Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dancing With The Virgins (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #2)” as Want to Read:
Dancing With The Virgins (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dancing With The Virgins (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry #2)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  1,002 ratings  ·  56 reviews
One of the most acclaimed new talents in crime fiction follows up his debut Black Dog with an even darker, richly atmospheric novel of suspense set in northern England's Peak District and starring Detectives Ben Cooper and Diane Fry.
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 23rd 2001 by Scribner Book Company (first published 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dancing With The Virgins, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dancing With The Virgins

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,563)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Dec 20, 2008 Samantha rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cathy Cole
First Line: On the day the first woman died, Mark Roper had radio trouble.

In a remote area of the Peaks District in England, a prehistoric ring of stones called the Nine Virgins witnesses the brutal murder of a young cyclist. When Detective Constable Ben Cooper and Detective Sergeant Diane Fry learn that another woman was attacked by an assailant with a knife less than half a mile from the Nine Virgins, they feel they've found the start of a pattern that needs to be stopped immediately.

After enj
Kirsty Darbyshire
I've put off reading this book for ages because (nonsensically) I was expecting to enjoy it a lot and also worried that it wouldn't be as good as I hoped despite numerous reports that if anything it was better than Black Dog. One of the offputting things about the book is its 500 odd pages. I don't mind a long read at all, it's more that I've read several long mysteries with filler than plot and I didn't want to be disappointed in this one.

This is a book that is well worth its length though. Boo

Having enjoyed the first installment of this series Black Dog recently - I was looking forward to this second book in the Cooper and Fry series. Stephen Booth creates great atmosphere in his Peak district mysteries, the plot fairly races along, with plenty of excellent twists and turns and it becomes hard to put the book down. I guessed one or two things - but was led right up the garden path over others.
The tension between central characters Cooper and Fry adds another interesting dimension, th
I finished this book. But the book was a slog. Normally, I shove such books aside. Donate them half-read to the thrift shop. I don't know why I kept going. It was 562 pages of my life I'll never get back.

One of the reasons was to see how many appalling metaphors the author could cram into those 562 pages. Did I mention there were 562 pages? Oh yeah, sorry, three times now.

Samples, just a few out of hundreds ~

When a fellow's hair lifts off his forehead:

"It settled back to his temples like roos
Celia Barry
This is my kind of book - a great mystery taking place in small towns/villages in England, characters I don't think I'll tire of reading about and of course, some kind of darkness...

I'll keep reading this series!
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
I am currently reading my way through this series and really enjoying it. D.C. Ben Cooper is back with a new partner, D.C. Todd Weenick, not a pairing he is particularly happy with, but he figures it's better than being partnered up with the newly promoted Acting D.S. Diane Fry. The body of a cyclist called Jenny Weston is found dead up on the moors in the Peak District, at an ancient site called the Nine Virgins. Ben becomes part of the investigation team, a small team from his division due to ...more
The Nine Virgins, a historical prehistoric ring of stones in northern England, is where a dead woman is found. Her body is arranged as a woman who is dancing. Was she killed by the same person who brutally maimed another woman in a nearby area? Detectives Ben Cooper and Diane Fry are part of the team assigned to the case and search for clues to the crimes as well as determine how they are linked to this mysterious area. As usual, they also battle their own inner demons and have the usual run-ins ...more
Local Detective Ben Cooper and Detective Sergeant Diane Fry clash and work together to solve several murders and violent attacks, as well as a disappearance on the moors. Booth paints a detailed picture of a small English town in tourist country where the regular townsfolk and it's "protectors" are not all they seem. The investigation starts off horribly with little to go on, but determination on the part of the police mixed with some luck and tips eventually fleshes out the more seemly details ...more
Minty McBunny
I liked Black Dog when I read it a few months ago, but I wasn't overwhelmed by it enough to go right out for the next story in the series. I was looking over my 2013 list and saw it again, decided to give this book a go. I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as Black Dog but it was still a solid police thriller. Diane Fry is so hard to like and Ben Cooper is so likable, it's difficult to stomach her extreme animosity toward him. There were a lot of threads to follow in this story, and it did dra ...more
John Owen
A solid police thriller with a tortuous plot and good development of characters. Perhaps some elements of the story were a little too obvious, while others were not worked out quite as well as you might expect, but this is a book from fairly early in Booth's series set in Derbyshire and he gets better as he goes along.
Ian Mapp
Second in the series and you know what you are going to get.... great use of location, good characterisation and plenty of mystery.

A ranger finds a young woman murdered at a group of stones, known as the dancing virgins. The body has been left as though sacraficed.

Cue investigations with Fry and cooper - still both getting at each other.

More attacks happen.

The story is as complicated (adopted kids, lesbianism, crusties) as the first and equally as inlikely but the plus factors make a cracking re
I found this so slow; so much description and allusions to events of the first book that I ended up picking another book to read. I tried to continue it yesterday but my interest had waned. I'm not drawn to either Fry or Cooper, and don't really care about their issues.
This is a shame as I liked the first book, but I don't plan to read the rest of the series now.
I look forward to seeing what the tv programme makers will have done with the books.
Graham Botha
Stephen Booth writes in a style which uses exaggerated setting descriptions. At times this wears thin. However, his ability to immerse the reader into the minds of the characters, so that you both love and dislike them simultaneously, makes up for this over descriptive style. Trying to achieve atmosphere by using description can be good, but is a fatal literary error when it interferes with the flow of the plot.
Second book in the series. I liked this one from the start because I knew what I getting into. I wasn't looking for the characters to be or become friends, and those moments where Cooper is considerate of Fry are surprises, and sometimes throw me off. I will continue to read this series.
I did not like this one as well as The Black Dog; there were things about certain characters that made me very uneasy. Otherwise, I love how much the setting informs the story line and am hoping for more of Cooper and Fry together in the next novel.
Jul 08, 2008 Valerie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Valerie by: Entertainment Weekly
Please try this if you like British mysteries. Perhaps if more people read this series, they will publish it over here, and I won't have to track down used British editions anymore. Although, they do look classy on my bookshelf.
Marijo Hinton
Another great story

0I have become a dedicated fan of stephen booth and can hardly wait to begin another of his mysteries. I am always surprised by the outcome of these complicated story lines.
Carol Jean
Great atmosphere, very complex story.
Second books in a series are sometime better than the first entry, sometimes worse. This book definitely fell into the worse category. This story was too slow and plodding to be engaging.

Too many scenes were nothing but self-examination and internal monologues. Booth also spent too many words describing scenery. While it’s nice for those of us who have never visited England and it adds to the story’s richness, it slows the story down too much.

Several storylines ran through the novel that eventua
Jul 04, 2008 Sharon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans, SIG, anglophiles
I've wondered why I seem to need so much time to read Stephen Booth's books, and I've decided that it's the pacing. The plot does not drag nor does the author include any unnecessary digressions, but the rhythm matches the pace of life in the bleak countryside where Constable Ben Cooper works. It also matches the slow but steady progress of a routine police investigation.

"Dancing with the Virgins" is the second in the Ben Cooper/Diane Fry series, and Cooper's personal relationships continue fro
apart from the first 30 pages, which I found pretty turgid - hence the pause before going on - I read this in one go, all 550 pages of it (it's worth about 250-300).
As usual, a very slow, atmosphere-building start. Murder victims are telegraphed, so there's little suspense before the deed. Booth's forte is the slow-digging, piecemeal unearthing of detail after the fact, with a heavy dose of soft-core mystical mumbo-jumbo for flavor along the way.
Characterization: His country folk seem yoked to
Emily Randall

I think that this book is written to display a slow pace, perhaps indicating the reality of the pace a real police investigation might take....even the parents of the murder victim became frustrated at the slowness of the investigation in this story!

a sense of ironic humour is displayed at the crime scene, following the murder; with a very tongue in cheek description of a pair of travellers and an older man who stripped off and a variety of groups of people that either want to perform rituals at
Jim Martell
Frustratingly close to keeping me interested enough to proceed to book 3. Much larger cast of characters than book 1, but lots of red herrings and not much development of main characters Cooper and Fry. Again, Booth knows how to make the settings very real and compelling, but the huge cast of characters range from flat to implausible. Story had me guessing until the end, but most readers will probably see it coming.
Jina Howell-Forbes
The books in this Ben Cooper/Diane Fry series are interesting as British detective murder mysteries, and I love the scenic descriptions of that part of Britain. What is becoming increasingly irritating, however, is the strange relationship between the two main characters. They openly dislike each other, and Diane is both rude and condescending. Yet somehow the reader is expected to feel sorry for her because she has had a hard life. I just don't think that if a person has horrible things done to ...more
Karen C
Really like the book. This is the second in his Cooper & Fry series and was better than the first. These books are sad though and there was a section about animals that I wish he hadn't gone into so much detail about. Found it disturbing. But I'll continue to read this series.
Kim Lauwers
I calculated that in order to finish all the books my coach lended to me before the end of season I have to average 1.2 of his books per month...I'm not sure if I can miss my children's, YA and fantasy books that long though...

Even though this book won a prize (sorry can't remember which one) I didn't like this one as much as the first one. I think this stems from the fact that I found the ending very confusing. I'm quite sure who the perpatrators of some of the murders were, but others I'm not
beth starkey

after reading one of this author's other books I must say that this book was a disappointment to me. I felt that it went on and on a bit too long. in my estimate, it could have been much better in a shorter version of the story.
Pat Stearman
I'm enjoying this series - lots of red herrings and subplots. Good characters, still slightly annoying but growing on me!
Strega Emanuel
Slow start, but gets better about a third to mid-way through. Interesting characters with enough back-story to make them human. Very good mystery.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 52 53 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • All The Colours Of Darkness (Inspector Banks, #18)
  • Winter Frost (Inspector Frost, #5)
  • On Beulah Height (Dalziel & Pascoe, #17)
  • The Coffin Trail (Lake District Mystery #1)
  • Cold Light (Charles Resnick, #6)
  • Hidden Depths (Vera Stanhope, #3)
  • The Vows of Silence (Simon Serailler, #4)
A former newspaper journalist, Stephen Booth is the creator of two young Derbyshire police detectives, DS Ben Cooper and DS Diane Fry, who have so far appeared in 13 crime novels, all set in and around England's Peak District.

The Cooper & Fry series has won awards on both sides of the Atlantic, and Detective Constable Cooper has been a finalist for the Sherlock Award for the Best Detective cr
More about Stephen Booth...
Black Dog (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #1) Blood on the Tongue (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #3) Blind To The Bones (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #4) Dying to Sin (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #8) Scared to Live (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #7)

Share This Book

“think suicides are the saddest deaths of all. It means someone has decided that life has no part for them to play any more.” 0 likes
More quotes…