John's Reviews > The Blonde Died Dancing

The Blonde Died Dancing by Kelley Roos
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's review
Jul 31, 2017

really liked it

Connie Barton suspects husband Steve of seeing another woman, likely a gorgeous blonde, when he makes clumsy excuses to be away from home every Wednesday evening -- so she gets her own hair dyed blonde by way of competition and sets out to investigate.

And she's right!

Sort of.

Steve is secretly taking dancing lessons so as to impress her when they celebrate their imminent fifth wedding anniversary, but his dancing instructor is indeed a gorgeous blonde. Almost immediately after Connie has made this discovery, though, the blonde is murdered in circumstances that make it seem as if -- according to the evidence of Connie's own eyes -- the only person who could have possibly killed her is . . . Steve! Can Connie and Steve find the real killer before the cops arrest Steve?

There is so, so much to like here.

I recently watched the not very good movie A Night to Remember based on the Roos novel The Frightened Stiff, and it was one of those instances where, despite the movie's mediocrity, I was pretty certain I might like the source novel. Unsurprisingly, my local library system couldn't turn up The Frightened Stiff itself, alas, but, mirabile dictu, it was able to produce some other Roos novels, and this was the first to arrive.

First of all, unlike many comedy mysteries, the novel's not just funny -- which it is, often very, and with a fair amount of undeclared but oh-so-implicit sauciness -- but offers a darned good mystery. Although the mechanism of what's effectively a locked-room murder is pretty obvious from the outset (at least, it was to supersleuth moi and my, like, modestly shrugging little gray cells), the identity of the killer is considerably more difficult to work out. By the time we reach the final revelation we've gone down all sorts of blind alleys, following the sharp-witted Connie as she boldly goes where no other recently dyed blonde would generally go, puts two and two together -- sometimes successfully -- and stands by her man whether he wants her to or not. The overall effect is not unlike a 1940s screwball comedy except that, as I say, the novel functions also as a first rate detective story.

More Roos, please.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
July 30, 2017 – Finished Reading
July 31, 2017 – Shelved

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