Friday, 10 August 2012
Murder on Ice: A Figure Skating Mystery by Alina Adams
I bought this one ages ago when my son was still involved in figure skating. Once he got to high school it was seriously not cool for a boy to skate and jump around. I put the book aside unread until I was packing my bags for our July vacation. I'm glad I finally got to reading it.
Rebecca 'Bex' Levy, has been hired as a figure skating researcher for a popular news network even though she has no skating experience. She is a very competent researcher and has proven herself time and again during the previous seven months of the skating season. Now at the world championship in San Francisco, her boss is calling on her once again to save their broadcast. Bex thought that this would be nothing out of the normal, dealing with bickering co-hosts, frazzles nerves and hectic work hours, but then a seemingly controversial judging decision sets every one on edge. To top it off, one of the judges is found dead in a room where she had no logical reason to be. Bex can't accept that it was an accident but who would want to murder her, or better yet, it turns out, who wouldn't want to murder her.
I used to be a huge fan of figure skating and watched it at every chance. I got dis-illusioned when it became obvious that there was some bias in the judging. Too much talk about the competitor 'paying his dues' before he could win gold, and the commentators saying that certain competitors wouldn't win because they had strayed from the 'ballet tradition' of figure skating. Does this mean the fix was in even before any blades hit the ice? Bex had to wonder the same thing after finding a note in the dead judges pocket. (note: in the past few years there has been a major re-working of the judging in this sport eliminating any chance of 'fixing' the results)
This story explored the egos, insecurities and jealousy of the competitors, their families and their coaches. Ms. Adams also kept me off balance by tossing in revealations that came totally out of the blue. After each of those, I had to stop and re-think my whole grasp of what I thought had happened.
I enjoyed the writing of this mystery, but I didn't have the appreciation for it that I would have had back when I was an avid skating viewer. Still, I would definitely read more by Alina Adams.
Bex and her figure skating associates continue with four more books in this series.
Update: be sure to read the comment from the author. She has released enhanced ebooks in this series and they sound well worth their price.
Website for author Alina Adams