In Cancans, Croissants, and Caskets, the Happy Hoofers – Tina, Gini, Mary Louise, Janice and Pat – are back, and this time they are living it up in Paris. And of course they tap their way across a murder or two.
I reviewed Flamenco, Flan and Fatalities featuring the Happy Hoofers earlier this year. I was impressed by the plot and the background setting. This one is all about Paris. If you love Paris, it will be a nostalgic trip for you, reliving memories of places you probably visited. If you want to go to Paris ut don’t know much about it, this book could probably take the place of a travel guide. Yes, you could plan your Paris itinierary very well by tracing the path of the Hoofers around the City of Light.
You have probably heard of dinner cruises across the Seine river that show people the Paris skyline at night. The Hoofers are dancing on one such cruise boat. The French couple who own the boat are warring. The owner is having a light affair with the singer, and his wife is mixing it up with another band member. Ken, an American on the band is quick to impart this gossip to the Hoofers. The owner is found murdered on the first night of their performance. And the investigation begins. The captain is a woman who finds the Hoofers very attractive.
As always, the Hoofers find a romantic interest or two. Janice has more than one man after her. There is the typical brash American businessman who tries to impress the ladies.
Cancans, Croissants, and Caskets has a very light or shallow plot compared to Flamenco, Flan and Fatalities. There are only one or two suspects and not a lot of surprises. I think the book has more on Paris and its attractions than the story itself. Some points are reiterated, like how difficult Gini finds it is to adopt a girl from India. Difficult compared to what? We all know adoption is tedious in the US too.
This book is narrated by Janice – remember the narrator changes for every book – and she gives fashion tips at the end of each chapter. These seem pretty simple, like don’t wear shorts or carry an umberella etc.
Overall, Cancans, Croissants, and Caskets is pretty superficial and light. It is a fast read and yes, it will regale you with everything Paris. But if you are looking for a nice juicy mystery, there is not much of it here.