- File Size: 383 KB
- Print Length: 268 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Suasponte Press (November 11, 2013)
- Publication Date: November 11, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00BW44O14
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,105,045 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$7.99|
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Pas De Death (The Dani Spevak Mystery Series Book 3) Kindle Edition
|Length: 268 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
That might seem like a strange way to describe a murder mystery, but you'll understand it in a minute. PAS DE DEATH is part of a series, but it works as a standalone because all previous relevant events are referenced in a way that keeps the reader in the loop. It is YA (young adult) and done in the first person humorous/light style a la Ally Carter (Gallagher Girls). In fact, there's even a funny part in the book when Dani says it's not like she's a Gallagher Girl. Yay for bookish pop culture references! Pop culture references abound in this book, from "binders full of women" to actresses I've never heard of and wondered if they were made up. The love interest (an 18-year-old ex-boyfriend for our 15-year-old protagonist) is basically Robert Pattinson but more charming. He's even an actor playing a certain broody vampire in the Midnight movies based on books by... Bethany Beyer. Yeah.
So that's the kind of cuteness you're buying when you buy PAS DE DEATH. Since I am a huge Ally Carter fan, I also appreciated the light, humorous tone of Amanda Brice. I'd definitely read the others in her series, and not just because there's a ballerina inside me dying to get out (although yes, that is part of it). Girls who liked I'D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU, will also enjoy PAS DE DEATH.
A little explanation of the title from the blurb:
pas de deux: (NOUN: pl. pas de deux)
1. A dance for two, especially a dance in ballet consisting of an entrée and adagio, a variation for each dancer, and a coda.
2. A close relationship between two people or things, as during an activity.
pas de death (NOUN: yeah ... totally made up)
1. A dance of death.
2. When Dani Spevak stumbles over a dead body and gets into another crazy situation.
Aspiring ballerina Dani Spevak is back home for the summer, recovering from an injury. What was supposed to be a simple day trip into New York City to visit her friends at the Manhattan Ballet Conservatory turns deadly when Dani discovers that the world of professional ballet can be cutthroat -- literally.
I really love the title. And the blurb. Clearly, this is a clever author.
Now to the stars... I would put this somewhere between three and four stars (probably round up to 4), which is why this isn't featured on Afterglow. While I enjoyed it and would read more from the author, I felt it got a little too thin at parts, especially the ending, which happened way too fast. I'd have liked a little more showing vs. telling in that part, especially the parting scene between the boy and girl.
I loved the characters, particularly the eccentric grandmother. Dani was fun to spend time with, and I think she acted the way you expect a fifteen-year-old to act, even though she is angry with herself for being TSTL (too stupid to live) at times, wandering into situations she could have avoided with a little forethought. I think that's just life at that age. You sort of know better, but you have to test the limits anyway. You have to fight for your independence even if it puts you in danger. So the characters felt real, Robert Pattinson look-a-like notwithstanding. :)
The mystery was pretty good. I had it figured out way before Dani, but that could be because I'm twice her age. *shrugs* I think teenagers who like light, humorous books would eat this one up. I mean, come on! It's got ballerinas!
Bottom line: It's a great introduction to the mystery genre for younger readers (Read: clean, not overly gory or sexual).
I don't know if I've ever described a murder mystery this way: Pas De Death is kind of...cute...
Yeah. That was strange.
Coming off of a J.D. Robb binge, Pas De Death was like eating cotton candy after Thanksgiving dinner. The biggest reason? The main character's personality. 15-year-old Dani is everything that a young aspiring - and currently injured - teenager/ballet dancer should be: spunky, young, innocent, and insanely curious. These four main character traits get her into a mountain of trouble as she continues to dig into the death of arts critic blogger, Jen. To be honest, I found Dani's character a little annoying at first. It felt like the author was trying too hard to emphasize her protagonist's youth, making her sound like an annoying salesgirl in my mind. It was the inherent innocence in Dani that grew on me as I kept reading and I began to enjoy her character's narrative (although there were still spots that made me roll my eyes). She is observant and curious by nature, which made her perceptions interesting to read, a must in a mystery. Dani has an inherent innocence and sweetness about her, one that made her more endearing to me as I read.
Pas De Death is a quick, easy read that has somewhat of a breezy murder plot. For me, it felt like the mystery part of the story didn't start until halfway through, even though the victim is killed off near the beginning. Once the action actually begins, the book is hard to put down. I found myself thinking about it at work, on my commute...it was one of those novels that sticks with you. You do have to be willing to go along with the story, however. There were times that I doubted the realisticness (not a word...) of this novel. Dani's story reminds me of a Nancy Drew-ish novel - you have to leave a certain amount of reality at the door for the mystery to work. The mystery plot of Pas De Death requires the same sort of faith.
I think my favorite part of this novel is the critique of today's pop culture. I've read a couple of reviews that argue this makes the book unrealistic, but the references to Stephanie Meyers' Twilight made me laugh aloud. These references lent the book an air of almost goofiness, making it a light, lovely read.
I had some issues, however. Dani's two best friends in this novel felt very extraneous. They essentially acted as the same person, even sharing the same basic personality. I did come into this series in the third book, with little reference to what happened before. I felt like maybe we could have had one best friend or the other, but having them both was too much. It felt like there were extra plot lines as well: Dani's mom announcing her pregnancy halfway through the novel had absolutely no bearing on the story. In fact, it was mentioned in a few chapters, then never mentioned again. Thinking about this later, I wonder if Brice was setting up the series for the next story, which would make sense. I just wish she had incorporated some element of it into this text.
Final Thoughts: I'm a bit on the fence here. On one side, I would have liked a denser mystery plot, one with red herrings and deeper characters. On the other, this book delivers exactly what it promises: a fun, light mystery story. I think I like the latter better.
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