Stephanie's Reviews > Murder on Ice

Murder on Ice by Alina Adams
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's review
Jul 08, 10

bookshelves: mystery
Read in March, 2010

Murder on Ice is the first in a series of figure skating mysteries by best-selling author Alina Adams. Adams is well-versed in her chosen subject, having worked as a researcher in the figure skating arena for a number of years, so it’s curious and amusing to see her depiction of heroine Bex Levy, herself a figure skating researcher working for a shamelessly exploitative television network 24/7.

Murder on Ice opens with a nervous Bex frantically trying to settle herself into the world of figure skating, where she works as a researcher, having augmented her credentials just a tad in order to gain her current position. Things are hotting up as the finals for the World Figure Championships come to a head–and particularly when crowd favourite Erin Simpson loses out to moody Russian competitor Xenia Trubin. Things escalate from there, however, when a judge perceived as having voted the wrong way winds up dead.

Bex’s eminently reasonable boss Gil sets her the perfectly simple task of finding out who killed the judge in question, with her job security somewhat threatened if she fails to do so. Bex has little choice but to try to make the most of her research skills, and what follows is a fairly clever whodunnit as the various actors pit themselves against each other with evasiveness, half-truths, and flat-out lies.

Murder on Ice is generally a fun and pacy whodunnit that snakes about and keeps the reader on their toes. While the outcome isn’t all that surprising (and the ending is oddly abrupt), the path to get there is serpentine and twisting, and it’s fun to watch Bex dashing about trying to get the various suspects’ stories straight. The narrative voice is humorous and witty, although times I felt it could have been pared back a little as Bex’s witticisms threatened to usurp the plot a tad. As someone with absolutely no knowledge of figure skating beyond having a vague understanding that it involves sparkly costumes and viciously sharp skates, I found this book was a fun introduction into the catty world of competitive skating (much like Natalie M. Roberts’s Tapped Out, which I reviewed earlier this year, was a fun intro into the world of dance mums).

While I did find that the whodunnit narrative lacked a little in the suspense stakes due to the fact that the potential for any other murders to occur was extremely low–rather than Bex having to solve the murder in order to stopping another from occurring, she was racing the television ratings clocks–Murder on Ice is a fun and competent cosy mystery that promises good things to come from Alina Adams.

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