Cover Image: Breaking the Dance

Breaking the Dance

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Member Reviews

Breaking the Dance is a great story and a first from this author I have read. The characters were well-crafted and the storyline was easy to follow. Will definitely read more from this author.
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Enjoyed this book. Kept me interested all the way through. Would recommend to a fellow reader.  Love the cover.
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BREAKING THE DANCE by Clare O'Donohue is #2 in the world of spies mystery series. The first, Beyond the Pale, did receive rather positive reviews ("Mystery buffs who enjoy charming sleuths will appreciate the quick-witted couple." - Library Journal).  Therefore, I was looking forward to a relaxing read with O'Donohue's latest mystery over the summer. Unfortunately, my access appears to have expired so I will give BREAKING THE DANCE a neutral rating of 3.
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In Breaking the Dance, Hollis and Finn are professors at a small Midwestern university, but that’s not all they are! A few odd events expand into more confusing events and many assumptions that may be right or may be wrong. Are Hollis and Finn working together or are they at cross purposes? Do the false passports that appear give them false identities or have them posing as someone else? Round and round we go, spinning confusedly, trying to get our bearings... Is this the story or the writing style? The book was enjoyable, a diversion, but not a compelling read. 

Thanks to NetGalley for providing an advance copy of the book for my enjoyment.
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Hollis and Finn are quite entertaining as they step into their second round of playing international spies. How they got into this position, I can’t tell you because I have not read Beyond the Pale, book 1 in this series. But, after reading Breaking the Dance, I plan to. Already have it downloaded to my kindle.

I do know that Declan Murphy had something to do with it. Art forger and con man, enigmatic and charming, the reader does not really get to know Declan all that well. There must always be an air of mystery surrounding him. This is sure to make him a favorite character.

I also really like Blue agent Peter Moodley. He is all don’t ask questions, just do what I tell you one moment and the next he is there to save Hollis and Finn from certain harm. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to mess with him, but you do want him on your side. He and Declan have a hate-hate relationship that will evolve into something else in Breaking the Dance. It is quite enjoyable to watch.

But of course, the stars of the book are Hollis and Finn. As a couple, they are adorable and their banter is charming. As spies, they manage quite well, surprisingly. Hollis actually had CIA spy training, but ultimately went for the academic career. So her spy skills are there, just a bit rusty. Hollis is pure academic. For both of them, their intelligence is what allows them to become these accidental spies. They can think on their feet, improvise when needed and fake it when they don’t know what the heck they should know.

In Breaking the Dance, they are presented with a series of cryptic clues. While I thought the clues were a bit contrived to move Hollis and Finn from one scenic South American locale to another, I still enjoyed them. Taking place mostly in Buenos Aires Argentina, the narrative is full of admiration for the city’s architecture, people, food and for the culture in general. I’ve never been there, but I kind of want to visit now.

This contemporary spy story is full of intrigue, humor and romance. Breaking the Dance does stand alone, if you want to start the series here. I plan to catch up with book 1 and continue the series because I can't resist the mysterious international criminal and the smart academic couple.

Through Netgalley, the publisher provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Pure nonsense, and as far from the real world of spying you can get. In addition, you obviously need to have read the first book for this to have any meaning at all.
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Cozy Spy Mystery
I loved this book so much that I went and bought book 1 of the series. This is an international spy adventure. There is plenty of intrigue, double-crosses, and murder. There is plenty of humor, sarcasm, and romance, as well. I love the interaction between the main characters. There are despicable bad guys, a rascally scamp, and spies hidden as people you would least expect. What a fun story! I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.
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Second in the World of Spies series, this outing continues the plotline of Hollis and Finn Larsson, accidental spies. In this outing, they have agreed that what happened in Ireland (in the first book in the series) was a one-off and they won’t ever do it again. But then two passports with their work photos and different names arrives in a hand-delivered package to Hollis’ assistant. The message mentions an Irish art forger, spy, and thief as being in trouble. Still they mostly resist the siren call of rushing in to the fray. When a dead man is found in their living room with three agents, they are taken to the airport and put on a plane to Buenos Aires where they try finding the Irish art thief and stay alive. What could possibly go wrong with this plotline?

While this is the second in a series, it can be read as if it were a stand-along book, it would probably work better if the first book has been read since there’s little character development in this one. The reader will also have to suspend belief in thinking that the Larssons would again put their lives in danger without knowing who most of the players are, can walk away from their jobs without consequences or they can solve an international crime in ten days over the course of Spring Break or know enough Spanish to move freely around Buenos Aires, etc., etc. 

If you love cozy mysteries, you might enjoy this outing by O’Donohue.
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I really liked the first book of the series about two middle-aged college professors who get caught up investigating an Irish art forger by a clandestine American spy organization. This was a little bit of a let down as it is much more confusing. For one thing, it has been awhile since the first one so an explanation of what the lettered organizations stand for would have helped. It took me a minute to remember Blue was the American group and I never figured out TCT except they were the bad guys.

  There were just too many bad guys doing things to keep them straight. There was Declan, the art forger and his crew, an Argentinian group, a TCT group, the Americans and at the very end a Chinese bad guy. I could never keep straight what group was doing what to our professors, Hollis and Finn. The story opens with a dead body in the house, the Americans coming in to dispose the body and our professors getting kidnapped and whisked to Argentina. They are mistaken for another couple who are professional hitmen.

  They are followed, spied upon and meet the Argentinian criminals. They are given the task to kill Declan and retrieve an Address Book they recovered in the last book. They chase all over Buenos Aires and narrowly avoid mishap after mishap. The end brings the addition of the Chinese. 

  This book could have done with a better recapping of the last book and a lot less confusion. I had a hard time keeping things straight. It's too bad because it's a cute idea for a series and I really Hollis and Finn.  In complete honesty, I will admit another problem I had. I had an advanced readers copy and I am used to getting copies with typographical and grammatical errors but this was over the top. There was no fi or ff in the book at all. You would be reading along and get to eort, effort. Rst, first. O, off. It really made it difficult (diicult in the book) to keep an even flow in reading. I tried not to let if effect (eect in book) my judgement but it did seep in.  I was frustrated (ustrated).

  Thanks to Net Galley and Midnight Ink for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.
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With an amazing cast of characters, this 2nd installment of the World of Spies mysteries did not disappoint.  Our accidental spies have returned for another episode, this time for a jaunt to Argentina.  There is a good bit of action and the unexpected.  Many thanks to Midnight Ink and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Hollis and Finn Larssen are mistaken for paid assassins and whisked away to Argentina to complete the "job." You just know Declan Murphy is involved. A whirlwind tour through Argentina and many of its most scenic places with a mix of danger and intrigue involved.
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College professors Hollis and Finn Larsen, after surviving an earlier undercover assignment, find themselves once again operating as spies. After receiving passports with their photos but different names, the Larsens find Peter Moodley, head of an Interpol group, in their kitchen and a dead body in their living room.  
The next day, the Larsens are chloroformed, kidnapped and taken to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Seems Declan Murphy, art thief and forger, needs the Larsen’s help in securing an address book for a group of criminals known as TCT.  Declan reaches out to the Larsens for help but the group threatening him kidnap the couple.  The action revolves around getting the book, saving Declan from being killed and finding out who leads TCT.

While the story is a little confusing in the beginning, Clare O’Donohue pulls it together and crafts an intriguing mystery. Getting acquainted with Ms. O’Donohue’s characters is a pure delight and she keeps the tension tight and flowing.  The second World of Spies Mystery is an entertaining read with a pleasantly different twist.
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Two average college professors are once again thrown into the world of spies and deceit. This second installment of the A World of Spies Mystery series takes the couple to Argentina. Once again they are forced into a mysterious situation that revolves around Declan Murphy. I was pleasantly surprised to see this novel pick up where the first book left off. This second installment pulled me in with the first murder as opposed to the first novel which took me a few days to get into. This is an easy, light read. At times, the characters can be frustrating and some situations are unbelievable/ improbable but overall it is a very enjoyable read. I hope there will be additional novels!
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Hollis and Finn are typical college professors at a small, but prestigious, Midwestern university, except for their relationship with a Irish art forger and a multi-national secret law enforcement organization.  I haven't read the first book in this series in which everyone is introduced, but didn't have any trouble picking up the story.  This is a light-hearted romp and easy read.  While this isn't a serious spy novel in the mode of John Le Carre or Len Deighton, it was an enjoyable read.
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What an entertaining read! Spies running around in South-America, lovers trying to survive.... wow, gripping read.
Recommended.
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Decan Murphy is an Irish spy, a good one.  He can charm the pants off of anyone, rob them, and walk away.  He first met up with professors Hollis and Finn Larsson in O’Donohue’s first book, Beyond the Pale.  In Breaking the Dance Hollis and Finn are back in their home in Michigan readying themselves for another week of students at Bradford University.  Hollis  has an envelope delivered by her assistant prior to leaving school and in it are passports under the names of Tim and Janet McCabe with their photos on them - clue #1.  A note in Spanish was included, Oscar Solari is in trouble.  A murder in our Blue group.  You owe him.  Listen to me.  Twenty-four hours.   Tomas Silva  Beware Jorge Videla.  Clue #2
Later that night, Hollis is certain she hears someone in the house.  Finn argues that it was just a cat.  Unbelieving, Hollis gets up to check, Finn follows.  They hear someone, Peter Moodley answers.  Over tea their friend, Peter, a spy who helped them throughout the Ireland affair, discussed all of the info that had arrived.  He moved toward the parlor to say there was no calling 911 over this problem.  They found a young man dead in a chair, blood dripping on the carpet.  Over him stood two other agents.  Peter hints that Declan is behind this trauma. They were loaded into a van heading to the airport.  From there they found themselves working their way through Buenos Aires trying to figure out the mystery playing out before them. 
It took awhile to get into the storyline but I did enjoy the book.  I found myself trying to unravel the murder and the puzzle that the Larssons had before them.  
I appreciate that Midnight Ink, publisher, allowed me to read and review Breaking the Dance.  I took it upon myself to read the first of the series, Beyond the Pale.  It helped to understand the plotlines and the characters involved, but not necessary to enjoy the reading of this follow up.  
Breaking the Dance will be published on May 20, 2019.
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Breaking Dance is the second book in the spy series by Clare O'Donohue. The novel is an enjoyable read, especially for lovers of historical fiction. It has an interesting plot and strong main characters. I look forward to catching up on the first book in the series.
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It requires suspension of disbelief to read this enjoyable second caper about Hollis and Finn.  Their first adventure as amateur quasi-government agents took them to Ireland, while this time they are in Buenos Aries.  The plot is improbable but following this couple as they interact with one another is enjoyable.  Another plus was the sense of place that the author provided; I think that the descriptions of the tango, Buenos Aries and other Argentinian locations were quite appealing for armchair travelers.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this adventurous read.  The opinions are my own.
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A delightful romp through Buenos Aires with college professors Hollis and Finn.  Second in this series, the Larssons are once again lured into the role of spies in a rollicking, fast paced spy adventure filled with satire, laughs and just enough mystery to keep the reader involved and wanting to know how the story ends.  A fun read for a lazy day.

In full disclosure, this book was provided by the publisher and NetGalley for my assessment of the unedited book.  The one glaring error in the book is that Argentina speaks Portuguese, not Spanish.
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The second in this series about a couple of middle aged college professors who stumbled into an Interpol operation during a sabbatical in Dublin in their first outing, making the acquaintance of a charming art forger who sweeps them up in another game of cat and mouse with the good guys on one side and the Irishman on the other. Both want the same thing - and so does the man with no name who heads a vast criminal conspiracy whose secrets are contained in the same address book the forger stole in Dublin and wants to use to destroy the organization. This time the reluctant spies are kidnapped and taken to Argentina, where they're mistaken for hired killers.  Very little of the plot makes sense but it would make a decent.movie. There's hardly any blood, lots of well observed travel writing about Argentina, and a light enough touch to classify this as an espionage cozy.
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