Book Review: Nine Ladies Dying by J.C. Wing
Nine Ladies Dying by author J.C. Wing is a YA thriller/mystery novella packed with artistic poise, posturing, and plot. The author has cleverly weaved a story jam-packed with intrigue, jealousies, and murder––all waiting in the wings for their cue to come bursting onto the stage.
In this story, we are provided with a delicious glimpse behind the guarded curtain through the life of Shelby, a Corps de Ballet dancer for the Wickham Ballet Company. Shelby is still mourning the loss of her friend, Janie, whose death the police ruled a suicide…or so everyone but Shelby believes. Except knowing that in one’s heart and proving it are two entirely different things.
But then more dancers die, and something isn’t adding up; everything from food poisoning to a hit and run. Shelby, along with the help of her sister and Janie’s understudy, set out to uncover who is responsible for these deaths. But time is of the essence and danger is never far, lurking unnervingly close around every brocade curtain, and nobody––including Shelby is safe.
I particularly enjoyed how Nine Ladies Dying provided a small glimpse behind the scenes of the glamorous world of dance. Most notably the frequently complex love affairs that can sometimes develop between performers, and often complicated by murky, dark pasts.
This is a fast-paced YA thriller/mystery brimming with clues and red herrings that will keep you at the edge of your seat guessing to the end.
“Boston, Massachusetts, a city known for its highly ranked universities, professional sports teams, esteemed venues for classical music … and murder. When Janie, one of Wickham Ballet Company’s principal dancers is found dead, dangling from the backstage rafters with a long, decorative scarf wrapped tightly around her neck, her death is ruled a suicide. The company is devastated and still reeling from the loss of four other dancers—including Janie’s roommate—who died in a hit and run accident just a month before. Shelby, a Corps de Ballet dancer, isn’t convinced Janie’s death was a suicide. When two more dancers die, this time from food poisoning, Shelby becomes even more certain that her friend didn’t take her own life. With the help of her sister and Janie’s understudy, Shelby starts digging up details about the staff and dancers in the company. She’s close to coming up with a suspect, but not before another dancer is brutally murdered. Eight ladies dead.”
The killer has grown impatient with Shelby’s interference. If she’s not careful, she may be the ninth lady to die.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J.C. Wing is a multi-genre novelist whose works include The Color of Thunder, The Gannon Family Series, the Goddess of Tornado Alley Series and a collection of short stories, personal essays and poetry titled Acquainted With Butterflies. She also wrote a novella called The Key and is a contributing author for the upcoming Grey’s Harbor anthology. J.C. has a fondness for peanut M & M’s, iced chai tea, Greek mythology and reading really good books. She’s worked for A & H Publishing, Kids 411 Magazine and Booktrope. In 2016, she decided to work for herself and launched Wing Family Editing. She publishes under Black Cat Press, her own imprint, and maintains a blog called J.C. Wing and the Goddess. Her writing companions include Mouse, a cranky but lovable twenty-pound cat, and Tara, the golden retriever of absolute happiness. J.C. is an eternal optimist and a friendly sort. She smiles a lot … but she is silently correcting your grammar. She doesn’t mean to. She’s an editor. She can’t help it.
For more of J.C. Wings books: