Dance For A Dead Princess

Rated 4.62/5 based on 13 reviews
Nicholas Carey, 18th Duke of Burnham, encounters beautiful New York Attorney Taylor Collins in his search for a video tape left by Diana, Princess of Wales, naming her assassins. Soon Taylor is caught up in the centuries old story of the Careys, Diana's death, and and her feelings for Nicholas. Finalist, Foreword Reviews Book of the Year 2013; Finalist, Beverly Hills Book Awards, 2014 More

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Words: 64,130
Language: English
ISBN: 9780988934726
About Deborah Hawkins

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.

Reviews

Review by: David White on Jan. 11, 2014 :
What do you think was the author’s purpose in writing this book? She wanted to present a fictional account of murder, mystery with some facts thrown in. The inclusion of royalty would of course have fans of the royals reading and enjoying the book. Personally, I liked the overall plot and the depiction of the main characters.

If you could continue the story, what events would you include? I think it ended in a good place and I wouldn’t change anything. Events such as Taylor discovering the truth and the way their paths crossed (Nicholas and Taylor) were timely and I particularly liked that the ending wasn’t rushed or forced where their relationship was concerned.

List five major events in the story. ***MAY HAVE SPOILERS*** The Duke wanted to sell the abbey and Taylor was hired to orchestrate the sale. In the process of finalising the sale, Taylor found the journals which revealed that Nicholas was not what the media said he was. Betty framed Lucy and then tried to kill Nicholas and Taylor. Taylor killed Betty.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Rayburn Barker on Jan. 05, 2014 :
What motivates a given character’s actions? Taylor is motivated by the discovery of truth. She is inquisitive and wants to uncover the truth at all costs. Sometimes, it seemed she was naive and that she was overlooking the consequences of her actions but overall as the plot progresses, her actions are justified.

Which character(s) do you particularly admire? I liked, more like adored Nicholas. I never for a minute believed he was involved in his wife’s murder. From the instant he was described, it felt as if his gentleman-like behaviour was what got him into more trouble than he liked.

Do you find the characters convincing? This is one of those stories that kept me turning the pages. The characters were (mostly) convincing and believable. Each of them kept things interesting and by the time you finish the book you feel like you have personally met each of them.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Ashley Haynes on Jan. 04, 2014 :
What did you think about the setting of the book? Burnham was the perfect place for a story like this. Its dark past and current suspicious circumstances provide readers with twists and turns that keep you guessing about the outcome for the characters. This was a wonderful book filled with harrowing experiences and exciting surprises.

Who were the characters that stood out in the book? (may include spoiler) Nicholas Carey was the Duke Of Burham. and the second richest man in England. His wife fell and died at Burnham abbey. He also had a ward named Lucy who was in a boarding school but was expelled. Because of his previous experiences at Burnham, he wanted to sell the place. Taylor was a law partner and she was overseeing the sale of Burnham which is when things get really interesting. There was a secret tape made by Princess Diana before her death and in a last minute attempt to keep more secrets from surfacing, Betty was going to kill the Nicholas & Taylor

What was the mystery was and how it was solved? The mystery was the history of two women’s deaths. There were journals which told the real story but these were not discovered until Burnham was being sold and then it is revelation after revelation. Highly recommended.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Melissa Simpson on Jan. 04, 2014 :
What kind of book is this? Fiction with a twist of reality. The secrets at the abbey have been buried for many years without anyone taking the initiative to read the journals. Fiction meets truth when the idea of a hidden tape by recorded by Diana is brought into the story. Objectively speaking, it may seem strange that the police did not take a second look at the strange events in the abbey but this book is so well-written it’s easy to gloss over things like that.

What was your favourite scene? When Taylor grabs the gun from the floor to save herself and Nicholas. I was at the edge of my seat. As you start the novel, you may feel like it’s going to be a slow read but as you race to the truth about the abbey, Lucy and Nicholas, the author magnificently takes the wheel to offer readers a thrilling ride.

List the places mentioned in the book. The settings and locations of the novel were captivating and for a travel junkie like me, it was so easy to fall in love with this book. Some of the locations mentioned were Paris, New York, England, Boston and Brussels.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Ben Ryan on Jan. 02, 2014 :
What is the time period in which the book happens? I understand that the timeline of the story starts from somewhere in late April 2010. This is more than a decade after the death of the Princess of Wales. While none of us question the drama element of including a prominent real-life figure in a fiction story, the way she was portrayed did raise some interesting discussions at the book club. If you are a fan of the Royal family or of the late Princess, you may want to take this story with a pinch of salt.

What was the problem in the book, and how was it solved? Nicholas was initially implicated in the deaths at Burnham Abbey. More than one secret is finally revealed which surprises the main characters and the reader. I do applaud the Hawkins for the way she introduced each surprise element in the story. It made my heart skip a beat for sure.

Did anyone in the book do something you did not like? *spoiler alert* Betty was someone I wanted to shake and ask what she was thinking especially when I found out she was the one behind Lucy’s drug addiction and a murder. The portrayal of Betty was accurate and chilling at the same time.


Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: AshleyFields on Dec. 27, 2013 :
What are some of the book's themes? Murder, lies, love and betrayal. At the very heart of this book lies a conspiracy theory that many are curious about even if they are not interested in Princess Diana's death. Was the car crash really an accident? The author explores this conspiracy theory in the most imaginative way possible.

Did the book end the way you expected? The ending was filled with surprise and took many of us at the book club by shock. Definitely, the art of good storytelling to to keep your readers in suspense until the last minute.

Top 3 things I liked about the whole book – Anything about the English Royal family is my new favourite read so I was definitely excited about discussing this book. I loved that the author included Princess Diana and now I'm really wondering / wanting to know what was on the tape that Diana made.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: BrittanyWilson on Dec. 27, 2013 :
What did you like about the main character - Taylor is an easy character to like. Despite her flaws, a reader is easily captivated by her physical appearance and her inquisitive nature. I liked that she never gave up even if it meant she had to face the truth which was not necessarily nice.

Cover - Although I am not a fan of dark coloured covers, I really liked the cover for Deborah Hawkins' book. At a glance, I could already tell that the story would be filled with secrets and lost love. If I came across the book in a store, I would definitely pick it up.

Content (overall theme, idea and setting) - The idea and plot were original and good. The Abbey was the ideal setting and worked with the way the two main characters became entangled with each other.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: RoseMyers on Dec. 27, 2013 :
What I liked - I liked the historical elements and the setting. The journey to the Abbey gave me the feeling of reading about Hercules Poirot before he embarks on one of his quests. The hunt for the truth isn't as straightforward and this made the book more fascinating for me.

What I didn't like – Some things should be left alone. I know many people who would be gushing about how this book is about the Royal Family. But others would also be turned off by using someone famous you do not know in a fiction story. For this reader, I was not a fan of how Diana was portrayed .

Did you find that the cover and title represented what the story was really about? The title was a bit misleading. While you automatically assume that the dead princess means Diana, you later find this story has at least 3 different subplots which aren't entirely represented by the title.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Elizabeth Locker on Dec. 14, 2013 :
What did you think of the story structure? I felt that the story was told through the relationship of Nicholas and Taylor. Were their differences a symbolism of the differences that Charles and Diana experienced during their courtship and marriage? Some parts of the story was revealed in chunks. For this story, it was an effective way to share the past with the reader.

What was the central theme of the story? Princess Diana. I have seen and read many things about her life and death but this is the fictional piece which deserves to be recommended. If you don't mind an odd twist or so, then this is a book you must read.

What did you think of the ending? It was an explosive ending, for sure. The author's tone and style is gentle for most of the book. As it gets to the end, a different puzzle emerges and you are left reeling. Did I like this book? More than I can say.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Vicky Smith on Dec. 14, 2013 :
What were the main relationships explored in this book? I felt that Nicholas was the central character to plot and flow. Most of the book covered two main relationships and these were of Taylor - Nicholas and Nicholas - Lucy.

3 things I liked about the book … I liked all the facts about the Royal family and that the author gave just enough information without boring readers with too much information. I was intrigued that it talked about a secret tape made by Princess Diana and I really wonder how true this is. I love books about the kings and queens of England so this is my new favourite author.

Favourite character(s) … Taylor. She is a combination of beauty, curiosity and passion for uncovering what really happened all those years ago. I also liked that her relationship with Nicholas was gradually added to the story. It gave the story a romantic feel.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Amy Hollingsworth on Dec. 13, 2013 :
Which did you find more appealing, the introduction or the conclusion? The conclusion. Without giving too much away, it felt a lot like Downton Abbey. A new heir, a hidden crime, an expose lurking in the background … it’s an ending most readers will love.

Why would you recommend or not recommend this book? I would definitely recommend this book for the writing alone. Additionally, it had some interesting facts in it which anyone who has an interest in the Royal Family will enjoy.

Did the book description relate to the story? Yes, it related to the story. For this reader, the description was enough to pick up the book but nothing prepared me for story in a story. Diana’s death was felt by so many, when Prince William got married, her death felt more recent and this book was able to touch on all of those emotions.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Sarah Knoll on Dec. 13, 2013 :
If you were to talk with the author, what would you want to know? Princess Diana's death was played and replayed in the media from so many different angles. I would want to know what was the exact "aha" moment that brought this book to life and how much research she actually did?

Which did you prefer the introduction or the conclusion? The introduction because the author took her time to introduce the plot, settings and two main characters. Every few pages brought another twist to the plot and I just could not wait to finish this book.

Is the story plot or character driven? It was character driven. You had the two main characters and then you had Diana in the background who seemed to be pulling the strings of the story and the characters.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: James Noel on Dec. 05, 2013 :
What were the main themes of the book? A story of love, lies, murder, betrayal and secrets. I liked that the author did a pretty good at executing all of these themes. I was a bit skeptical on the use of the Princess of Wales but in the end I liked the way the author connected the main themes and plot to historical incidences and real people.

Describe 2 different settings or locations. The library (this was my favourite) - All dark mahogany wood with shelves from the floor to the ceiling. Two large mahogany desks with white sofas on each side. It was a beautiful warm room. The Abbey was a beautiful castle with long stair cases & huge rooms. The castle was very old with lots of secrets.

Were you able to connect with the main character and why? Yes, I liked Taylor a lot and she was able to keep the story interesting. However, there were parts when I felt she was far too naive and that there wasn't anything new to discover about her.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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