Featured Review: Crime In The Ballroom (Book 9)

A fantastic crime thriller! Shirley Bastin a dance school teacher is found dead in tje garden of the ballroom building, a young girl discovers her and rings 999.D.I. Gil Markham and D.S. George Noakes are on the case immediately, is this accidental or murder? They are determined to find the truth and begin interviewing all the members of the building.Then another body is discovered. Yes I loved this book, even in all the seriousness of the case, the author has manged to make time for a little comedy, light relief, I actually had a little chuckle at times. It is the ninth book in a series, but I have read none of the other books and flew through this in no time, with no confusion. Easily read as a standalone.

Sharon Rimmelzwaan

Great read

Markham and Noakes make a good partnership. This was a puzzling mystery with red herrings swimming around nonstop. There were undercurrents swirling throughout the story, especially the horrors of disappearing boys. The characters were well crafted and believable, both heroes and villains.

Utterly gripping!

Another exciting murder mystery featuring the likeable combination of DI Markham and DS Noakes. Who hated the Golden Boy of Hope Academy enough to kill him in such a macabre fashion? And why? A compelling read.


Another exciting murder mystery featuring the extremely likeable DI Gil Markham and his irascible deputy, DS George Noakes. Evil lurks inside hallowed walls. A highly entertaining read.


A highly intriguing murder mystery, featuring the likeable DI Gil Markham and DS George Noakes. Mainly set in the eerie atmosphere of a mental hospital, the detectives have their work cut out solve these macabre crimes. An entertaining read.

Harrowing Suspense

CRIME IN THE BALLET Introduces a heart stopping mystery, the shock mounting, ever-increasing apprehension permeating the atmosphere until suspicion and dread abound. Harrowing suspense makes the pages fly by.


A Good Read

Detective Markham at his best. Team growing in confidence and individual skills. Look forward to book seven. Where will the next venue be?


Great Read

Full of suspense, humor, a wonderful who-done-it. Looking forward to reading more of this author’s work and pleased to see that there are more.


Good Read

This is the first book I've read from this author. Because it is Book 8, I had a slight problem in catching up with the characters. Once I'd achieved that I found myself on a rollercoaster as I turned the pages.
Noakesy slang added more enjoyment to the read.
Definitely going to go back to the beginning of this series and start from Book 1.

Maggie Long


Good addition to the series!

This is book number nine in the detective series and easily works as a stand alone since the reader gets filled in on any necessary history. References are made to past cases which made me want to go straight back and catch up with earlier stories. Certainly there didn't appear to be any spoilers. The series centres around the rather quiet and thoughtful DI Gilbert Markham at Bromgrove CID and his team which comprises the gruff and outspoken DS George Noakes, rather swotty DS Kate Burton and eager DC Doyle. The two younger detectives have started to fit well into their roles and are now afforded a somewhat fatherly protection by Noakesy, although he'd never admit to his softer side in public!! Markham has long given up hope of house training Noakesy but would never be without his loyal wingman, especially in the endless struggle against Slimy Sid, their DCI. The story begins with Noakes' own rather wayward daughter Natalie. Her parents thought dance lessons might be a great Christmas present after seeing her glued to a popular dance programme on TV, although like half the female viewers it was a certain TV star she was watching intently! So in early January she finds herself rather unwillingly heading to the Bluebell Dance Studio, a local establishment set in a former church run by glamorous owner and former dancer Shirley Bastin. Before there's even a hint of a sequin for Natalie she meets Shirley's daughter Cathy Gould, the complete physical opposite to her attractive and svelte mother, who declares that she has found her mother dead! The woman is found headfirst in a small ornamental barrel of water in the garden and it looks like an accident. Police are called, just in case, and so begins the Bluebell Case. There is absolutely no proof of wrong doing and even the pathologist, Doug "Dimples" Davidson can't call it one way or the other, but Markham has a very uneasy feeling about the death. His best bet is to hope that someone else dies and sadly he doesn't have to wait very long to be proved right. With a host of potential suspects, including catty dancers, ex partners and pushy parents, they are spoiled for choice but still missing a motive. With more deaths in quick succession, the trail seems to lead back to a cold case under review by a former colleague, and the team are convinced the key to their current killings lies somewhere in the past. And it looks like they need to get their skates on before anyone else dances with death. This story had a good and not particularly complicated plot, and was filled with well described characters that I feel I will come to know better with each book. The author doesn't make it easy for the reader to guess the ending. With no single clear motive or suspect, I think near the end of the story I was as baffled as the detectives were. However all was explained in the last chapter and it made sense once the culprit was revealed. The one thing that spoilt the book for me was the author's use of a lot of obscure words. More than once I had to stop reading to check if the word really meant what I thought it did, and for me this slowed down my reading and the flow of the story. I do think this may put off some readers. On the plus side, saving it for me, were the witty narrative and the humorous descriptions of some of the characters, particularly DS Noakes who has become a firm favourite of mine.

Alison R


Loved the series--- read first 8 books in order over the past week! Wonderful escape while isolating during pandemic! All major characters are great and their working relationships and friends are vital part of each mystery! Great police procedurals but have a few blurred lines while avoiding their abrasive, incompetent DCI. Terrific author--- never once determined murderer until conclusion!


Intriguing plot and enjoyable, realistic characters!


Moloney 2019


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