About the Book:
Princess Diana made a video tape in January 1997 naming her assassin after she received a threatening phone call from a highly placed source. Her close friend, Nicholas Carey, a duke with a title dating back to Henry VIII's time and one of the world's most eligible bachelors, has vowed to find that tape and make it public in memory of Diana and his late wife Deborah, who was the princess's close friend at West Heath School for Girls.
Taylor Collins, a beautiful Wall Street attorney, has the tape and is the only woman in the world with no interest in becoming the Duchess of Burnham. Nicholas lures Taylor to England by promising to sell his ancestral home Burnham Abbey, to one of her clients. While Taylor is in the Abbey's library looking for the original title documents, she discovers dark secrets about the Careys. Did Thomas Carey, the first duke, murder his wife to marry the heiress Henry VIII planned to make his mistress? Were Nicholas and his housekeeper responsible for Deborah's death at the Abbey? Who is the father of Nicholas' mysterious ward Lucy? When Nicholas is accused of murder, Taylor becomes the only person who can save him. But Taylor's own life is in danger because she knows who killed the Princess of Wales.
About the Author:
Deborah grew up in the South, wrote her first novel at the of age thirteen, and has been writing ever since. In graduate school, she studied Irish Literature and came to believe all Irishmen and Southerners are born storytellers. In addition to writing, she loves music and plays the clarinet. Now that her children are grown, she devotes her time to law, music, writing, and her two Golden Retrievers, Melody and Rhythm. She was thrilled when her first published novel, Dance For a Dead Princess, received a favorable Kirkus review at http://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/deborah-hawkins/dance-for-a-dead-princess.
Deborah taught college English and worked as a technical editor before going to law school. She worked for several large East Cost firms before coming to California in the mid-1980's where she developed a solo practice as an appellate attorney while raising her three children as a single parent. She is admitted to the bar in two states and the District of Columbia, is a certified appellate specialist, and has a Master of Laws in addition to a Masters in English. She believes that even a legal case always begins with a story.
A diverting if convoluted romantic/suspense book based on the premise that Diana (yes, THAT Diana) left a video tape revealing who killed her. She calls her dear friend, Nicholas Carey (the 18th Duke of Burnham - a fictional character) to tell him of the tape and he swears he will find it and reveal it. To that end he starts the process of selling his ancestral home to a school for girls so that he can demand that a certain attorney work on the deal because she is a friend of a friend of Diana's. (Remember I wrote it was convoluted.)
Taylor Collins is a woman who is driven to succeed (and guess what? she's beautiful too!) and she heads over to England to make sure that the title is clear and the manor can be sold. While looking for the appropriate papers she stumbles upon the diary of the first Duke of Burnham and she falls in love with his story and the manor she is supposed to arranging for sale. And quite possibly the current Duke. But every time she starts to trust him - SOMETHING HAPPENS!.
There are so many twists and turns in so few pages I think I have whiplash. In my humble opinion had there been maybe one or two less I might have enjoyed the book more. As it was I ended each chapter with a cynical - gee, what could POSSIBLY happen now. It somewhat ruined what was at its heart a nice little romance with a murder and mystery or two tossed in.
The writing style is very readable other than the overabundance of red herrings. I liked the main characters and the finale was quite satisfying.
You can purchase Dance for a Dead Princess on Amazon.com
Disclosure: I received a free e-copy of Dance for a Dead Princess from Pump Up Your Book Promotions for my honest review. I received no other compensation for this post.