lori robbins

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Ballerina Leah Siderova knows the career of a professional dancer is short. But rarely is it as brief as that of her rival, Arianna Bonneville, whose rise to stardom ends when she is stabbed in the back.

New York City police detective Jonah Sobol fixes upon Leah as the prime suspect. After all, she was the one who found the body, she had the most to gain from Arianna’s death, and it was her name Arianna whispered, just before she died.

Leah is desperate to clear her name, and she begins her own investigation, collaborating with her best friend and her ballet coach. As the three dancers sort through backstage intrigues, attempted blackmail, and a tangle of romantic liaisons, the noose around Leah’s neck grows tighter.

Ballet, with its merciless discipline, is all Leah has ever known. Is that enough to keep her one step ahead of the police—and the killer?

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Robbins deploys her tartly witty prose to offer a delicious, well-observed sendup of the ballet world…Readers will root for Leah as she sleuths her way through the troupe’s comic excesses. A graceful mystery that pirouettes around a cast of entertaining narcissists.


Lori Robbins creates a riveting murder mystery especially recommended for those familiar with the complex world of ballet and its many political and personal challenges. The politics of the dance world…are realistically presented, adding tension to unfolding events as Leah investigates matters that quickly move beyond dance competition circles.

Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

Lori Robbins

Lori Robbins

Brooklyn-born Lori Robbins' debut novel, Lesson Plan for Murder: A Master Class Mystery, won the Silver Falchion for Best Cozy Mystery and was a finalist in the Readers' Choice and Indie Book Awards. Her latest work, Murder in First Position, is the first in her new On Pointe Mystery Series, published by Level Best Books. Her short story, "Accidents Happen" will be published in May, in the Malice Domestic Anthology, Murder Most Diabolical, and another short story, "Leading Ladies" will be published this summer in the New York Sisters in Crime anthology, Justice for All.  Her next novel, Murder in Second Position is due out in November of 2021. Robbins is also working on a second Master Class Mystery, Linked to Murder. She is a vice president of the New York chapter of Sisters in Crime and is a member of both Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.

Robbins began dancing at age 16 and launched her professional career three years later. She studied modern dance at the Martha Graham School and ballet at the New York Conservatory of Dance. Robbins performed with a number of regional modern and ballet companies, including Ballet Hispanico, the Des Moines Ballet, and the St. Louis Concert Ballet. After ten very lean years as a dancer she attended Hunter College, graduating summa cum laude with a major in British Literature and a minor in Classics. The mother of six, Robbins has vast experience with the homicidal tendencies everyday life inspires.