Day 5 of the US Figure Skating Championships means a preview of "Skate Crime: Enhanced Multimedia Edition," the fifth and final book in the Figure Skating Mystery series, now available as an ebook with video! (Compare its bargain price of $2.99 with the $6.99 the original publisher, Berkley Prime Crime, is charging for just the ebook with no special multimedia features.)
While all five of my Figure Skating Mysteries, including "Murder on Ice," "On Thin Ice," "Axel of Evil" and "Death Drop" are already pretty soapy and filled with family drama, twists and turns, and juicy secrets, "Skate Crime" is also the book with the most romance in it as pretty much every possible motive for who killed the world-famous skating coach on the eve of his televised tribute comes down to love gone wrong... and right.
Please enjoy the excerpt below, and let me know what you think!
Christian Kelly just showed up in her office one day, no appointment, no introduction. He obviously expected her to know who he was.
Gabrielle wondered if she was also supposed to genuflect.
"You're looking for a head coach," he said.
"The sky is blue," Gabrielle replied. When he looked at her blankly, she explained, "I assumed we were exchanging declarative statements. Your turn."
Obviously, grammar humor wasn't Chris's cup of tea.
"I am willing to do it," he said.
"And 'it' would be... ?"
"Willing to take the head coach job. I know nobody else wants it."
"Do you have any experience in the field, Mr. Kelly?"
"Like what, now?"
"Oh, let's start simple: Have you ever coached before?"
"Really? I don't think I've ever heard of you — "
"Well, in a matter of speaking. I choreograph all my own routines."
"So you're used to working with difficult students."
“And for the past few years, on tour, I have done the group numbers, as well.”
Ah. Now that did finally ring a bell for Gabrielle. She'd heard from more than one former rink-mate about what precisely a Christian Kelly “group” routine consisted of. “It’s a Chris Kelly solo, with the rest of us skating around in circles, pointing in his direction. Even when he’s not actually on the ice, he figured out a way to loom larger than life over the rest of us.” (Click link to watch video.)
"That's not exactly coaching."
"Close enough, I'd say."
"Shouldn't you be on tour right now? It's the middle of the season."
"I had a bit of an injury. Knees aren't what they used to be. I'm to be out for the next few months, they tell me. So I thought..."
"This is a full-time position."
"I told you I was out for a few months. Won't be going anywhere."
"And after that?"
"Who thinks that far ahead?"
"People who run training centers and enroll students based on the promise of a coach being there when he says he will."
"Look, life is mercurial, is it not? Nobody knows where they'll end up one day to the next. I said I'm available for the next few months. What say we leave it at that and see where it goes?"
"Why do you want this job so badly, Mr. Kelly?"
"Didn't say I wanted it. Said I was willing to do it. Now are we on or not?"
Gabrielle wanted very much to throw Chris out of her office. She couldn't imagine dealing with his arrogance for even the vaguely promised few months.
On the other hand, she could imagine printing up the new season's brochures without a big-name coach to advertise. And what her response would be.
She asked Chris, "When can you start?"
Read more in "Skate Crime: Enhanced Multimedia Edition" on Amazon and B&N!