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Axel of Evil: A Figure Skating Mystery (Berkley Prime Crime Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – January 3, 2006
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On the first day of practice in Moscow Igor collapses and dies in the Natzionalnaya Arena. 24/7 Sports Network researcher Rebecca "Bex" Levy agrees with officials MURDER ON ICE occurred. The evidence points towards Igor's long time American rival Gary Gold, coach of Jordan's prime U.S. challenger Lian Reilly. However, Bex thinks that is hometown judging so she makes inquiries of the Russian skating team and the facility management and staff. As Bex skates closer to the truth, she finds herself ON THIN ICE from an unknown assailant.
The third Bex Levy figure skating cozy is a terrific tale that highlights the changes since the late 1970s between Russian and American relations subtly displayed by two New York Times headlines (in the novel that is): 1977's "Defection" and 2005's "Murder". The first showcases the glee and despair of the Cold War adversaries while the second represents the western media's present ability to investigate what happened to Igor. As the evidence piles up making Gary the golden suspect, only Bex has doubts as she looks at who else would have motive; anyone in the facility had means and opportunity. Fans will score Alina Adams with 9s and 10s for her superb figure skating murder mystery.
Nice inside looks at the figure skating world, and Russia, which was cool.
Good mystery, a couple of nice twists, cold war intrigue, & skating politics.
I would get tired pretty quickly of the emphasis on ice skating, but they appear to only be one a year, so I could deal with that.
It's apparently the 3rd in the series--I'll have to check out the earlier ones.