The Happy Hoofers have made an appearance here on the blog before. High Kicks, Hot Chocolate and Homicide, their latest gig, lured me because it was set in good old New York City. Forget Paris or Northern Spain, this is a stomping ground familiar to many. And so I picked it up with mixed feelings.
The book takes cozy to a whole new level. The narrator this time is Mary Louise, an otherwise average housewife who is thinking of dumping her husband. Yeah, talk about love in your 50s or rather, cheating on your spouse when you’re in your 50s. Why should men be the only ones who do it?
The Hoofers are excited to get a gig at Radio City and they will be dancing with the Rockettes. One of the girls is found dead on the first day they meet her. And then a few more bodies fall. This book is mostly about what the girls do in the city, especially Mary Louise. Some of the things mentioned are repetitive, like getting into a car and eating coffee and baked goods, exercising their muscles, taking lunch breaks until 2 PM, and so on. The Hoofers do very little crime solving, compared to some of their prior adventures.
Mary Louise goes on dates with her beau, collecting recipes from nice New York restaurants every day. I think this book is more about whether she will choose to stay on with her husband of a few decades, or choose to spend the rest of her life with the adoring doctor who she met and fell in love with.
‘High Kicks’ is a next in series fans will want to read for continuity, but it may not have an impact on first time readers.