In Murder on Pointe by C.S. McDonald, Fiona Quinn goes to the ballet to watch her long-time friend, Silja, perform the lead role in Coppelia as a special doll made by a toy maker played by Fiona and Silja’s ballet instructor.
The morning show goes beautifully, after which the friends go to lunch and discuss the conflict among the cast, with several people fighting over important roles. Returning to the theater, the pair find one of the lead dancers murdered, struck from behind with a heavy object. A homicide detective, Nathan Landry, comes to the theater, and Fiona finds him very attractive. Then, at 3 a.m., Detective Landry brings Silja to Fiona’s house after someone has attacked Silja in a manner similar to the attack on the murdered ballerina in the theater garage. Concerned that someone is targeting ballerinas, Detective Landry asks Fiona to go undercover for him as a ballerina, despite the fact that Fiona has not danced in years after a skiing accident that cut short her ballet career.
This book was an enjoyable light read. The setting of a ballet is one I’ve never come across in a mystery, but it did not require any understanding of the style of dance. It allowed me a nice chance to have a casual cute read. The one incongruity is the references to Fiona’s ghost grandmother who helps her out. That supernatural element doesn’t fit in with the rest of the book, which is natural. Then it gets silly and ridiculous.
Maren Swenson Waxenberg narrates the audio edition of this book. While sufficient, the performance did not especially impress me. She reads the book with much less expression than typical audiobook readers, and the words seem to run together, in particular with very little pause between sentences. The performance detracted from the story too. I almost gave up on the book when I started it because the narration didn’t appeal to me, but I’m glad I stuck with it because the book was a nice read, though I did not like the ending.
I enjoyed Murder on Pointe for the most part, as it kept me entertained. But I did not find the ending very satisfying. The behavior of the murderers seemed unrealistic, and Fiona’s behavior towards the criminals was pretty farfetched. This conclusion was unsatisfying, making me change my rating of the book from the four stars I intended to give it to three stars.
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