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  • Location: Glasgow

Dandy Gilver and the Unpleasantness in the Ballroom (Dandy Gilver 10)

Dandy Gilver and the Unpleasantness in the Ballroom (Dandy Gilver 10)

Why a Booktrail?

1932: Glasgow is a city in the grip of dance-fever. But the dance floor has blood on it..

  • ISBN: 978-1444786101
  • Genre: Crime, Historical, Mystery

What you need to know before your trail

Glasgow was a town of dancing and dance halls in the 30s – the sense of competition between the dancers was as hot as the action on the dance floor.

Locarno Ballroom in the centre of town is well known and well respected in the world of dancing. The competitions held there are fierce affairs and last year one poor entrant danced his way to the grave. Not that anyone seems to remember or care – this year the competition is alive and well.

But one dancer about to take the floor has been receiving threats from some unknown quarter and so is nervous as to whether she should keep dancing. Her family call in two private detectives to keep her safe.

Dancing has never been so deadly

Travel Guide

Glasgow and ballroom dancing? Well this is quite a mix. Not the first place you might think has something to do with sequins and fancy dancedresses but the Glasgow of the 30s was the hotbed of foxtrot and tango if this book is anything to go by.

The author note mentions that the Locarno Ballroom in Sauchiehall street was the real locations  and venue of the First Scottish Professional Dancing Championships in 1928 but has since closed.

Glasgow society was divided between the haves and the have nots and the dancers were a force to be reckoned with in the city. The Razor Gangs which feature heavily in the story and the character of Sir Percy Stott is based on a real life detective who dealt with the city’s scourge back in the 1931.

The world of ballroom is cut throat and deadly. This places you at the heart of the tension, so be careful to avoid the stiletto shoes and mind the sequins don’t whip past you so fast that they slice your eye. The greasepaint, the noise of the shoes on the wooden dance floor and the swish of the coattails and dressed spin you into a frenzy as you read.

Quite exciting is the fact that the opulent Grand Central hotel is real and you can stay there to really get a sense of this book as the hotel is still very much in the Victorian decor that the characters in the book would have seen. The hotel is also famous for being the place where the  world’s first long-distance television pictures were transmitted on 24 May 1927 by John Logie Baird. TV or books? You decide.

Streetview Maps

A Glasgow - Sauchiehall Street today
D Glasgow - The Grand Central Hotel

Booktrailer Review

Susan @thebooktrailer:

This was great fun. A murder set in a real place and in a real time and setting evoked with such grace that I was not only there but wearing the costumes detailed in the dance hall environment. This was the Strictly come Dancing of its day – the excitement and thrill of the dancing, the competitions and the whole pomp and circumstance whipped me up into a state of excitement. Who was behind the mysterious threats and why? I lapped this up – what a whirlwind of excitement and nostalgia. I say nostalgia – I’m not that old but I do feel as if I’ve spent a bit of time in the 1930s now. Wearing silver dancing shoes of course.

This is part of a series, a fun and witty series that needs to be out there more – more recommended and the snobbery of the posh PIs to the Glasgow and its people made me laugh more than once…a page.

A cracking good read!

Booktrail Boarding Pass Information: Dandy Gilver and the Unpleasantness in the Ballroom (Dandy Gilver 11)

Author/ Guide: Catriona McPherson  Destination: Glasgow  Departure Time : 1932

Twitter: @CatrionaMcP  Facebook: /Catriona-McPherson  web: Catrionamcpherson.com

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