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Skating Around the Law (Rebecca Robbins, #1)
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Skating Around the Law (Rebecca Robbins #1)

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  413 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
Rebecca Robbins is a woman on a mission---to sell the roller rink she inherited from her mother and get back to Chicago. Fast. However, when she discovers the dead body of the town’s handyman headfirst in a rink toilet, potential buyers are scared off. Now Rebecca is stuck in a small town where her former neighbors think she doesn’t belong, living with her scarily frisky g ...more
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Minotaur Books
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Nov 16, 2013 Carmen rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Romance Mystery fans
A fluffy, cute mystery. I don't like the 'dreamy' veterinarian – if a guy treated me that way, forget it.


I remember correctly - the love interest: veterinarian Lionel Franklin - is a putz. I don't like him. When I read the book this time, I kept careful track of how many times I told him to go flip himself.


I can't believe the main character puts up with this crap. Well, actually I can, since she seems a little.... Hmmm,
May 06, 2011 Hannah rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I was surprised to find that this is Joelle Charbonneau's debut novel, because it's one enjoyable read! Skating Around the Law has a great balance of characters, humour, romance and mystery; the fact that nothing feels forced or overdone is probably what I liked most about it.

A great deal of enjoyment was the result of Rebecca, who is a likeable heroine, and while she follows the general vein of amateur detectives, I love her awareness and common sense. She's a reluctant detective, investigating
Nov 26, 2010 Steve rated it really liked it
Charbonneau's first mystery has vivid, quirky characters, sparkly dialogue, and a feisty voice that carries the story along well.
Rebecca Robbins inherits a small-town roller skating rink from her mother and plans to sell it so she can return to her job as a Chicago mortgage broker, in spite of her boss, who thinks she's his girlfriend. Unfortunately, Mack, the local handyman, is found dead in the bathroom of the rink, and the police consider the rink a crime scene, so Rebecca can't sell the pl
Jul 04, 2012 Deanne rated it really liked it
A friend of mine recommended this author to me as we have a mutual love of the show Castle (and the author is a friend of hers that self-published her first two books). I will say this, I love anyone who can write and is resourceful enough to pursuit publishing! This is a light, easy murder mystery with a colorful cast of characters (including a hat-wearing camel) and some interesting, keeps you guessing turns. I like that it is set in small-town Illinois, with references to Chicago. I read some ...more
Nov 22, 2010 Grey853 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, cozy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 27, 2010 Richard rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Nobody I know - maybe a middle school girl.
Recommended to Richard by: I read a review--they lied.
Silly. Our heroine is more interested in hooking up with the hunky large animal vet than in finding out how the dead guy ended up in the toilet of her roller rink, thus ending any possibility of selling it in a small farm town west (south) of Rockford, IL.

The camel was a nice touch, but everything cannot be quirky.
May 19, 2011 Jenn rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, humor
Probably would have moved faster if I had time to get more into it but overall it was alright. Wondering if there will be a sequel/series? I'd be interested in reading more about Pops, Lionel, Rebecca & Elwood. Rated it as OK because I felt that it got a little distracted and random at some points.
Sep 30, 2010 Shannon rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Very much a Stephanie Plum feel to the book. Had a wonderful cast of characters- including the animals! Fun story line, really enjoyable to read. Little suspense at the end and a good love story- what's not to like! Can't wait for the next book!
Feb 08, 2011 Alison rated it did not like it
An irritating mystery, redeemed only by the presence of several cats and a scene-stealing camel.
May 26, 2012 Jenia rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, thriller, adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 20, 2013 Vilia rated it did not like it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Review from Backchatting Books

Rebecca Robbins wanted to sell the family roller skating rink and get back to her job as a mortgage broker when a local guy, Mack, is found dead at her rink. She decides to solve the case as an unsolved murder is a turn off for buyers and the local police are too incompetent.

Rebecca’s investigation strategies are pretty simple. I had no problem with her wearing skin-tight or revealing clothes and flirting to get information but I did wonder why she chose to repeat e
May 16, 2013 Tsedai rated it liked it
Shelves: skating
Since this is, you know, a murder mystery I won't go spoiling any of the important plot related stuff. I will however, extol the virtues of the rather fun cast of characters and give my overall opinion of the book.

The story is about Rebecca Robbins, a small town girl trying to make her way in the big city of Chicago. When her mother passes she inherits The Toe Stop, her mother's rink located in her small home town. After spending her childhood dreaming of getting out of small-town-Illinois, Rebe
Elizabeth A.
Oct 11, 2010 Elizabeth A. rated it really liked it
When Rebecca Robbins returns home to tiny Indian Falls, Illinois she initially thinks she has one problem to deal with – selling the roller rink she inherited from her mother – but ends up with something decidedly more ominous on her hands… a dead body in one of the roller rink’s bathrooms.

Though at first it looks like an accident or suicide given the bottle of prescription pills found nearby, the town’s doctor / coroner soon rules it a homicide making Rebecca’s task of selling the roller rink e
Michelle Carl
Jun 18, 2014 Michelle Carl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
The plan was simple. Come home to Indian Falls, Illinois just long enough to deal with selling her mother's old roller skating rink and then go back to Chicago and her job as a mortgage broker. But when Rebecca Robbins discovers the dead body of the town's handyman in the rink's bathroom, she realizes selling the place won't be quite as simple as she hoped for. To make matters worse, the local law enforcement is investigating the crime at a glacial pace. Knowing the rink won't be sold until the ...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
Sep 20, 2011 Kristin (MyBookishWays Reviews) rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
You may also read my review here:

Rebecca Robbins has returned to tiny Indian Falls to sell the roller rink that her mother loved so much,and she’s eager to get back to Chicago where her friends and her job waits for her. Selling the roller rink may not be as easy as she thought when she finds the town handyman in the rink restroom,head in the toilet,and dead as a doornail. Rebecca has no idea who could do such a thing,but she’s determined to find out,sinc
Lovey Dovey Books
Jun 07, 2012 Lovey Dovey Books rated it it was amazing
Joelle Charbonneau's Skating Around the Law is a fun and exciting mystery that will leave readers in stitches of laughter! Every unexpected turn of the plot is suspense filled and mixed with a little attraction and humor.

Charbonneau doesn't waste time when introducing readers to her star character, Rebecca Robbins. On a temporary stay in her hometown, Indian Falls, Rebecca is determined to sell her late mother's skating rink. The only problem is that no one is interested in real estate when deat
Connie N.
Oct 09, 2012 Connie N. rated it really liked it
Very cute. Rebecca Robbins moves back to her hometown from Chicago to take over her mother's roller skating rink when her mom dies. Which means she's back to feeling out-of-place and unwelcome so she wants to sell the rink. Unfortunately someone dies in the rink, which means people don't want to buy it or even go skating there. (Which surprises me--I thought everyone would be ghoulishly interested.) She decides to find the killer herself so she can sell the rink. So the premise is pretty well se ...more
Mar 28, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it
I liked this mystery almost immediately. This is due to the likability of the narrator, Rebecca. She returns to her hometown of Indian Falls from Chicago to look after the skating rink she inherited from her mother. She moves in with her grandfather, who is the ladies' man in town; this understandably creeps her out.

Then, there is a murder in the bathroom of the rink & her plans to sell it are dashed unless she can find the murderer since the Sherriff's department is totally inept.

In Rebecc
May 14, 2013 Jaylia3 rated it it was amazing
Lots of humor, a little romance, interesting/appealing characters, and an irresistible small town setting featuring a skating rink make this lively book a fun, relaxing read. Rebecca Robbins left her hometown of Indian Falls for the big city of Chicago as soon as she could, but she’s back now just long enough to sell the roller rink she inherited from her mother. Unfortunately a man is killed in the ladies room and no one wants to buy a rink with an unsolved murder. Since the local police aren’t ...more
Jul 29, 2013 Marti rated it liked it
This is what I would classify as murder mystery light. The characters other than the killer are all rather nice people. Rebecca Robbins is a mortgage broker in Chicago, who returns to a small town, she thinks, just to sell the roller skating rink that she has inherited from her late other. THe town handyman, Mack, is unfortunately found dead with his head in the toilet of a stall in the ladies' room. Who killed Mack--and why? Rebecca needs to solve this so that she can get on with her life back ...more
Meg Fee
Nov 05, 2011 Meg Fee rated it liked it
This was an alright book. I found myself unable to truely relate to this story and its characters. I think a lot of it is the fact that I've never lived in a small town. They mention it a lot in this book. The main character was from this small town and moved to Chicago and now she's back, but she's forgotten what it's like with rumors and the lack of secrets in a small town. There is also an outside feel for her since everyone seems to consider her a city girl and not one of them anymore. I dis ...more
Dec 21, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Rebecca temporarily moves back home to small-town Illinois to sell the skating rink she inherited from her mother. While there, a murder is committed in the rink, which hampers its sale. So, Rebecca sets out to find the killer so she can move back to the city. Along the way, she finds romance, new friends, and a possible shift in priorities. I really liked this book even though it dragged a wee bit in the middle. It had likable characters that were easy to care about. My favorite character was m ...more
This book I started reading it when I wasn't reading anything for school and then BAM! I had read all this depressing shat. So it was irksome but a much needed brain break between reading about wage slavery and lynching.

Lionel, I must mention, him and his chiseled jaw did not appeal to me. He is suspicious, sneaky, quick to get angry or frustrated especially at our heroine. One example: HE sneaks up on our heroine, he doesn't give her a greeting call, just walks up to her silently while her back
Aug 31, 2011 Bethany rated it really liked it
You know what I like? A book that makes me laugh. Every page of this book shines with a zest for life and a love of its characters, and its heroine. Rebecca Robbins wants to sell her mother's roller rink and get back to her life in Chicago, but when a dead body turns up in the women's bathroom her chances at a quick sale drop to zero. With the Sheriff moving at a plod, Rebecca decides that the only way to get things done is to solve the murder herself. The characters are quirky, smalltown fun, b ...more
Sep 24, 2012 Melodie rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2013
I had looked at this series for a couple of years and finally came upon a copy for a good price (don't know why these aren't available as paperbacks!). Glad I gave it a shot as this was definitely a good start to a series that is partly based in a roller skating rink in a small Illinois town, and I wish I could give it 3.5 stars. Rebecca is likeable and I love her granddad and Elwood, the hat-wearing former circus camel! Good small town characters and a good story. It took me a little bit before ...more
Penny Ramirez
Jul 28, 2011 Penny Ramirez rated it liked it
Shelves: series, mystery-cozy
This was an entertaining, lightweight piece of fluffiness. Definitely qualified as a summer read! Felt kind of like it was trying to be Janet Evanovich without the edge that Evanovich brings - wacky, woman-crazy grandpa, small town full of quirky characters, improbable situations, protag who isn't an investigator but decides *she's* the only one who can possibly solve the murder... but it was enough to keep me reading to see where it went. The hunky love interest never *quite* connected, which i ...more
Alannah Davis
Jul 26, 2014 Alannah Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Joelle Charbonneau's work. After reading her glee club books, this is my first foray into her Rebecca Robbins series. As usual, she creates characters that are individual yet not so far out that they're not relatable. I found myself wanting to know more about Rebecca's late mom, whose passion was the small-town Illinois roller rink that, in the wake of her death, is now Rebecca's. I felt irritated with Rebecca for wanting to sell the beloved rink and getting back to her big-city Chicago l ...more
Nov 17, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it
I got this book from the library because I'm supposed to review the third book in the series and I had to know what was going on first. :-) This is not my first book by this author. I read and loved Murder for Choir so I already knew I loved the writing style.

The humor was great, but Pop was a little weird. I did guess the murderer, but it was late in the story and wasn't blantantly obvious, so it didn't bother me. All in all, I'm looking forward to reading books #2 and #3 (which are already on
Sep 06, 2014 Marjorie rated it really liked it
This is a surprisingly cute book. The characters are quirky and the dialogue is pretty snappy. Rebecca's grandfather is a hoot!! And a hat loving camel!! I first thought it was going to be another small town girl turns sleuth book, with not much difference from any others. But it is different, it has a lot of charm. I think it's better than her Glee Club Mysteries.
Oct 03, 2014 Connie rated it really liked it
Cute, cute, cute. Those are the words for the first in a series about Rebecca Robbins. It is a very cozy mystery with just a hint of romance. I loved Elwood in the book too. I think he made the story that much more interesting.

I would have liked it to have a bit more content, but for the first in a series it was good. I am giving this 4 out 5 stars.
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I am a storyteller at heart. I have performed in a variety of operas, musical theatre and children's theatre productions across the Chicagoland area.

While I'm happy to perform for an audience, I am equally delighted to teach private voice lessons and use my experience from the stage to create compelling characters on the page. I am the author of the Rebecca Robbins mystery series (Minotaur Books)
More about Joelle Charbonneau...

Other Books in the Series

Rebecca Robbins (4 books)
  • Skating Over the Line (Rebecca Robbins, #2)
  • Skating on the Edge (Rebecca Robbins, #3)
  • Skating Under the Wire (Rebecca Robbins, #4)

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