Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalitiesby Mary McHugh

Published February 24th 2015 by Kensington

4 Stars

Synopsis: Murder is nothing to tap at. . .The high-kicking Happy Hoofers–Tina, Janice, Pat, Mary Louise, and Gini–have been booked to flaunt their fabulous flamenco footwork on a luxury train ride through northern Spain. But when a blowhard talk show host is found deader than four-day-old flan–with Gini as suspect numero uno–the feisty friends waste no time stepping into their sleuthing shoes to protect one of their own. The dynamite dancers will have to step up their game before a clever killer brings the curtain down on one of them . . . for good!

My Review: In this second “Happy Hoofers Mystery” the ladies are on a train traveling around “Green Spain”. The Hoofers are a group of five 50+ ladies who love to dance, Gini, Tina, MaryLouise, Pat and Janice. They all have other jobs/professions and do this on the side. They are entertaining on the trip so get a free trip out of the deal.

Gini narrates this story and she is quite the lady. She says what she thinks and this gets her into trouble. When a hated TV host, Shambless, gets killed she is a suspect based on the fact that she said she would like to kill him. Unfortunately because of the murder, the travelers on the train do not get to do and see as much as they had planned as they are stuck on the train during portions of the investigation. The Hoofers get to sneak off to a couple of tourist sites and excellent restaurants as they have made friends with the investigating detective.

When a second murder occurs, things get sticky. Gini wants to investigate if for no other reason than to clear her own name, but also because it is a little scary knowing you are traveling with a murderer. Even in the close quarters of the train, she finds a way to snoop and eavesdropping is pretty easy with everyone so close together. There are many twists before the true culprit is revealed. I did figure out who the culprit was, but was not able to figure out why.

Once again the characters were fun, interacted well with one another and were smart. There were two characters that were disabled in this story, a young man in a wheelchair and a blind man with a guide dog. Through these characters we saw some of their frustrations about accessibility and the way some people treat them. The one thing that I was not sure about was who quickly the romance blossomed. With two of the Hoofers “falling in love” relatively quickly, a possible affair and finding out one of the gentlemen was married, it took just a little away from the way the Hoofers had been portrayed in the first book.

Mary McHugh has written a humorous mystery with an emphasis on friendship. There are both photography tips from Gini and recipes from various chefs and restaurants. A nice book for cozy mystery lovers, especially if you enjoy armchair travel and great food. I am ready to head off to France with the Hoofers on their next trip