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Death Drop by Alina Adams
Review by Beth Slater
Berkley Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 0425212661
Date: 03 October, 2006 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Bex Levy returns to the world of competition figure skating as the researcher for 24/7 Television Network in this fourth novel in the series. This time Bex must find out the mystery behind the infant left in the arena at the Nationals, and why the baby's mother, Allison Adler, an ice dancer who mysteriously left the rink a year ago, is hanging in the cooler from a sequined belt. But leery from events in the past, Bex is hesitant to follow the clues that will uncover personal secrets

Bex's job is to research and provide all information for 24/7 on and about the participants, their sponsors, and ice skating history facts, etc. So when she hears stirrings from the other rink about an abandoned baby, she makes it her business to find out what is going on that has the police involved. When she finds that there is also another death involved, she hesitates about getting mixed up after her last investigation ended up in murder and kidnapping.

Two prominent skating figures come forward claiming to be the father of the baby, and the mother's step-father is also claiming a right to the child, so Bex is enlisted by the local police, as well as her boss, to find out who is the real father of the child in addition to who killed Allison. Which, by the way, she was murdered, although it was made to look like suicide. Bex starts searching for information -- person by person, although no one seems to find it strange that she is asking a lot of prying questions or that she's trying to solve the murder. Cooper Devaney, Allison's ex-boyfriend, swears the baby is his, but that he didn't know about it until they found it at the rink. Allison's former coach, Idan Ben-Golan, however, is able to produce a birth certificate as proof of parentage. Suspects, in Bex's opinion, range from Idan to his wife Pandora, who is an influential patron of male skaters, to Coop's over-achieving mother Tess. Bex feels like she's stuck in a triple lutz without any hope of landing when she receives vital information from the most unlikely source. But will Bex's career aspirations put her on ice before her time?

This is a cozy series that is peppered with skating terminology, so one should have at least a passing knowledge of figure skating. This series is light reading, with a lot of self-deprecating humor tossed in by the protagonist, Bex Levy. I like the returning characters with all of their quirks, and the light sense of romance that is included, as well as the eye-opening information and the behind-the-scenes look at a popular sport.

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