Tuesday, February 26, 2013


The Ice Theatre of New York provided the video to turn my Figure Skating Mystery series, previously published by Berkley Prime Crime, into enhanced ebooks. 

You can read the books, Murder on Ice, On Thin Ice, Axel of Evil, Death Drop and Skate Crime, to see them in action.  Or, if you live in the New York area, you can come watch Ice Theatre in person for free!

Who: The Ice Theatre Ensemble consisting of United States National Dance Medalists and World Competitors Kim Navarro and Brent Bommentre, 7-Time British Champions and Olympians Sinead & John Kerr, Jessica Huot, Olympian Line Haddad, Jonathan Hunt, Alizah Allen, Eliot Halverson.

What: Some of the pieces to be performed will include: Horizon, Mad World, Miloguon, Dare Greatly, Heart, Untitled Solo

Date: Wednesday, February 27th [ rain date February 28th – all details the same]

Time: Performance: 1:00 PM

Location: The Rink At Rockefeller Center, 601 5th Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets

Admission: Free; viewing from the Plaza
Info: Email itny@icetheatre.org 

And to get yourself in the skating spirit, enjoy this excerpt from Figure Skating Mystery #3: Axel of Evil...

Bex and Sasha followed the rest of the throng into the tunnel that led to the main arena and to the ice. The six-thousand-seater was eerily quiet so early in the day. The sound of flashing and scraping blades echoed off the empty, metal seats, and a thick, almost solid, fog hung a few inches over the ice. Only the American girls were there. In the interest of building up tension, those in charge—i.e., 24/7, i.e., Gil—had decided the ladies shouldn't see each other's routines before the competition.

Gary Gold stood at the barrier, wearing his focused-coach face. At no point did his eyes ever leave Lian. She was currently his top student, a seventeen-year-old Asian-American jumping bean who looked eleven tops and plotted her career with the savvy of a forty-year-old corporate raider. Adopted as an infant from China, Lian was her mother Amanda's only child and, as far as Bex could tell, her only interest in life. Wherever Lian went, her mother was sure to follow. Amanda Reilly was in the stands for every practice, every competition, every exhibition, show, and television interview. When Lian got off the ice, Amanda was by her side, helping Lian dry off her skates, smoothing out the felt rag afterwards and tucking it neatly into Lian's skate bag. She spent a minimum twenty minutes after each session in deep conference with Gary Gold. Bex heard rumors she would even call him at home in the middle of the night if struck by a sudden thought about Lian's training or inspiration for a costume ("What do you think, Gary? Flowers to suggest Lian's blooming as a skater, or butterflies to emphasize her lightness on the ice?").

To be fair, though, this was not a solely Mom-driven enterprise. Lian Reilly herself was famous for expounding to reporters how she had a "master plan" for her career, which included winning the Juvenile Girls Nationals (check), then skipping the intermediate level ("I don't really need it," she patiently explained to Bex during a pre-interview, "It's a superfluous level. As long as you have one title at the junior Nationals level, there's no reason to hang around. You might as well head straight to the big Nationals and start making your name there.") to compete in novice. She placed third in the U.S., her first year there, stayed for a second year in order to win the title, then moved to junior, winning the silver medal before making her senior ladies' debut. Lian's first year in senior, she placed dead last. "That was fine, that was okay," she insisted while the back of her green velvet costume still dripped melting ice chips. "Everyone has to wipe out at one competition to get that psychological block out of the way. I'm happy I've put my wipeout behind me. Now I can focus on never doing that again."

Bex didn't doubt her. Considering the ferociousness with which Lian made all of her pronouncements—she would furrow her brows, thrust out her lower lip and narrow her eyes until her face formed a perfect point like a Muppet— Bex strongly advised no one to ever doubt her. If Lian said she was going to be the next Senior Ladies Champion of the United States, Bex would happily believe her. Except for one teeny, tiny obstacle.

Named Jordan Ares.

Lian Reilly had never beaten Jordan Ares in any national, international, local, or made-for-television competition. And from the looks of it that record wasn't about to change. Even here in Moscow, while Lian spent her time on the practice ice doggedly practicing a triple-Toe-Loop/triple-Toe-Loop jump combination over and over again, landing maybe two out of every ten she tried, Jordan, skating a few feet away from her, was landing the much more difficult triple-Lutz/triple-Toe (the same jump Lian always claimed she'd be doing in her short program, yet never did) with twice the hang time and seemingly half the effort. Everything Jordan did seemed effortless. She didn't so much skate as simply breathe normally while her body floated across the ice of its own volition. She was only four inches taller than the not-quite five-feet-high Lian, but her elegant arms and legs created the illusion that each limb was as long as her competition's entire body. When Lian jumped, she resembled a top spinning in place. When Jordan did, she was like a shooting star. That landed on one foot

Add to all that Jordan's innate sense of musicality, her all-American blond hair, blue-eyes, pert nose, small chin, and dimples, and the reality that she never got nervous, or even mildly concerned, in competition; and if Jordan said she was going to be the next Senior Ladies Champion of the United States, Bex would also happily believe her. Except for one teeny, tiny obstacle. Also named Jordan Ares.

Because for all of Jordan's talent very few people in skating could stand her.

And not only for the usual reasons: jealousy, competition, pettiness, resentment, greed, and spite. Those would have been normal and expected. When it came to Jordan, those old favorites were only the tip of the iceberg. In addition to everyone she had ever beaten or had the possibility of beating, Jordan was hated by the USFSA because of her tendency to answer press conference questions in the following manner:

"Jordan, what were you thinking when you fell on that triple Salchow?"

"F@#&ing ow!”

She was hated by other parents at the rink because Jordan had declared herself an emancipated minor at the ripe old age of fourteen. The fact that no one had ever set eyes on Mom or Dad, and yet Jordan seemed to be thriving and succeeding nonetheless, was a direct slap in the face of all those who believed it was imperative they be at the rink every single day to monitor and wholeheartedly contribute to their little darling's progress.

But most of all, Jordan was viscerally disliked by every coach in the Professional Skaters Association (PSA). Because, in her eleven-year career, she had been coached by every coach in the PSA. None of those relationships ended happily. Some years, Jordan came to Nationals with one coach, only to leave dramatically with another, and show up with yet a third for Worlds. The fact that she and Igor Marchenko had worked together for almost two years now was actually a story in and of itself. Except now he was dead—so there went that record.

Read the entire story (including who killed Igor Marchenko) in:

No comments: