Loves Music, Loves to Dance

Loves Music, Loves to Dance

4.4 83
by Mary Higgins Clark

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New York's trendy magazines are a source of peril when a killer enacts a bizarre dance of death, using the personal ads to lure his victims...
After college, best friends Erin Kelley and Darcy Scott move to the city to pursue exciting careers; Erin is a promising jewelry designer, Darcy finds success as a decorator. On a lark, Darcy persuades Erin to help their…  See more details below


New York's trendy magazines are a source of peril when a killer enacts a bizarre dance of death, using the personal ads to lure his victims...
After college, best friends Erin Kelley and Darcy Scott move to the city to pursue exciting careers; Erin is a promising jewelry designer, Darcy finds success as a decorator. On a lark, Darcy persuades Erin to help their TV producer friend research the kinds of people who place personal ads. It seems like innocent fun...until Erin disappears.
Erin's body is found on an abandoned Manhattan pier -- on one foot is her own shoe, on the other, a high-heeled dancing slipper. Soon after, startling communiques from the killer reveal that Erin is not the first victim of this "dancing shoe murderer." And, if the killer has his way, she won't be his last. Next on his death list is Darcy.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This suspense story of a murderer whose victims are found wearing one dancing shoe was a Literary Guild main selection and spent 22 weeks on PW 's hardcover bestseller list, achieving the
School Library Journal
YA-- Darcy Scott and Erin Kelley, best friends since college, decide to help Nona Roberts with her research for a television documentary dealing with the types of people who place and answer personal ads. It starts out as a lark, but it turns to tragedy as Erin is found murdered after one of her dates. When her body is discovered, there is a clue that connects her death to those of seven other women in the New York area. In an attempt to find her friend's murderer, Darcy sets out to date the men Erin met through the personals. One of them could be the killer--but which one? Clark weaves a terrifying tale of life in the '90s that is sure to draw YAs into its web of suspense. Engrossing, even for reluctant readers. --Roberta Lisker, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA

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Chapter One

The room was dark. He sat in the chair, his arms hugging his legs. It was happening again. Charley wouldn't stay locked in the secret place. Charley insisted on thinking about Erin. Only two more, Charley whispered. Then I'll stop.

He knew there was no use protesting. But it was becoming more and more dangerous. Charley was becoming reckless. Charley wanted to show off. Go away, Charley, leave me alone, he begged. Charley's mocking laugh roared through the room.

If only Nan had liked him, he thought. If only she'd invited him to her birthday party 15 years ago...He'd loved her so much! He'd followed her to Darien with the present he'd bought her at a discount house, a pair of dancing slippers. The cardboard shoebox had been plain and cheap, and he'd taken such trouble to decorate it, drawing a sketch of the slippers on the lid.

Her birthday was on March twelfth, during spring break. He'd driven down to Darien to surprise her with the present. He'd arrived to find her house ablaze with lights. Cars were being parked by valets. He'd driven slowly past, shocked and stunned to recognize students from Brown there.

It still embarrassed him to remember that he'd cried like a baby as he turned around to drive back. Then the thought of the birthday gift made him change his mind. Nan had told him that every morning at seven o'clock, rain or shine, she jogged in the wooded area near her home. The next morning he was there, waiting for her.

He remembered, still vividly today, her surprise at seeing him. Surprise, not pleasure. She'd stopped, her breath coming in gasps, a stocking cap hiding her silky blond hair, a school sweater over her running suit, her feet in Nikes.

He'd wished her a happy birthday, watched her open the box, listened to her insincere thanks. He'd put his arms around her. "Nan, I love you so much. Let me see how pretty your feet look in the slippers. I'll fasten them for you. We can dance together right here."

"Get lost!" She pushed him away, threw the box at him, started to jog past him.

It was Charley who had run after her, grabbed her, thrown her to the ground. Charley's hands squeezed her throat until her arms stopped flailing. Charley fastened the slippers on her feet and danced with Nan, her head lolling on his shoulder. Charley lay her on the ground, one of the dancing slippers on her right foot, replacing the Nike on her left.

A long time had passed. Charley had become a blurred memory, a shadowy figure lurking somewhere in the recesses of his mind, until two years ago. Then Charley had started reminding him about Nan, about her slender, high-arched feet, her narrow ankles, her beauty and grace when she danced with him...

Eeney-meeney-miney-mo. Catch a dancer by the toe. Ten piggy toes. The game his mother used to play when he was small. This little piggy went to market. This little piggy stayed home.

"Play it 10 times," he used to beg when she stopped. "One for each piggy toe."

His mother had loved him so much! Then she changed. He could still hear her voice. "What are these magazines doing in your room? Why did you take those pumps from my closet. After all we've done for you! You're such a disappointment to us."

When he reappeared two years ago, Charley ordered him to place ads in the personal columns. So many ads. Charley dictated what he had to say in the special one.

Now seven girls were buried on the property, each with a dancing slipper on the right foot, her shoe or sneaker or boot on the left...

He'd begged Charley to let him stop for a while. He didn't want to do it anymore. He'd told Charley that the ground was still frozen -- he couldn't bury them, and it was dangerous to keep their bodies in the freezer...

But Charley shouted, "I want these last two to be found. I want them found just the way I let Nan be found."

Charley had chosen these last two the same way he had chosen the others after Nan. They were named Erin Kelley and Darcy Scott. They had each answered two different personal ads he'd placed. More important, they had each answered his special ad.

In all the replies he'd received, it was their letters and pictures that had jumped out at Charley. The letters were amusing, the cadence of the language attractive, almost like hearing Nan's voice, that self-deprecating wit, that dry, intelligent humor. And there were the pictures. Both were inviting in different ways...

Erin Kelley had sent a snapshot of herself perched on the corner of a desk. She'd been leaning forward a bit as though speaking, her eyes shining, her long, slim body poised as though she were waiting to be asked to dance.

Darcy Scott's picture showed her standing by a cushioned windowseat, her hand on the drapery. She was half-turned toward the camera. Clearly, she'd been surprised when her picture was taken. There were swatches of material over her arm, an absorbed, but amused, expression on her face. She had high cheekbones, a slender frame, and long legs accentuated by narrow ankles, her slim feet encased in Gucci loafers.

How much more attractive they would be in dancing slippers! he told himself.

He got up and stretched. The dark shadows falling across the room no longer disturbed him. Charley's presence was complete and welcome. No more nagging voice begged him to resist.

As Charley willingly receded into the dark cave from which he had emerged, he reread Erin's letter and ran his fingertips over her picture.

He laughed aloud as he thought of the beguiling ad that had summoned Erin to him.

It began: "Loves Music, Loves to Dance."

Copyright © 1991 by Mary Higgins Clark

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Loves Music, Loves to Dance 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 83 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good! I was not expecting the ending. Well done mary
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was terrific! I don't usually like to read mystery books, but this one sure was good. It was a very suspenseful and mysterious book. I choose this book first because my mom recommended it to me and said that she liked it. Second, I wanted to try a different genre then I normally like read and I never read mystery. And third, the title pulled me in "Loves Music, Loves to Dance". I love Music and I love to dance. So why not read it? It turns out that the book was nothing like I thought it was going to be like. I was expecting more dancing and music in the book. Well, don't judge a book by its cover or a title in this case. I also connected with the characters. Two best friends that live in New York, Erin Kelley is a Jewelry Designer and Darcy Scott is an Interior Decorator. Two things that interest me and that I would like to do someday. I would also like to visit or to live in New York. In this book, the two girls Erin and Darcy put personal ads in magazines for their friend who was filming a documentary about people who placed ads and their experiences. One day Erin goes missing and turns up dead on a pier wearing one dancing high-heel and her original shoe on her other foot. She wasn't the only one to end up this way. A serial killer by the alias of Charles North is using personal ads to lead innocent people to their deaths the same way. Why does he do this? When did this start? Who is he? Is Darcy next, or what will happen to her? Read this book to find out. I was interested and excited to the very end. I wanted to find out who the killer was. I kept guessing who the killer was. It turned out that I was way wrong. It is fun to guess what happens while reading. The message of this book might be to watch your back and to be careful about putting information in magazines or online. Also, try to avoid dangerous situations. I liked how it was written and the word choice. It was very descriptive. I could easily visualize the characters and what was going on. It was written by multiple people's perspectives. I thought it was a good way to write it like this. One chapter would be from Darcy's perspective, and then it would be from the serial killer Charles North's perspective. It was fun reading from other perspectives and what they were thinking in the same book. I recommend it to anyone that likes mysteries, romance or just a good book to read. This book you won't ever put down, reading all through the night. It was never boring and easy to get into. Like I said, don't put it down or stop. I was hooked just after the first chapter! It was on a just right reading level and if you like this book then read other books by Mary Higgins Clark. They are all very suspenseful and mysterious to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was seriously one of the best of Mary Higgins Clark! Soo freakin amazing!!!!!!
Springtime123 More than 1 year ago
I somewhat enjoyed this book, however, I expected more drama, suspense and mystery in the book. I love many of the Mary Higgins Clark books and have always enjoyed them. I will be looking forward to many of her books in the future. She is very inspirational in her writings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept me glued to it! Quick, great read.
Stephanie Harger More than 1 year ago
This book got me hooked on Mary Higgins Clark! I love how she jumps to all the characters & then you get to see how they all fit together! Read this book, you'll love it!
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Loved it, hard to put down!
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I have read almost all of MHCs books and this still proves to be one of my favorites. Excellent read!
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Wonderful read
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Loves Music, Loves to Dance, written by Mary Higgins Clark is a twisted murder mystery that will keep readers guessing constantly. Erin Kelley and Darcy Scott are the best of friends. They have been friends since they roomed together in college. Both have bright futures and a successful career path ahead. The two friends, Kelley and Scott, move into New York City after their graduation and remain close. Erin Kelley is a talented jewelry designer, and is trusted by all who employer her services. Darcy Scott has taking the path of an interior decorator. Both young women are bright, and ready to take on the business side of the world by storm. In Darcy point of view, life is perfect, and nothing could get better. A mutual friend, of the girls works as a television program producer. She asks them to participate in a monitored experiment. Their task is to place a "personal add" in the local newspaper. A personal add is a descriptive detailed summary about oneself. It describes key facts and important information about the boy or girl who placed the personal add. One add may include information about his or her personality and likes or dislikes, it also may include the hobbies and interest. Boys or girls interested in someone's add would contact them for a personal, face to face, date. Darcy Scott's life is drastically altered when her perfect world soon came to a treacherous end. The night before her best friend, Erin, had not returned home after answering to one of the "call back" dates. Worried and confused, Darcy contacts the police and begins the investigation for her missing best friend. Only days later does Darcy learn that the body of her lifeless, dead friend has been found abandoned on the Manhattan Pier. Not only has she been murdered, her body has been left in the strangest of states. Erin was left in her beautiful black cocktail dress, with one black pump on, and a dancing shoe on the other. There are over a dozen cases that date back to almost 20 years before Erin's brutal murder and death. Every time a lifeless, murdered body was found, the killer left a distinct signature. Not only were they beautiful, successful young women, they were all left with one shoe they arrived in, and one dancing shoe the murderer slipped onto the cold boney foot. The murder also does another brutal and suspicious thing; he sends the other dancing shoe back to the family of the murdered victim. In Erin's case, Darcy received the other dancing shoe from the murderer. Darcy is soon sent down a dangerous road full of lies and deceit, trying to solve the mystery of her best beloved friend. Not only must she live through the pain without Erin Kelley by her side, she must face the vulgar man who killed Erin, plus many other men in pursuit of the case, (this includes answering personal adds in order to find the killer). As Darcy is after the killer herself, little does she know and understand, Erin is not the last victim, in fact Darcy Scoot is his next on his twisted list. The book portrays the meaning of friends, while adding in the thrilling adventure like effect of a good murder mystery. The mystery itself was very well written, and kept readers on their toes. Personally, I did not like the many characters the book includes. It became hard to follow each character's story, and remember who they were when brought back into the story. Anyone who is looking for an intense mytery- this is the book for you!