THE FIRST EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD’S BELLY DANCE MURDER MYSTERY…
Isn’t mine. When I got the idea to write a belly dance mystery, I honestly thought it would be. What a great way to introduce it to publishers, I thought, being the FIRST author to come up with this idea!
As a mystery addict, I know just how full the bookstore shelves are of intrepid female sleuths who knit, cook, quilt, run catering businesses, own antique shops, have cats, make tea, restore houses, do needlepoint, work as pet-sitters, you name it—but not a single belly dancer among them. Or so I thought. Turns out, I’m not the first belly dancer to get into the murder game. I’m not even the second! A little research online turned up some interesting names…
The first author I came across was Sandra Catena, author of The African Belly Dance. I don’t know the publication date, but there are mentions of this book online as early as 2008! As far as I can discover, this officially makes her the first to actually publish a belly dance murder mystery. Sandra Catena, I take my hat off to you! I can’t give you a review of it yet, because I’ve only just ordered it, but it sounds like a great read. You can find it too, at www.bigapplebellydance.com
The second author I found was Safira, of Safira’s Center for World Dance. Her novel, Jezebel Died Dancing, is available for free, chapter-by-chapter, on Safira’s website at www.dancewichita.com I’ve just started reading this, and it’s a hoot! Since it was published serially as she wrote it, the publication date ranges from 2012 to 2014—still well ahead of me!
And while we’re on the subject of Those Who Beat Me To It, let’s not leave out the fabulous production “Dark Side of the Crown,” the bellydance extravaganza featuring—of all things–a murder mystery! This incredible piece was done by Bellydance Evolution, under the direction of Jillina. While the troupe is now about to open a different show, Alice in Wonderland, you can still get the DVD of Dark Side of the Crown at www.jillinashop.com .
The upshot is, we belly dancers seem to be a murderous bunch! I think I’m the first one to plan a murder mystery series (I’m already working on the next one) but I could be wrong. There may be even more luscious murder mysteries out there to be discovered! The way I see it, it’s win-win either way—I either get bragging rights, or I get to find a cool new book to read. Yay!