Share this...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lisa Fernow guides us through the tango

My husband cannot abide what he calls the "crying shows"... you know the ones?  "So You Think You Can Dance", "Dancing with the Stars"... etc. I LOVE them. Mostly because I have no sense of rhythm and cannot dance to save myself. So I watch them covertly when he's not around.

I particularly love the Latin dances - my favourites being the Pasa Doble and the Tango and it is my great pleasure today to welcome 'new to me' author Lisa Fernow to introduce her romantic suspense DEAD ON HER FEET and the research she undertook to learn all there was to know about tango... Tango and mystery... does it get any better?

Lisa will be awarding a $30 GC to winner's choice of online bookseller to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour



Thanks for having me!

In writing my tango mystery, Dead on Her Feet, I did a lot of research on the music.  My original plan was to include lyrics and audio links so readers could directly experience tango’s heart-wrenching power. 

Ultimately it proved too difficult to identify who owned the copyrights.  But here’s an excerpt where I’ve put the lyrics and link back in for you. This translation of Discepolo’s Uno comes from maestro Alberto Paz. 

Our heroine, tango instructor Antonia Blakeley, is introducing her class to tango culture: 
“Tango can be about many things – seduction, longing, nostalgia, intimacy, tenderness – you get the picture. Whatever the music and the moment inspires. This song isn’t one we normally dance to but I happen to think it’s a beautiful piece, especially if you understand the words. It’s called Uno. One.” Uno, oh yeah, she thought.
Antonia translated the lyrics from the liner notes:
If I had the heart,
The heart I gave away…
If I could, like yesterday
Love without a premonition…

It’s possible that your eyes
That cry out to me their love,
I’d close them with my kisses…
Without thinking that, like these,
They were other wicked eyes
That ruined my life.
“He gave his heart to a woman who betrayed him, and now he can’t love the way he used to.  That’s life and death stuff.”

Tragic, yes?  Julio Sosa performs Uno here:

Doesn’t this just make you swoon? 

It’s not an accident that Antonia chooses this particular tango, Uno, which is not meant for dancing - a curious choice for the class.  But Antonia has walled herself off from love.

We eventually learn why. 

I hope you enjoy Dead on Her Feet.  Visit and let me know!

(PS: the dancer above is Tomás Howlin, a wonderful teacher!)


What happens when a dancer violates the tango code?

Tango instructor and chronic rule-breaker Antonia “Ant” Blakeley has no respect for authority. So when a much-hated member of the Atlanta tango community is stabbed in the middle of the dance floor, leaving her troubled nephew Christian first on the list of suspects, the last thing she wants to do is use her tango expertise to help the police work out how someone could have struck the fatal blow, unseen. As someone who has experienced police incompetence first hand Antonia doesn’t trust them to find the real killer. So she lies to give Christian an alibi, and the coverup begins.

Unfortunately for Ant, former marine Detective Sam Morrow is on the case and he will do whatever it takes to solve the crime. He’s not about to let Antonia hijack his case. As both Ant and Sam investigate (or in Ant’s case, interfere), the two sleuths are about to find out the more antagonistic meaning of “it takes two to tango.”


Available on Amazon and all reputable e-stores


Lisa Fernow grew up on the classic mysteries of Ngaio Marsh and Elizabeth Peters. Lisa has danced Argentine tango since 1996, studying with such legendary masters as Cacho Dante, Susana Miller, and Brigitta Winkler, as well as other inspiring instructors in Atlanta, Seattle, and Portland. Lisa’s short story,Death of a Tango Dancer was featured in King County Library’s Take Time to Read program. She lives in Seattle, Washington. Dead on Her Feet is the first book in a planned series set in the tango world. Read more at


  1. Thanks for being my guest today Lisa. I am a HUGE Elizabeth Peters fan and have just reread the entire Amelia Peabody series in chronological order. I feel like I am saying goodbye to old friends. All the very best with DEAD ON HER FEET, it looks wonderful!

    1. Thanks so much for having me. Love your husbands comment about crying shows! Social tango is more of a walking dance than what you see on these shows - less dramatic more intimate- and if you can walk you really can learn it! I

  2. Great insight from an author's POV.. as reader's I sometimes do not think we realize the level of research that has to go into the books that we love so much. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. The research is really fun and can lead to some unexpected twists which is one of the great joys of writing imo!

  4. great excerpt and enjoyed your comments

  5. Love the sound of the story.

  6. Tango, passion, murder - it goes together! Love and hate are powerful emotions. This sounds like a great read. Enjoyed reading your post.

  7. I enjoyed reading the background of how the story came to be.