I just finished reading a really good book, y'all! Let me tell you a little about it.
Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities, a cozy mystery by Mary McHugh, is the second book in her Happy Hoofers series. The series is about five friends who form a tap-dancing group — at first, just as a fun way to exercise. Their group, the Happy Hoofers, has become so good that they have been hired to entertain travelers on a cruise through Russia (Book 1, Chorus Lines, Caviar, and Corpses) and now on a train tour of Spain. What a great way to see the sights! (Well, except for the murders that they seem to attract on their trips. Is Jessica Fletcher one of the Happy Hoofers?)
The Happy Hoofers consist of Tina, Janice, Pat, Mary Louise, and Gini. Each book is narrated by a different woman. Gini narrates Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities, and gives photo tips, since she is an award-winning documentary filmmaker.
Oh, and by the way — the Happy Hoofers are all in their 50s. They seem to be taking George Burns' advice to heart: “You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old.” The women are quite likable, and are described very realistically.
Mary Louise loves to cook, and she's the one responsible for the recipes in the Happy Hoofer books. The meals included in the group's tour packages are always fabulous (well, almost always — see Book 1 for the exception!) and Mary Louise asks the chefs for recipes, so she can prepare the same dishes at home. Thanks, Mary Louise! I haven't tried any yet, but they are all very tempting.
I liked reading about the camaraderie of the five friends, and their sightseeing in Spain, just as much as trying to figure out whodunit. I had my suspicions about a certain character, who did turn out to be the murderer. This in no way spoiled my enjoyment of the book. In fact, the identity of the murderer becomes known to our heroines — they just can't prove it at first. This was an unusual plot twist, one which I enjoyed.
The final chapter consists of a summation of the Hoofers' activities after their train trip, concluding with
...when she [Tina] got an offer for us to dance on the Bateau Mouche, she couldn't resist. Vive la France!
I changed my mind about ....
Want to come along?
I like this teaser for the next book, so that I know what to look forward to!
And speaking of the next book, Cancans, Croissants, and Caskets will be published in August 2015, and is available now for pre-order at Amazon!
Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities is a lot of fun, a great read that has earned Four Stars! I really enjoyed it, and recommend Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities to Cozy Mystery fans — armchair travelers, especially, will enjoy touring northern Spain on a luxury train with the Happy Hoofers.
Note: I received a complimentary copy of Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities from the publisher and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest opinion of the book.
Originally published on my blog at Jane Reads.