Fascinatingly, the insight into the lives of the six dancers as former performers makes the investigative thriller stand out. The whodunit is clever as the killer is in plain sight of the stage although Abby’s obsessive fueled actions seem over the top of Freel Peak. Still the six antagonists have different personalities and interests as they high kick to the joy of fans their way to a deadly dangerous dance.

Harriet Klausner

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