Shirley Ballas, head judge on Strictly Come Dancing, has revealed that she will publish her first crime novel later this year. The 62-year-old “Queen of Latin Dancing” used her expertise to write her debut novel, “Death on the Dance Floor,” alongside award-winning author Sheila McClure.
In a press release for what is called a “delicious crime caper,” it is hinted that “Behind the sequins and the sparkle, when it comes to international dancing competitions, danger is afoot and sometimes death-drops are literally just that.”
“When a promising young performer is murdered during the opening tango of Blackpool’s (in)famous Dance Festival, Lily Richmond, dance legend, teacher and one-time world champion, partners with her former student and private detective, Susie Cooper, to unravel the rumours from the rumbas and reveal the murderer’s identity before the bodies start to pile up.”
Ballas has committed to writing two books in what is being termed The Sequin Mysteries, and they are both scheduled for publication by HQ, an imprint of HarperCollins UK, on October 12.
According to Ballas, “My industry, the world of competitive ballroom, is full of intrigue and passion. Pouring a lifetime of experience into a cosy crime series is the perfect twist to my career. Working with Emily, Sheila, and the rest of the team at HQ has been a delight. I simply can’t wait for readers to get their hands on these books!”
Editorial Director at HQ, Emily Kitchin, added: “HQ has been bedazzled by The Sequin Mysteries. No one is better placed than Shirley to give readers a delicious sneak peek into what really goes on in the world of dance, where conspiracy, passion and love affairs abound.”
“Murder on the Dance Floor is quite simply fabulous, packed with glamour, glitter, larger-than-life characters, drama and danger… not to mention lashings of hairspray.”
“HQ is thrilled to be publishing this fantastic series, and I’m so excited for readers to meet dance-detective duo Lily Richmond and Susie Cooper.”
This news follows rumors that Ballas will never compete in another BBC dance competition. After having her life made a living hell by internet trolls throughout the previous season’s episodes.
Ballas, who took over for Len Goodman as head judge in 2017, told the Mirror that she had hit a “all-time low” due to the constant harassment she faced from those who disagreed with her judging decisions.
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The only thing she would say was that it was “one step at a time,” so she wouldn’t confirm or deny whether she was leaving the panel.
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