Dead on the Dance Floor [NOOK Book]

Overview

New York Times bestselling author Heather Graham choreographs a sexy thriller of passion and murder...

Accomplished dancer Lara Trudeau drops dead of a heart attack brought on by a lethal combination of booze and pills. To former private investigator Quinn O'Casey, it's a simple case of death by misadventure. But when his brother Doug, a Miami-Dade patrolman, asks for help, he can't refuse. Especially when he learns that Lara and Doug--a student at the Moonlight Sonata dance ...

See more details below
Dead on the Dance Floor

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$6.49
BN.com price
(Save 9%)$7.20 List Price

Overview

New York Times bestselling author Heather Graham choreographs a sexy thriller of passion and murder...

Accomplished dancer Lara Trudeau drops dead of a heart attack brought on by a lethal combination of booze and pills. To former private investigator Quinn O'Casey, it's a simple case of death by misadventure. But when his brother Doug, a Miami-Dade patrolman, asks for help, he can't refuse. Especially when he learns that Lara and Doug--a student at the Moonlight Sonata dance studio where Lara occasionally taught--were having an affair. And despite Quinn's lack of interest in the case and even less in dancing, experience has taught him not to count on the obvious when it comes to murder. Going undercover as a dance student, Quinn meets studio manager Shannon Mackay, a beautiful, graceful woman who has left world-class competition to teach. He also uncovers some disturbing facts. Everyone there had a reason to hate Lara Trudeau, a woman as ruthless as she was talented. As a drama of broken hearts, shattered dreams and tangled motives unfolds, Quinn begins looking for a killer.

In a city where pleasure drugs are a fast and dangerous high, Quinn is alarmed by the growing number of deaths due to overdoses, illegal substances and execution-style shootings connected to the Moonlight Sonata. Shannon, too, has begun to wonder if strange events surrounding the studio have a deeper source. She suspects she's being followed. Worse, she fears someone may be trying to kill her.

Shannon is about to discover the risks she is willing to take to fight for what she wants--to dance, to compete again, to share her life with Quinn. Yet someone has another plan for her, adangerous shadow figure made all the more deadly by wearing the face of a friend. But someone just hadn't counted on Quinn O'Casey--a man who doesn't give up and never backs down, especially when it comes to protecting the woman he loves.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Prolific romance author Graham, with more than 90 novels to her credit, sets her new romantic suspense tale in the world of professional ballroom dance. At the Moonlight Sonata Dance Studio in Miami Beach, coaching for professional competitions is available, as is recreational dance instruction. When Lara Trudeau, imperious star professional, drops dead after a performance, authorities, citing a lethal combination of pills and alcohol, deem the death accidental. But patrolman Doug O'Casey, a new dance student and Lara's most recent lover, suspects foul play, as do some associates, including the studio manager, Shannon Mackay. Doug finally persuades his brother Quinn, a private investigator, to sign up for dance lessons so he can look into the case. Meanwhile, in the vicinity of the dance studio, several seemingly unrelated murders occur. Quinn begins to fall in love with his dance instructor, Shannon, although she could be the murderer he seeks-for that matter, so could his brother. When Shannon gets a cryptic message, "You're next!" she's determined to find the killer herself; her efforts put her in harm's way. The story isn't all suspicions and chills: readers can learn something about salsa, tango and waltz contests, and there's a touching bit about a homeless girl who's a natural dancer and finds a home. Graham's more suggestible fans will doubtless put on their dancing shoes and head for the nearest Arthur Murray studio. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426828676
  • Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises
  • Publication date: 2/1/2006
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 115,954
  • File size: 311 KB

Meet the Author

Heather Graham


Heather grew up in Dade County, Florida, and attended the University of South Florida at Tampa, majoring in theater arts and touring Europe and parts of Asia and Africa as part of her studies. After college, she acted in dinner theaters, modeled, waitressed, and tended bar. After the birth of her third child, she was determined to devote her efforts to her writing: her dream. She sold her first book in 1982.

Today, this author's success is reflected not just by reader response and the over 20 million copies of her books in print, but in many other ways. In addition to being a New York Times bestselling author, Heather has received numerous awards for her novels, including over 20 trade awards from magazines such as Romantic Times and Affaire de Coeur, bestseller awards from B. Dalton, Waldenbooks, and BookRak, and several Reviewers' Choice and People's Choice awards.

Heather has appeared on Entertainment Tonight, Romantically Speaking, a TV talk show that aired nationwide on the Romance Classics cable channel, and CBS Sunday News. She has been quoted in People and USA Today, been profiled in The Nation, and featured in Good Housekeeping. Her books have been selections for the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild. She has been published across the world in more than 15 languages and has published over 70 titles, including anthologies and short stories.

Somehow, this prolific author manages to juggle it all--family, career, and marriage--while reaching a level of success to which few can aspire.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

There was always something to see on South Beach.

Always.

Glittering, balmy, radiant by virtue of the sun by day and neon by night. The rich and beautiful came and played, and everyone else came and watched. The beach sparkled, offering the most spectacular eye candy, gossip, scandal, traffic jams and more. Nearly bare bodies that were beautiful. Nearly bare bodies that were not so beautiful.

Models, rockers, skaters, bikers, would-be-surfers-were-there-only-some-surf, the MTV crowd, the very old, the very young.

But tonight there was even more.

One of the largest and most prestigious ballroom dance competitions in the world was taking place at one of the best-known hotel's ever to grace the strip of sand called Miami Beach.

And with it came Lara Trudeau.

She spun, she twirled, she floated on air, a blur of crystal color and grace.

She was, quite simply, beauty in motion.

Lara demonstrated a grace and perfection of movement that few could even begin to emulate. She had it all, a flair to pin down the fine character of every dance, a face that came alive to the music, a smile that never failed. Judges were known to have said that it was difficult to look down and judge her footwork, much less notice the other couples on the floor, because her smile and her face were so engaging they almost forgot their duties. They had been known to admit that they hadn't marked other couples as accurately as they might have; Lara was simply so beautiful and spectacular and point-blank good that it was hard to draw their eyes away from her.

Tonight was no exception.

Indeed, tonight Lara was more incredible than ever, more seductive, alluring, and glorious. To watch her was to feel that the senses were teased, stroked, awakened, caressed, excited and eased.

She was alone on the floor, or rather, alone with her partner, Jim Burke. During the cabaret routines, each of the couples in the finals took the floor alone, so there she was, her body a lithe example of feminine perfection in her formfitting ball gown of a thousand colors. Jim, as talented as he was, had become nothing more than an accessory.

Those who loved her watched in awe, while those who despised her watched with envy.

Shannon Mackay, current manager of Moonlight Sonata, the independent studio where Lara had long ago begun her career and continued to coach, watched with mixed feelings of wry amusement, not at all sure herself whether she loved Lara or despised her. But there was no denying her talent. Even among the spectacular performances by the best and most accomplished artists in the world community of professional dance, Lara stood out.

"She is simply incredible," Shannon said aloud.

At her side, Ben Trudeau, Lara's ex, snorted. "Oh, yeah. Just incredible."

Jane Ulrich, who had made it to the semifinals but been edged out at the end, as usual, by Lara, turned to Ben with a brilliant smile.

"Oh, Ben. You can't still be bitter. She's so good, it's as if she's not really of this earth."

Shannon smiled at Jane's compliment. Jane was stunning that night herself; her figure lean and trim, and her waltz gown, a deep crimson, set off her dark coloring in a blaze of glittering fire.

"I'd rather dance with you," Jane's partner, Sam Railey, said softly, giving her a squeeze. "You, my love, actually dance with someone. Lara uses her partner like a prop."

"But she is brilliant, just brilliant," Gordon Henson, owner of the studio, said. He was the one who had first taught Lara, and his pride was justified.

"Let's face it -- she's a mean, ambitious bitch who'd walk over a friend's dead body to get where she wanted to go." said Justin Garcia, one of the studio's upcoming salsa specialists.

Next to him, Rhianna Markham, another contender, laughed delightedly. "C'mon, Justin, say what you really feel."

Shannon nudged Rhianna and said softly, "Careful. We're surrounded by our students." And they were, since the hotel was just north of the South Beach area where the studio was located. As a teaching institution, it was the envy of many a competitor, for not only was it located in the limelight of a varied and heavily populated area, it was situated right on top of a club that had turned into a true hot spot over the past few years, since it had been bought by charismatic young Latin American entrepreneur Gabriel Lopez -- who had come this evening, as well, in support of his friends. Due to the proximity of the event, even a number of the studio's more casual students had come, entranced to see the very best of the best, competitors from all over the world.

"She's just gorgeous," Rhianna said loudly enough to be overheard, making a conspiratorial face at Shannon and lowering her head. Shannon had to grin.

But then Gordon whispered to her softly, "You should have been out there. You could have been more gorgeous."

She shook her head. "I like teaching, not competing."

"Chicken?"

She grinned. "I know when I'm outclassed."

"Never outclassed," he said, and squeezed her hand.

On the dance floor, Lara executed another perfect lift, spiraling down her partner's body in perfect unity with the music.

There was a tap on Shannon's shoulder. At first, she paid no attention to it. The crowd was massive, including students, teachers, amateurs, professionals, press and those who just liked to watch. A jostle meant nothing as everyone vied for space from which to watch the spectacle.

The tap came again. Frowning, Shannon half turned. The sides of the stage were dark, cast in shadow by the spotlights on the floor. She couldn't see the person summoning her, but it might have been the waiter behind her, a man dressed in tails. Strange, tonight the wait staff, some of the judges and many of the contenders were dressed almost alike.

"Yes?" she murmured, puzzled.

"You're next," he said.

"Next?" she queried. But the man, whose face she hadn't really seen, was already gone. He must have been mistaken. She wasn't competing.

"Ooh!" Jane said. "She's unbelievable!"

Shannon looked quickly back to the floor, forgetting the man who had been trying to reach her in a case of mistaken identity. She wasn't particularly concerned. Whoever was up next would know. They would already be waiting on the sidelines.

Waiting in a nerve-wracking situation. Following Lara would never be easy.

"Excellent," Ben admitted. "Every step perfectly executed."

From the crowd, a collective "Ahh!" arose.

And then, suddenly, Lara Trudeau went poetically still. Her hands, so elegant with their long, tapered fingers and polished nails, flew dramatically to her left breast. There was a moment of stillness, with the music still playing a Viennese waltz as sweet and lilting as the cool air.

Then, still graceful, she dropped.

Her fall was as elegant as any dance movement, a melting into the ground, a dip that was slow, supple . . .

Until her head fell to the dance floor in perfect complement to the length of her body and she did not move again.

"That wasn't in her routine," Gordon whispered to Shannon.

"No," Shannon murmured back, frowning. "Do you think it's something she added at the last minute for dramatic effect?"

"If so, she's milking it too far," Gordon replied, frowning.

At first, there was a hushed, expectant silence from the crowd. Then, as Jim Burke remained standing at her side, the room began to fill with the thunder of applause.

It ebbed awkwardly to a hollow clap here and there, then faded altogether, as those who knew dance and knew Lara began to frown, realizing that they hadn't witnessed a dramatic finale but that something was wrong.

A collective "What . . . ?" rose from the crowd.

Shannon started to move forward, frowning, wondering if Lara hadn't decided to make use of a new ploy.

Gordon caught her arm.

"Something's wrong," he said. "I think she needs medical help."

That must have been apparent, because the first person to rush forward was Dr. Richard Long, a handsome young surgeon, as well as a student at Moonlight Sonata. He fell to his knees at Lara's side, felt deftly for a pulse. He raised his head, looking around stunned for a split second, then yelled out hoarsely, "Call an ambulance!" He quickly looked down again and began performing CPR.

The room was still for a second, as if the hundreds of people in it had become collectively paralyzed with shock. Then dozens of cell phones were suddenly whipped out from pockets and purses.

Whispers and murmurs rose from all around the dance floor, then went still.

Richard valiantly continued his efforts.

"My God, what on earth happened to her?" Gordon said, the tension in his eyes showing his inner debate on whether to rush up himself or not.

"Drugs?" Ben suggested.

"Lara? Never," Jane said vehemently.

"No," Shannon murmured, shaking her head.

"Yeah, right, no, never," Ben said with a sniff. "Let's see, drugs on South Beach? In Miami, Florida, gateway to South America? Right, never."

"Never for Lara Trudeau," Shannon snapped.

"There are different drugs," Justin said.

"Maybe," Gordon agreed ruefully. "She's been known to swallow a few Xanax when she's nervous."

"Or maybe alcohol?" Justin said worriedly.

"When she's dancing?" Rhianna protested, shaking her head.

"She truly considers her body a temple," Sam informed them with complete assurance. "But sometimes the temple needs a few offerings, she says," he added. "She must have taken something. I mean, look at her."

"I hope she's going to be all right. She's got to be all right," Shannon said, sharing Gordon's concern regarding whether or not she should step forward.

Gordon set his hand on Shannon's shoulders. "No," he said softly.

She stared at him, puzzled.

"It's too late," he told her.

"What?" Shannon said, disbelieving.

Yet even as she asked the question, Richard Long rose. "Clear the floor, please. I'm afraid it's too late," he said quietly.

"Too late?" came a shout.

"She's . . . gone," Richard said awkwardly, as if sorry that his words gave the final ring of reality to the unbelievable.

"Dead?" Someone in the crowd said.

Richard sighed, dismayed that he couldn't get his words to sink through the collective head of those surrounding him. "I'm afraid . . . yes."

The sound of sirens filled the night.

Seconds later the crowd parted and medical techs swept into the room. They added emergency equipment and a desperately administered injection to the CPR efforts.

But in the end, no matter how hard they tried, it was over. Those watching kept their distance but could not turn away.

Shannon stared at the uniformed men, frozen in disbelief, along with the others. And as she watched, unbidden, a strange whisper filtered back into her mind.

You're next.

Insane. Silly. Someone had mistaken her for the next dancer to compete, that was all. Everything was a mess, Lara had fallen, but would be all right in the end. The CPR would work. She would suddenly inhale and stand up, and soon they would all be talking about her again, saying that she would do anything to create the biggest impression of the evening. She meant to be remembered, to be immortal.

But no one lived forever.

As the crowd left the floor at last, still stunned, there were murmurs everywhere.

Lara Trudeau. Gone. Impossible. And yet, she had died as she had lived. Glorious, beautiful, graceful, and now . . . dead.

Dead on the dance floor.

Copyright © 2004 Heather Graham

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    Read this

    Heather Graham nailed it again. Kept me interested until the very end. Talk about a guessing game. This is a must read!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2008

    OUTSTANDING!!!!

    Heather Graham is a great author. This book kept me turning pages until the end. In my opinion you should go buy this book if you don't already have it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2007

    Amusing but contrived...

    I enjoy Heather Graham because her books are amusing. They're fast-paced, easy to read, and for the most part, enjoyable. Dead on the Dance Floor was no exception. The book jumps to some outlandish conculsions and there are too many characters introduced to the story, but it was a fun read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2006

    Intriguing Romantic Suspense

    In this novel, Heather Graham takes us to the world of ballroom dancing combined with one of her fabulous sultry Florida settings. This makes for a very unique romantic mystery! I loved the interesting characters, unusual mystery and the hot romance. Don't miss this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2005

    not too good

    I like Heather Graham as an author but this book was not one of the best. I had to struggle to keep on turning the pages, in the end i just flipped through to see if their were any good parts there were some but overall it wasn't a good story. Alot of the parts didnt fit together and there was too much repeating words or dialogue that just kept on going about the same thing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2004

    great!!

    this was book was great! i expected to be disappointed because lately her books have been kinda boring but this book was great! it was very interesting and easy to read, i couldn't put it down. i can't wait for another book like this one!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2004

    Dead on the Dance Floor

    It was one of the best books I read. I finished it in a day.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2004

    Dead on the Dance Floor

    I loved this book. I never put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2004

    Not a winner

    I have always enjoyed Heather Graham's books but this one was very disappointing. I found it very hard to finish.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 17 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)